MacDougall's Russian Art Auctions 27-30 May 2012

27 May 2012

Artist Index / Full Catalogue

Self-Portrait in an Orange Scarf

* 127. KAZANSKAYA, MARIA (1914-1942)

Self-Portrait in an Orange Scarf .

Oil on canvas, 49.5 by 48 cm.
100,000–150,000 GBP

Painted c. 1937.

Provenance: Collection of the artist’s family, Leningrad.
Private collection, Europe.

Authenticity certificate from the expert Yu. Rybakova.

Maria Kazanskaya is a brilliant representative of the second wave of the Leningrad avant-garde. Her uninhibited creations, improbably bold in relief and colour, were obviously a continuation of the new 20th century classics, and above all a belated legacy from Kazimir Malevich and Vera Ermolayeva, whom Kazanskaya had studied directly under in the period 1931–34.

The joyous colours of her portraits and landscapes are imbued with the warm light of summer and an exhilarating sense of the achievements of Fauvism. The detail in her canvasses is deliberately conventional and places few demands on the viewer’s attention, presenting no challenge to the way the flat coloured surfaces work, which is the characteristic distinctive feature of this interesting and original artist’s creative output. The broad expressive sweep of this self-portrait has something in common with the techniques used in the Altai works of the famous Drevin, whom Kazanskaya evidently respected. In deliberately contrasting the vibrant open colours of her works with the sombre earthy poesies of Drevin, Kazanskaya is taking on the role of a bold and original pioneer. Self-Portrait in an Orange Headscarf is without doubt one of the best in the legacy left by Maria Kazanskaya, an artist who embraced the most progressive developments of Russian art in the 1920s and 1930s.

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.