5 June 2013
Abstract Composition No. 3.
Oil on canvas, 73 by 50 cm.
Provenance: Private collection, Switzerland.
Stamped with a signed authentication by the artist’s wife Pauline Baranoff on the reverse.
Exhibited: Vladimir Baranoff-Rossine, The State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, June–August 2002.
Literature: Exhibition catalogue, Vladimir Baranoff-Rossine, Moscow, Trilistnik, 2002, p. 76, No. 56, illustrated.
Andrei Sarabianov, Baranoff-Rossine, Moscow, Trefoil Press, 2002, p. 113, illustrated.
Baranoff-Rossiné painted Abstract Composition No. 3 after emigrating from Russia to Paris in 1925. At that time he was experimenting with creating original “biomorphic” structures, which simulated the dynamism and cyclical nature of organic processes. His artistic approach underwent perceptible changes in those years and the dominant part of his output was abstract compositions with titles such as Abstract Form, Abstract Composition or simply Abstract. These dramatic images are distinctive for their intensity of colour and the strange pulsating rhythm of their component structures colliding with one another.
Abstract Composition No. 3 is typical of Baranoff-Rossiné’s work of the 1930s and illustrates his new principles of plasticism using the nonorientable Mobius strip, which served as a leitmotif for the majority of his abstract canvasses. This fanciful three-dimensional composition is the result of the artist’s simultaneous experiments in two areas; space and colour. Fragments of touching and overlapping red and white structures, each with a life of their own, pulsate and move in a space filled with other-worldly expressive colour. This abstract work is a clear embodiment of the ideas of “dynamic painting” and “absolute musicality” that so fascinated Baranoff-Rossiné, refracting features of Orphism and Cubism in his own distinctive style.
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