Sergey Volkov - The John L. Stewart Collection of Russian Contemporary Art London Friday, October 12, 2007 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Acquired directly from the artist

  • Exhibited

    Melbourne, City Art Gallery, Made in Formani, Current Soviet Avant-Garde Art, March, 1990

  • Literature

    V. Misiano, Made in Formani 'The Regeneration', Melbourne, 1990, p. 21 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Sergei Volkov, initially a photographer, came to the Moscow art scene from Kazan in the mid-1980s and soon gained reputation as an important new painter, taking part in numerous underground and young artists exhibitions. His paintings, inspired by Soviet posters and everyday life in the USSR saturated with ideology, represented solitary symbols, isolated from their context - the raising sun, wheat buds, or, as in this case, the iconic portrait of baby Lenin, well-known to each Soviet schoolchild. Always sober in color and form, these paintings (which he continued to do throughout the 1980s and early 1990s) were very different from the flamboyantly ironical and deliciously quizzical Sots-Art works of the previous generation (Komar and Melamid, and other artists). Volkov was seeking for ‘Soviet mimimalism’ devoid of any emotion, of any content, he was looking for ‘total zero’ and ‘universal boredom’. Besides revealing Volkov’s specific interest in a radical form of conceptual art, these words describe perfectly the daily life in the late Soviet Union, where under increasing deficit any commodities virtually disappeared, and ideology was at its last breath. What Volkov was creating can be seen now as a melancholic monumental tombstone to this time. - Dr. Ekaterina Degot


Young Lenin

Oil on canvas.
79 x 68 1/2 in. (200.7 x 174 cm).
Signed, titled and dated “Volkov S.E.Young Lenin 1989 [in Cyrillic]” on the reverse.

£30,000 - 40,000 ‡♠

Sold for £24,000

The John L. Stewart Collection of Russian Contemporary Art

13 October 2007, 6pm