27 Nov 2013 Russian Art Auctions

27 November 2013

Artist Index / Full Catalogue

Vova Gusenkov. On the Sleigh

* 37. PLASTOV, ARKADY (1893-1972)

Vova Gusenkov. On the Sleigh, stamped with the initials of the artist, also further signed, titled in Cyrillic and dated "56-59 gg" on the reverse.

Oil on cardboard, 70 by 50 cm.
25,000–30,000 GBP

Provenance: Collection of Nikolai Plastov, the artist’s grandson (stamp on the reverse).
Acquired directly from the above by the present owner.
Important private collection, USA.

Authenticity certificate from Nikolai Plastov, the artist’s grandson.
Authenticity of the work has been confirmed by V. Swanson, art historian and author of the book, Soviet Impressionist Painting, Woodbridge, Antique Collectors’ Club, 2008.

Exhibited: Soviet Art in Conflict: The Artist as an Agent of Social Change, Springville Museum of Art, Utah, September 2007–February 2008.

Arkady Plastov was recognized in his lifetime as a classic Soviet artist. He spent most of his life in the village of Prislonikha in the Volga region near Ulyanovsk. His opus gives an insight into the most important events in Russian history from the 1930s to the 1970s through the prism of village life, and includes hundreds of portraits of his fellow villagers.

Portraits of local peasants occupy a special place in Plastov’s painting from the second half of the 1950s, when he moved away from monumental canvasses and began to see and interpret the individualities of his neighbours in a new way, taking a particular interest in images of children. Plastov painted children of all ages, and his child portraits from the late 1950s have a special psychology.

The pictures offered at auction, Vova Gusenkov. On the Sleigh and Tosya Gusenkova are from the period when Plastov was producing his bewitching gallery of young peasants. To the artist, local children are not merely entertaining models; they express the quintessential emotional mood of the village. Vova, whose eyes look at the world with a seriousness that belies his years, and Tosya, caught in a moment of thoughtful detachment, seem to reflect the huge complex world with its historical and social realities, that compelled these children to grow up early.

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.