Vasily Klyukin - New Now London Thursday, December 9, 2021 | Phillips

Create your first list.

Select an existing list or create a new list to share and manage lots you follow.

  • 'Its not about sins, its about vices […] If I eat more than I should, I accept gluttony. It’s a visitor that comes into my soul, it makes me temporarily in between darkness and light. Its like a scale. The more vices you accept, the darker you are. But everyone can be strong inside.'
    —Vasiliy Klyukin

    Across a wide-ranging practice that spans architecture, design, and sculpture Russian-born Vasily Klyukin centralises questions related to humanity and the natural world. Belonging to the artist’s celebrated In Dante Veritas series, the larger-than life Gluttony is a supreme example of Klyukin’s ‘Live Sculptures’ technique. Allowing the artist to incorporate his fascination for engineering into his art practice, this approach evolved out of the artist’s experiments carving into the pages of a book, allowing the pages to fan out as a three-dimensional form as he opened it. Applying this principle to metal work, Klyukin first creates computer files using the software program Sketchfab, before having the shapes laser cut by a fabricator. Reimagining the work’s axis as the spine of an open book, Klyukin’s interlocking metal sheets can be assembled around this central point without the need of bolts or glue.

    Inspired by Dante Alighieri’s 14th century epic poem, the Divine Comedy and its representation of vice, morality, and the human condition, the series In Dante Veritas employs this ‘Live Sculpture’ technique to powerful effect. Focused on twenty-two of the vices out of Dante’s one hundred that the artist believes are the most relevant today, Klyukin centres his vision of hell around an impending environmental collapse, identifying the vices that have pushed humanity towards this crisis point. Featuring the four horsemen of the apocalypse reimagined as Overpopulation, Misinformation, Pollution, and ExtermiTation alongside representations of ‘deception’, ‘hypocrisy’, and ‘fornication’, Klyukin draws out a commentary on the symbiotic relationship that exists between humanity and the planet. In this respect, the age-old sin represented by Gluttony takes on an especially prominent position, implicating both the individual and the collective in its condemnation of greed.


    Image: Sergei Romanov, Artwork: © Vasily Klyukin

    First toured by the State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, the collection was also presented as a large-scale, immersive multimedia exhibition at the Biennale Internazionale d'Arte di Venezia in 2019. The effect was overwhelming, the artist explaining: ‘you will be diving into an inferno experience, where each object is made of over one hundred intertwined elements: sculptures, light boxes, video mapping, cloth, sound, and more. this is the answer to the questions: what does the underworld look like?; who are we really?; why may we end up in hell?; and are we capable of changing?’i

    i Vasily Klyukin, quoted in Nina Azzarello, ‘in Dante veritas: Vasily Klyukin sculpturally reinterprets the inferno for the Venice Biennale’, Designboom Magazine, 14 May 2019, online 

    • Provenance

      Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner

    • Exhibited

      St. Petersburg, The State Russian Museum, The Mikhailovsky Palace, In Dante Veritas, 27 June - 25 September 2018, n.p. (another example exhibited and illustrated)
      Venice Biennale, Arsenale Nord, In Dante Veritas, 7 May - 30 November 2019, n.p. (another example exhibited and illustrated)
      Lucerne, La Collection'Air, Art Panorama Inferno, 15 May 2020, n.p. (another example exhibited and illustrated)
      Hagen, Osthaus Museum, Two Sculptures: Big Bang & Gluttony, 15 June 2021 - 2022 (another example exhibited)

    • Artist Biography

      Vasily Klyukin

      Russian • 1976

      From architecture and design to abstract and kinetic sculpture, Vasily Klyukin's oeuvre possesses a character that is curious and deeply philosophical. The Moscow born artist is not afraid of experimenting with techniques and forms.

      Klyukin has always been attracted to the embodiment of human form in art on the one hand, and addicted to engineering on the other. Combining these passions allowed Vasily to create his 'Live Sculptures' technique, which he considers to be one of his main achievements. The series 'In Dante Veritas', inspired by Dante's 'Inferno', was created in this technique and began its world tour at the State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg. Afterwards, the collection was presented in Moscow and at the Venice Biennale 2019. Neхt year, the exhibition re-opened in a new format 'Art Panorama Inferno' in Lucerne's most picturesque location — Gütsch.

      His Wall sculpture series is equally fascinating. Enamored with the natural elements and armed with mathematical formulas, Klyukin created “Crypto” series, which was showcased in September 2020 at a personal exhibition at the Simon Lee Gallery in London. It was also available for viewing as part of temporary art space 'The Big Implosion Theory' in Moscow — which was open until the end of 2020. In 2021 this exhibition can be viewed in Hong Kong under the same title 'Mind Port'. Art connoisseurs can see the 'Relief' series at any time as part of permanent exposition at the Simon Lee Gallery in London.

      The season of 2021 started off with the 'Mind Port' exhibition in Moscow City. Throughout this year an exhibition under the name ‘Civilization. The island of the day before’ will be shown in Vienna at the Kunstforum, as well as in Monaco. The artist also has two shows in Germany: 4 sculptures of sins from the collection 'In Dante Veritas' in Bad Breisig and 2 sculptures 'Genesis' (Embryo series) and ‘Gluttony’(‘In Dante Veritas’) at the Osthaus Museum, Hagen. Each one will  uncover different aspects of Vasily's work.

      The Divine Comedy theme continues with the 'Mask of Dante' which will be showcased in several cities in Switzerland: Zug, Geneva and Lucerne.

      Klyukin's works can be found at charity auctions held by amfAR, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation and the Prince of Monaco Albert II Foundation. 2019 marked the start of commercial sales, auctioning five sculptures at the Phillips auction house between June and February.

      Vasily currently lives in Monaco, is married and has four children.

      View More Works



painted steel
120 x 50 x 45 cm (47 1/4 x 19 5/8 x 17 3/4 in.)
Executed in 2016, this work is number 1 from an edition of 6.

Full Cataloguing

£100,000 - 150,000 

Contact Specialist

Simon Tovey
Specialist, Head of New Now Sale
+44 20 7318 4084

New Now

London Auction 9 December 2021