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Aleksandr Konstantin Bogomazov

(1880 -  1930 )
BOGOMAZOV Aleksandr Konstantin Portrait Of An Actor

May 31, 2007
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Artworks in Arcadja

Some works of Aleksandr Konstantin Bogomazov

Extracted between 24 works in the catalog of Arcadja
Aleksandr Konstantin Bogomazov -  Väinämöinen Playing The Kantele

Aleksandr Konstantin Bogomazov - Väinämöinen Playing The Kantele

Original 1911
Starting price:


Lot number: 146
Description: *BOGOMAZOV, ALEKSANDR (1880-1930) Väinämöinen Playing the Kantele Oil on canvas, 104.5 by 62 cm. Executed c. 1911. Authenticity of the work has been confirmed by Ya. Ivannikova, the artist\’s daughter (inscription on the reverse). Authenticity has also been confirmed by the expert Yu. Rybakova. The work offered for auction, Väinämöinen Playing the Kantele, is a singular example of the artistic endeavours from the 1910s of Aleksandr Bogomazov, one of the leading lights in the Ukrainian avant-garde. When, in 1911, Bogomazov was sent by the newspaper Kievskaia Mysl to Finland to produce a series of landscape and genre studies, his work still reflected the strong influence of Blue Rose symbolism, in which nature is perceived as an illusionist substance, and the treatment of the subject, while retaining a resemblance to reality, aims at simplification and idealisation of form. The work presented here, which depicts a sculpture of the hero of the Finnish and Karelian Kalevala epic – the legendary minstrel and storyteller Väinämöinen, playing the kantele – was painted during that trip. In his treatise Painting and Elements (1914), Bogomazov was to write that \“Painting is the perfect rhythm of the elements comprising it.\” As though transmitting this thought visually, the picture Väinämöinen Playing the Kantele is marked by a unique rhythmic harmony of colour and form. The stylised tree branches, which seem to be slowly flowing downwards, and the moss on the rocks contrast here with the dynamic figure of the minstrel and storyteller, who appears to have come suddenly to life, with his left arm raised towards the sky, while the canvas\’s colour scheme is eminently suitable for a stage set. The actual sculpture, erected in 1873 in the Mon Repos Park near Vyborg, was lost during the Soviet-Finnish War of 1939–1940. Restored in 2007, it is in the same spot where Bogomazov depicted it.
Aleksandr Konstantin Bogomazov - Landscape With A Boat

Aleksandr Konstantin Bogomazov - Landscape With A Boat

Original 1915


Lot number: 320
Landscape with a Boat
, signed with initials and dated 1915, further inscribed with an authentication by the artist's wife on the reverse.
Charcoal on paper, 34 by 29 cm.
Private collection, Europe.
Authenticity certificate from the expert O. Glebova.
Aleksandr Konstantin Bogomazov - Portrait Of Beba (portrait Of Yaroslav Skuartovich)

Aleksandr Konstantin Bogomazov - Portrait Of Beba (portrait Of Yaroslav Skuartovich)



Lot number: 123
Estimé :
25 000 / 30 000



Portrait of Beba (Portrait of Yaroslav Skuartovich)

signed with initials.

Oil, mixed media on paper, 36 by 45 cm.

Purchased by the present owner from the family
of the artist.

Authenticity certificate from the Tretyakov Gallery, expert M.

Authenticity certificate from Dr. Dmitri
Aleksandr Konstantin Bogomazov - Portrait Of An Actor

Aleksandr Konstantin Bogomazov - Portrait Of An Actor



Lot number: 83
Alexander Konstantinovich Bogomazov (Ukrainian, 1880-1930)
Portrait of an actor
reverse of the canvas titled and inscribed in Russian by the artist's daughter Yaroslava Alexandrovna '"Portrait of an actor"/ A painting by A. K. Bogomazov/ Daughter of the artist Ya. A. Ivanikova (Bogomazova)'
oil on canvas
57.5 x 57.5 cm. (22 3/4 x 22 3/4 in.)

Additional Notes:
Estate of the artist;
Modernism Gallery, San Francisco, California;
Private Collection

A striking example of the Ukrainian Futurist's early work, the present lot's pleasing dynamism betrays the artist's later Futuristic tendencies, while illustrating the contemporary influences on his oeuvre.

Professor D.E. Gorbachov, recognized authority on the artist, has identified the sitter as the Kiev-based artist, Grigorii Grigor'evich Burdanov and has dated the work to 1911. Little is published about Burdanov, but it is known that he helped Vrubel in his work at the Vladimirskiy Cathedral in Kiev. The reverse of the canvas is inscribed by Yaroslava Alexandrovna, the artist's daughter, and titled 'Portrait of an actor'. Given the synthesis of artistic professions at this time (Bogomazov was also a writer on art theory as well as an artist, while David Burliuk was both an artist and poet), it is entirely possible that Burdanov was depicted by Bogomazov in the present lot in the guise of 'actor', as opposed to that of 'artist'. It is more likely, however, that Yaroslava Alxandrovna, born in 1917, was not aware of the identity of the sitter, as she does not name him in the inscription. It may be that the tome held by Burdanov in the painting is not an actor's script, but a treatise or manifesto, such as were being published in Kiev artistic circles at the time (the Burliuk brothers' 1912 A Slap in the Face of Public Taste, or Bogomazov's Zhivopis' i Elementy, written in 1914).

Portrait of an actor is integral to the study of the development of Bogomazov's corpus of work. In this context, it is a Janus-like indicator of the artist's stylistic progression. Motifs, such as the loose, post-Pointillist brushstrokes which comprise the background of the painting, point to an absorption of the style of the Russian Symbolist, Borisov-Musatov, from whose influence Bogomazov was to move away when he embraced the latent power of shape and form and vivified it in the later corpus of his work. Gorbachov notes a distinct change in the artist's style between the period of execution of this work, and the Futuristic mantle which Bogomazov adopted from 1913 onwards.

Ever receptive to the beauty of geometrical forms, Bogomazov's affinity with this aesthetic is evident in the offered lot in the vibrant colour scheme employed. The artist harnesses colour as if it were another dimension; at one remove from convention, whereby light and shade are used to create the illusion of depth, Bogomazov applies colours as if they are forms, with a plasticity all their own. The figure of the sitter sees colour reigned in with a bold, slim blue line which forms the shirt and the book, while the different shades of blue applied add a vibrancy to the overall effect of the colour, imbuing it with texture. That the canvas is stretched to form a perfect square (57.5 x 57.5 cm.) is also worthy of note, indicating as it does, the artist's obession with geometrical absolutes.

Writing in 'A Survey of the Ukrainian Avant-Garde' (Avantgarde & Ukraine, eds. Jo-Anne Birnie Danzker, Igor Jassenjawsky, Joseph Kiblitsky, Klinkhardt & Biermann, 1993), Professor Gorbachov stresses the Ukrainian origins of the titanic movements of the Russian Avant-Garde, such as Neo-Primitivism, Cubo-Futurism, Expressionism and Constructivism. These movements, asserts Gorbachov, were borne of the pioneering work of the Ukrainian artists at the turn of the 20th century, as demonstrated in 'the plasticity of the large, decorative colour expanses, the unshaded forms resulting from a daring linearity, the fauvisitc explosion of the colour and material contrasts' (p. 57 ibid.).

The offered lot is a pivotal work, not only in the canon of the artist, but also within the movement of the Ukrainian Avant-Garde as a whole.

We are grateful to Professor Dmytro Emilianovich Gorbachov and to Nikita D. Lobanov-Rostovsky for their help in writing this catalogue note.