Alexander Roitburd - Contemporary Art Day Sale London Wednesday, October 13, 2010 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Collection Gallery, Kiev

  • Catalogue Essay

    The Ukrainian painted Alexander Roitburd is an artist whose practice encompasses irony and sensuality, narration and the broken image. In this way, his work epitomises the art of the post-Soviet era. Between 1992 and 1993, Roitburd created two series of paintings entitled the Life of the King (Ludwig) and The Portrait of a Lady in White, both of which represent the summit of what might be called the Ukrainian neo-baroque aesthetic, best described as posessing a rich and sensuous painted surface and, in its purest form, impregnated with a kind of sacral madness. Both of these series are collages made from fragmented reproductions of the 1887 portrait of King Ludwig II of Bavaria by Gabriel Schachinger and Portrait of a Lady in White (1553) by Titian. Even though the method used is the same, the two series are somewhat different. If it is possible to follow a narrative logic in Ludwig, there is no such readable transformation in Portrait of a Lady in White, where instead there is a morphing of interchangeable elements "without beginning or end". In both cases, the audience is drawn into a psychedelic universe of phallic hallucinations.
    In his series of paintings, The Farewell of Hector and Andromache, from 2010, Roitburd elaborates on these psychedelic collages. This time the raw material is not quotations from historical art, but painted fragments of human flesh recalling both classical art and the paintings of Giorgio de Chirico. The result is a monumental, quai-pornographic drama where the brutalised flesh replaces the very notion of the sacred classical image.


The Farewell of Hector and Andromache Opus # 1

Oil on canvas.
150 x 100 cm (59 x 39 3/8 in).
Signed in Cyrillic and dated 'Roitburd 2010' on the reverse.

£25,000 - 35,000 

Sold for £25,000

Contemporary Art Day Sale

14 October 2010