Vladimir Dubossarsky and Alexandre Vinogradov - The John L. Stewart Collection of Russian Contemporary Art London Friday, October 12, 2007 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    XL Gallery, Moscow

  • Exhibited

    1st Valencia Biennale, Russia Madness, June 10 - October 20, 2001

  • Literature

    B. Schwabsky, Vitamin P: New Perspectives in Painting, London/New York, 2002, p. 99 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Since the 1990s, Vladimir Dubossarsky and Alexsander Vinogradov (who received a classical and academic education in art restoration) have been engaging in the production of large-scale narrative paintings, with an ironic and often absurd twist. Like other post-totalitarian painters from the former East, they refer, directly or indirectly, to mass-produced images of boundless ‘communist’ freedom and happiness which they were bombarded with during their childhood. In this way, they are not only discovering that Soviet utopian imagery is easily reconcilable with the vocabulary of global mass culture (all it requires are just a few insertions of nudes). They are also revealing the more painful fact – that the aggressive visual design of the global democratic society easily meets the so-called ‘totalitarian’ art. It is this notion of totality which intrigues this artistic duo the most. In 2001, Dubossarsky and Vinogradov started their monumental 'Total Painting' work-in-progress project which now includes more than 150 pieces (this particular one was exhibited at the Biennale in Valencia). Now dispersed all over the world, the totality of these paintings constitute a virtually infinite multi-part band, where day is giving way to night, winter to summer,sex to violence, Tolstoi and Dostoyevsky are rendered as naked models, and bare nature and sophisticated culture are all merging together forming this meaningless glossy image. These tongue-in-cheek ‘masterpieces’, besides expressing their author’s skepticism of contemporary art production and consumption, reveal their strong fascination with the very image of a painting as an object of desire. In the totality of their project, Dubossarsky and Vinogradov discover the new quality of painting – their deliberately sloppy style intends to express the truly ‘contemporary’ spirit of rushness. To the insanity of contemporary life where trends and images are rapidly changing, artists are responding with what they call ‘totality of action’ – during several years they engaged in febrile, hasty work, competing with mechanical reproduction. By this fervent manual overproduction, artists are maintaining an intense and painful corporeal contact with their time. In their opinion, this is the only quality contemporary art may now achieve. - Dr. Ekaterina Degot


Total Painting

Oil on canvas (in two parts).
77 x 114 ½ in. (195.6 x 290.8)overall.
Signed, titled and dated “Dubossarsky V. Vinogradov A. Total Painting 2001” on the reverse of each part.

£40,000 - 60,000 ‡♠

Sold for £48,000

The John L. Stewart Collection of Russian Contemporary Art

13 October 2007, 6pm