MacDougall's Russian Art Auctions 1-2 Dec 2010

1 December 2010

Artist Index / Full Catalogue

Old Courtyard

* 33. EVGRAFOV, NIKOLAI 1904-1941

Old Courtyard dated "18/X-30" and titled in Cyrillic on the reverse

Ink and watercolour on paper, 27.5 by 33.5 cm
15,000-20,000 GBP

This unique watercolour by Nikolai Evgrafov dates from his time as a member of the Collective of Masters of Analytic Art. Soon afterwards, in 1932, this interesting group, led by Pavel Filonov, was formally dissolved, thus closing down an important branch of the Russian 20th-century avant-garde.

The unified organic structuring of this work fulfils all Filonov’s precepts — the necessarily highly-finished technique, the precise calibration of the composition and that same literary-aesthetic narrative which was adopted by almost all students and followers of Filonov. As well as this, Evgrafov was notable for his unswerving professional honesty, his social audacity and a particular dramatic realism. This view of the poverty and squalor of the urban underclass was at odds with the mendacious, optimistic slogans and directives of the propagandistic Socialist Realism formula of 1930. Yet this was the very year when Evgrafov painted the watercolour now on offer. His Filonov-inspired work is extremely rare outside museums and the appearance of a collectable work of this quality makes us especially proud.

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.