25 - 28 November 2012 Russian Art Auctions

25 November 2012

Artist Index / Full Catalogue

Portrait of the Artist's Son

* 415. KOMAR, VITALY (B. 1943)

Portrait of the Artist's Son, signed, titled in Cyrillic and dated 1971 on the reverse; also inscribed with an authentication in Cyrillic by the artist's son Petr Degtyarev.

Oil on canvas, 99 by 118 cm.
50,000–70,000 GBP

Provenance: Gift from the artist to his son Petr Degtyarev.
Private collection, Europe.

Authenticity of the work has been confirmed by the artist.

Portrait of the Artist’s Son is a rare early work by Vitaly Komar. Dating to 1971, this is one of the five canvasses painted in a “protosots art” style, as the artist himself called it. This is a personal work depicting Komar’s son, Petya, at the family’s country house in Podreskovo.

Vitaly Komar was born in Moscow in 1943, graduated from the Stroganov School of Art and Design in 1967, and has been living in New York since 1978. He was one of the founders of the Sots Art movement (soviet Pop/Conceptual art) and a pioneer of multistylistic post-modernism (1972–73). Vitaly Komar worked in collaboration with Alexander Melamid between 1973 and 2003, which makes the present canvas an extremely collectable pre-collaborative work.

This is the only stand-alone portrait of my son Petya that I painted in the summer of 1971 at our Podreskovo Dacha, outside Moscow. After Petya’s mother, Irina Degtyareva, and I separated I gave this canvas to my son.

I painted no more than five of these works with red and white lettering over realistic images. With hindsight, one could potentially classify paintings of this sort as “proto-sots art”. Although it should be said that it was only in 1972 that we made the decision to sign works with both our names and called the joint effort “Sots art”.

Vitaly Komar, September 2012

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.