MacDougall's Russian Art Auctions 25-27 November 2019

25 Nov 2019

Artist Index / Full Catalogue


Gathering Buckwheat

234. KLIUN, IVAN (1873–1943)

Gathering Buckwheat, signed with initials, inscribed in Cyrillic “Mezhdu Bolshimi i Malymi Gorkami”, titled and dated 1934 on the reverse.

Pencil and watercolour on paper, 24.5 by 32 cm.
10,000–20,000 GBP


Provenance: Collection of S. Kliunkova-Soloveichik.
Private collection, USA.
Private collection, Europe.

The work bears a stamp with authentication from S. Kliunkova-Soloveichik, the artist’s granddaughter, on the reverse.
Authenticity of the work has been confirmed by the expert O. Glebova.

Literature: S. Kliunkova-Soloveichik, Ivan Vasilievich Kliun, New York, IVK Art, 1993, p. 322, illustrated and listed.

Works of the 1930s, included in the collection, reflect the return to figurative art and realism, typical for nearly all of the Russian avant-garde artists who were still alive in the late 1920s. These works also reveal Kliun’s interest in rural landscapes and genres. Particularly noteworthy here are the Gathering Buckwheat sketches from nature, one of which bears the inscription “K. Malevich reaping” on the back.

Interestingly enough, these compositions were produced alongside Malevich’s “second peasant series”. While in Malevich’s post-Suprematist work, Kliun’s face is entirely transformed from the image of a “builder” into a de-individualised depiction of a “peasant’s head” and a “reaper”, exhibiting merely the basic features, Kliun, conversely, creates a completely realistic portrait drawing of Malevich the reaper with the very same attribute – a scythe – in his hand. Alongside similar “collective-farm scenes”, Kliun also makes several Cubist-style sketches of the figures of reapers, reverting once more to the problem of the architectonic structure of the human figure. But these drawings, now in the Costakis collection, only briefly hark back to his old interests.


Notes on symbols:
* Indicates 5% Import Duty Charge applies.
Ω Indicates 20% Import Duty Charge applies.
§ Indicates Artist's Resale Right applies.
† Indicates Standard VAT scheme applies, and the rate of 20% VAT will be charged on both hammer price and premium.