Natalya Nesterova - Important Contemporary Russian Art–Property from a Foundation London Wednesday, February 27, 2008 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Livet Reichard Company, Inc., New York

  • Catalogue Essay

    Among many works portraying a beach – a favourite subject of Nesterova's – this picture is one of the most expressive and troubling. The beach really does seem to be endless, all the more so since it is populated by one and the same figures. The work comprises three canvases, and is modular in structure: another canvas could be positioned to the left and the right to continue the frieze. The tension is practically without foundation: the movement of the clouds, the flight of the birds, the total disconnection of the people – the figures in the picture do not communicate, and it seems they don't even suspect the presence of their neighbours, each caught up on their own world. In the years of stagnation in the USSR the departure into surrealism and parallel visionary worlds was seen as one of the ways of opposing the prevailing socialist-realist doctrine.
    The worlds created by Nesterova are often reminiscent of a terrifying dream without end or beginning, where similar-looking people deprived of faces and free will agonizingly kill time: they loll on the beaches, stroll in the park, sit in the cafes, play in the sand or simply stare into space. As if in a children's game, they are frozen in the poses in which the artist once caught them – a moment that stopped and now endures for eternity.
    Faina Balakhovskaia


Endless Beach

Oil on canvas.
Left: 153 x 152.6 cm. (60 1/4 x 60 in).; Middle: 153 x 152.6 cm. (60 1/4 x 60 in).; Right: 152.6 x 153 cm. (60 x 60 1/4 in). Signed, titled and dated ‘N.Nesterova Endless beach 1989’ on the reverse of each work.

£25,000 - 35,000 ‡♠

Sold for £48,500

Important Contemporary Russian Art–Property from a Foundation

28 Feb 2008, 6pm