Maxim Kantor - Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Friday, October 17, 2008 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Acquired directly from the artist

  • Exhibited

    Osnabruck, Felix Nussbaum-Haus, 12 November, 2004 - 20 February, 2005; Venice, Querini Stampalia Fondazione, 4 March - 20 April, 2005; Belfast, Ulster Museum, 29 June - 2 October, 2005; Luxembourg, Centre Culturel de Rencontre, Abbaye de Neumunster, 3 November - 2 December, 2005; Berlin, Akademie der Kunste, 15 December, 2005 - 29 January, 2006; Duisburg, Museum Kuppersmuhle, 15 February - 29 April, 2006; Maxim Kantor - New Empire

  • Literature

    Exhibition catalogue, Felix Nussbaum-Haus, Maxim Kantor - New Empire, Germany, 2004, pp. 22-25 (illustrated on the cover); R. C. Morris, Russian Painter's New Empire in The International Herald Tribune, London, 20 March, 2005; M. Kantor, The Slow Jaws of Democracy, AST, Moscow, 2008

  • Catalogue Essay

    Born in 1957 to a famous and well respected philosopher in Moscow,Karl Kantor, Maxim Kantor was widely exposed to the free-spirited nature of intellectual thought and criticism. Surrounded by the Moscow intellectualelite in his early years, Kantor was unafraid to confront and distance himself from contemporary trends or established notions.
    The different aspects are conveyed through his symbolic works,monumental canvases set out to produce an open and totalising comment on society, such as Structure of Democracy and Portrait of Pope.These political paintings pose an interesting question, that is the identity of a society commented upon. Kantor being Russian, and more precisely a Moscovite, such works preceding the fall of communism. Russia can naturally be seen to deliver a statement on his motherland.Today,several new elements – amongst which the hooded men and the Anglofone newspapers – suggest the painter has extended his field of study. (Denis Lejeune, ‘Pax Kantoris', Maxim Kantor New Empire,Felix-Nussbaum-Haus Osnabruck, 2004, p. 115)
    Kantor's works have been labeled literary, as he heavily derives context and meaning from sociological and anthropological sources.This present lot is a prime example of his signature style; a form of Expressionism with a unique personal style and quality, laden with symbolic imagery and content.This work is also the cover image for the exhibition catalogue New Empire (2004, pp. 22-29). By portraying ordinary scenes from everyday life; capturing the grind and grit of contemporary Russian reality, Kantor expresses the aftermath of the tragedy of Russian history in a poignant and powerful aesthetic, thus establishing himself at the forefront of Russian contemporary painting.This lot is a seminal example of Kantor's ability to represent the oppression felt by his culture with unmitigated grit and honesty.


Structure of Democracy

Oil on canvas.
290.5 x 250 cm. (114 1/2 x 98 1/2 in).
Signed, titled and dated 'Maxim Kantor Structure of Democracy 2003' on the reverse.

£90,000 - 120,000 

Sold for £87,650

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

18 Oct 2008, 7pm