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

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  • Provenance

    Phyllis Kind Gallery, New York

  • Exhibited

    New York, Phyllis Kind Gallery, 1989

  • Catalogue Essay

    Ignoring the norms accepted by Soviet art, Faibisovich drew what normally went unnoticed, including the inevitable omnipresent lines. The violation of a taboo for him is not a gesture of frondeur, rather the artist is simply following the truth, he draws what it was really like. He was not alien to social criticism, but was more attentive to the funny and diverse underside of Soviet reality, rather than to its polished parade side. Genuinely enthralled with the visual reality surrounding him, the artist did not follow it literally – a picture which he managed to snatch from real life was not simply transferred to the canvas, it was subjected to serious transformation.
    Faibisovich drew the cycle about liquor store lines after Gorbachev began his anti¬alcohol campaign. Captured in all of his works are real scenes, those which he managed to see and photograph. "At that time, taking photographs was an anxiety producing endeavor; you had to gather up your courage, not because it was forbidden to photograph lines, for example, but because everyone knew that everything was forbidden. A person who was photographing a line was perceived as a foreign spy, and this was more than enough to make people in charge object, they would begin to behave aggressively, sometimes even attacking the person with the camera. I wound up at the police station a few times, and once they almost killed me, dragging me into the basement."
    Faina Balakhovskaya


Line up for the Wine/At Last

Oil on canvas.
149.5 x 150 cm. (58 7/8 x 59 in).
Signed and dated ‘S F ‘87 [in Cyrillic]’ lower left and signed, titled and dated ‘S.FAIBISOVICH LINE UP FOR THE WINE AT LAST 1987 [in Cyrillic]’ on the reverse.

£20,000 - 30,000 ‡♠

Sold for £41,300

Important Contemporary Russian Art–Property from a Foundation

28 Feb 2008, 6pm