2 December 2009
Sun, Peace, Love... signed and inscribed in Cyrillic "Lenya Purygin from Nara", aslo further signed and inscribed in Cyrillic "Seasons" on the reverse, c. 1980s
Oil on canvas, 79.5 by 100 cm.
Provenance: Eduard Nakhamkin collection.
Private collection, USA.
The artist’s cosmogonical myth is represented in the picture by three contiguous spaces: worldly, celestial and middle, which, together, form a harmonic unity. The work contains symbolic images of wintery decay, contrasted with nature’s rebirth, characteristic of springtime; multi-coloured anthropomorphic creatures abound, people dart in and out of flowers; earthly, bodily food, and ambrosia from the magic flower all proliferate, nourishing the souls which soar above. Each element is afforded equal significance. The apparent alogism of Purygin’s surrealist style is simultaneously imbued with Lubok mysticism and Jungian archetypes of the unconscious. The composition of the painting is perceived as a living part of the universe, containing each and every one of its features and attributes.
There is the Garden of Eden, which Purygin sometimes humorously calls, in a Soviet style, a “Park of Culture”. This garden is filled with ludicrous plaster sculptures, people are brought into the world by the “Flower of Life”, they flutter out from between its petals like butterflies. In this heavenly garden nothing is forbidden, the artist’s parents await him and love holds sway. We also find the Crucifixion motif – a central feature of Purygin’s signature works, which is personified here through the artist himself, and substantiated by the inclusion of the Lethean stream, with a crocodile and a timid little goat drinking side by side, and an immense “Flower of Life”, which brings all the levels of the composition together. Very shortly, the genius artist Lenya Purygin from Nara will rise up into the magical garden; after shaking off the dust he will have undergone his suffering, thereby completing the circle and returning to his primordial state, he will quench his thirst at the spring of immortality.
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.