Sergey Volkov - 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

    In these works done in 1987 when the artist had only just begun to exhibit with the Moscow conceptualists of the younger generation, Sergei Volkov reproduces in an ugly, absurd way banal Soviet clichés, like the souvenir nesting dolls and children's pictures.The primitive forms and restrained colouristic gamma (though refined in its own way) of grey-brown-green dirty paints, slapped on in a thick layer in stains and peelings that are more appropriate for the painting of prison walls, were harmonious with Soviet angst and adequate to the epoch of mass deficits.
    Taken to a completely non¬commercial appearance – this traditional tourist souvenir – a two-meter tall nesting doll decorated in military style – was perhaps the most paradoxical painting of this cycle. This brutal painting was the beginning of perhaps the most surprising artistic career in the contemporary art of Russia. Volkov represented USSR at the Venice Biennale (1990). He was exhibited infrequently, and he created virtually without any repetition very different things: iron grates, objects made of dust under bell-glass, for example, camp watch towers and train signs, quotes from famous painting masterpieces drawn in chalk on a blackboard.
    Faina Balakhovskaya


C¬4 Matroshka

Oil on canvas.
200.3 x 150 cm. (79 x 59 in).
Signed ‘S.E.VOLKOV 1987 C­4 MATROSHKA [in Cyrillic]’ on the reverse.

£4,000 - 6,000 ‡♠

Sold for £48,500

Important Contemporary Russian Art–Property from a Foundation

28 Feb 2008, 6pm