SPRING AUCTION 2018

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As the base of the artwork, Victor Pivovarov used famous “neoclassical” self-portrait of Kazimir Malevich created in 1933, now the part of Russian Museum collection. It is a rather mysterious object itself: the artist painted himself wearing the costume of Venetian doge, at the manner of great artists of Renaissance, he considered himself equal to their talents. Pivovarov copying Malevich by adding his own painting manner, changing half-figure portrait to chest-high portrait and alter eye line of the artist - now he looks straight at the observer. Left eye and part of the face of Malevich covered with fox head, like a Venetian carnival mask.

The image is fox is mysterious and often repeated at Pivovarov paintings, the artist makes it clear at the essay: “Last year nuts (for reading in two voices)”: “ I… would like to share my own experience how deep unconscious layers of collective memory behave in the art of specific person. Approximately in 1988 I worked for the series of graphic sheets “Winter Path”. As to the emotions, I came out of elegiac intonation of Schubert cycle. The imagery combined folk fairy tales with specific realia and characters of our Soviet history… I made these drawing with rough sketches, and one of the plots came to hand was rather unexpected and strange that I was avoiding to implement for a long time. Composition title was “The fox kiss” there was night and plain covered with snow and lighten with the full Moon. The fox is standing on hind feet and kissing Stalin into the lips, who is standing at this snow desert on his marshal uniform. I painted this composition after all but its inexplicability was haunting my mind. I checked “Mythological Dictionary” and read under the term “fox” that in some myths fox plays the role of demon-bride, succubus and the act of seducement happens in full moon.”

Since then fox becomes often image in the artworks of Pivovarov that has many meanings but mostly positive. At the presented painting “Malevich in the snow” 1997 the fox like a spirit becomes a part of the great artist and probably after his arrival from “snow desert” he has banks of snow on his body. So through the prism of artist’s mythology dialogue happens between Moscow conceptualist Victor Pivovarov and Russian avant garde artist Kazimir Malevich. V

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