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  • Provenance

    Livet Reichard Company, Inc., New York

  • Literature

    H. Bromm, Natalya Nesterova: Recent Works from Moscow, New York, 1988, pp. 12­13 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Painted in 1983, this work is the embodiment of Nesterova's mature style during the period of stagnation. It is woven from paradoxes: refined and naive, triumphant and ironic, it is imbued with indecipherable allegories. Even when you locate the antique coin that gives the work its name in the hand of one of the characters, no light whatsoever is thrown on the scene being played out by the grotesque figures. The gestures of the characters also do nothing to explain the meaning of the subject: Nesterova speaks in riddles, and tries to portray the imperceptible.
    Over the years Nesterova's ingenious pictures, redolent with meanings, ideas, symbols and fears, have become less restrained; her rebuses have turned into the openly absurd, but she has remained one of the most highly respected Russian female artists. Her success and relevance have lasted throughout her career, and she has been lauded under all regimes, rightfully receiving all the artistic awards and prizes that Russia has to offer. She is a professor and art academician, a State prize laureate as well as the recipient of the independent ‘Triumph' award, and an Honorary artist of Russia.
    Nesterova's style is a mixture of surrealist sensations and professional, complexly structured primitivism: her torpid, grotesque figures are painted in localised colours enclosed in precise outlines. The space is divided up into different grounds, reminiscent of a theatre set. The decor is particularly striking: the antique furniture and vases are borrowed from a different, much more interesting time, and wrench the scene out of its dull Soviet reality, as does the antique coin. ‘At the time I used to spend the summer at Vnukovo, outside Moscow; I rented a dacha, and there were objects there which I used to paint – silver vases, a Meissen porcelain wall¬fixture; I have them in my home now.'
    Faina Balakhovskaia

33

Coin

1983
Oil on canvas.
120 x 248.5 cm. (47 1/4 x 97 7/8 in).
Signed, titled and dated ‘N.Nesterova Coin 1983 [in Cyrillic]’ on the reverse of each work.

Estimate
£25,000 - 35,000 ‡ ♠

Sold for £48,500

Important Contemporary Russian Art–Property from a Foundation

28 Feb 2008, 6pm
London