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  • Provenance

    Phyllis Kind Gallery, New York

  • Exhibited

    New York, Phyllis Kind Gallery, 1995

  • Literature

    A. Alexeev, A. Kosolapov, I. Shelkovski (Eds.), ‘Oleg Vassiliev’, a­(A­YA) Contemporary Russian Art, Unofficial Russian Art Review, Paris, 1980, no.2, p.28 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Figure in the Circle is one of the most formally contemporary and precisely detailed works by Vassiliev, visually demonstrating his system of the relationship between space, light and surface. The painting is part of a large cycle in which fiery iridescent ovals and circles charged with energy grab the silhouettes of people, isolating them from the landscape. In these works, produced after the artist's experiments with abstraction, the world of objects is united with objectless¬ness. The light¬bearing hoop¬shaped ray transforms everything around it – the humble flat landscape is turned into a fairytale, fantastic place. The very same iridescent light almost to the point of white heat burns up the human figure. The active space in a state of motion moves away from us, drawing in the viewer; the figure in the circle stops that movement, fixing the surface of the canvas, attempting to surmount it in the opposite direction – toward the viewer. In this painting that is a collection of diverse elements, the harmony of the landscape is verified by the algorithm of the rigid constructive structure, by the ideal geometric forms. Light enlivens and animates this work, it unites the figurative and non¬figurative details into an integrated whole.
    Faina Balakhovskaya

21

Figure in a Circle

1976
Oil on canvas.
123 x 123.4 cm. (48 1/2 x 48 5/8 in).
Signed, titled and dated ‘O.VASSILIEV 1976 FIGURE IN THE CIRCLE [in Cyrillic]’ on the reverse.

Estimate
£60,000 - 80,000 ‡ ♠

Sold for £90,500

Important Contemporary Russian Art–Property from a Foundation

28 Feb 2008, 6pm
London