THE MOSCOW TIMES

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Alexander Vinogradov and Vladimir Dubosarsky are the heroes of their time, «post-Perestroika» wild capitalism. Formed in the rabid 1990s and cynical 2000s, they incredibly accurately grasped the spirit of the epoch: in their paintings, everything seems to be clear, recognizable and «simple» — as the viewer wants — but at the same time it is imbued with an unconcealed irony and often even with the sneer. The confusion of themes and genres gave rise to a new reality, where often historical personalities, cultural and literature characters moved in our time, fairy tale heroes came across ordinary people. All this looked a little as a delirious fantasy, but the life itself was just a little better at that time.    
Young graduates of the Surikov Institute and longtime friends even then saw an oddity in the middle of the absurd. And they came up with something absolutely radical: against the backdrop of the reigning in this time actionism and conceptualism, they began to write simply large canvases. They declared that they revive socialist realistic brigade method and henceforth they work on the principle of an «imaginary» art combine (such an organisation covered the entire Soviet Union and produced ideologically correct products in a large scale). But in fact, the artists turned this system upside down: a pictorial method in the spirit of Arkady Plastov was perverted under the prism of ideals of a new life. «And we decided, without hesitation, to write a new paradise… So positivity is one of the options of our project», — Vladimir Dubosarsky recalls.
Diptych «Summer» of the 2002 was created by the famous duet at the peak of popularity. This is a characteristic work by Vinogradov-Dubosarsky, it has everything that is described above — a life-affirming plot, a brightness of colors, a realistic straightforwardness of the image (so expected by the viewer at the time) and, most importantly, the simultaneous irreality of what is happening - a subtle, barely noticeable turn toward the absurd. The duet’s paintings balance on the peak of popularity: watching them, suddenly you feel yourself either in a fairy tale, whether in a film, or in a dream. And «Summer» is an ideal world of bliss and pleasure, the very paradise on earth, which the artists diligently created in their work. Here their favorite subject method is applied: the heroes of the painting are surrounded by the familiar Middle Russian landscape, but it is populated by an exotic fauna. Two naked beauties take sun baths and lead a casual conversation among the bright green grass, a branch of a tree casts a small shadow, the blue sky shines. Is it not a miracle? In the foreground walks a peacock with folded tail (the symbol of vanity), a slightly confused wolf sits (the symbol of seduction), a picnic consists only of fruits - a cut red watermelon (the symbol of voluptuousness), cherries (the symbol of carnal sin) and apples (the symbol of original sin). Lovers of classical genres, Vinogradov and Dubosarsky presented to a viewer a pastoral, laden with a large number of different associations. They portrayed beauty, but with a little flaw of depravity, as if it were an image of the time in which this painting was created. V

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