Bonhams /Jun 4, 2014
€12,347.20 - €18,520.80
Artworks in Arcadja16
Some works of Aleksandr DeneikaExtracted between 16 works in the catalog of Arcadja
Auction: MacDougall's -Nov 30, 2016 - LondonLot number: 17
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
*17. DEINEKA, ALEKSANDR (1899-1969) Portrait of Paula Freiberg Oil on canvas, 41.5 by 49.5 cm. Provenance: A gift from the artist to the sitter, Moscow, c. 1922–1931. Thence by descent. Acquired from the above by the present owner in 1998. Private collection, Switzerland. Authenticity of the work has been confirmed by the expert T. Zelyukina. The portrait of the artist Paula Freiberg (1890–1938), executed in a free and spontaneous manner, is among the earliest and rarest “expressionistic” works by Aleksandr Deineka. Deineka and his model were classmates at the graphic section at the Art and Technical School (VKhUTEMAS) in Moscow in the early 1920s. Their mutual friend Ekaterina Zernovaya recalls that Freiberg was “a Latvian, a party worker, who had been smuggling weapons across the border when she was just fourteen.” By the time she entered the Art School she already had had a turbulent and romantic biography of a professional revolutionary, including exile in Siberia, escape to the UK and then the USA, return to Russia in April 1917 and intensive political work alongside her husband David Beika, a member of the Communist Party Central Committee in the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic. Another of Deineka’’’’’’’’s comrades of those years, the artist Andrei Goncharov, remembers meeting Deineka “not only in class, but also at the home of Paula Freiberg, another Faculty student, an older woman, intelligent and very nice, but without any talent. Her relationship with Deineka was very close, and it seemed to me that she reined him in, and, in a maternal sort of way, offered him guidance in art and life.” From 1925, Freiberg started her own art career as a book illustrator, and then as a “proletarian artist”, which no doubt made them closer professionally. In 1928, both artists joined the October Union, which was geared towards proletarian art. In the 1920s and 1930s, Freiberg sat for Deineka several times, including his famous portrait Girl Sitting on a Chair (1924) and other well-known canvasses, such as Ball Game (1932) and Building New Factories (1926), both now in the collection of the State Tretyakov Gallery. The austere angle and the straightforward composition, which were the artist’’’’’’’’s trademarks at this time, are evident in the portrait offered for auction. Despite the painterly technique, we cannot fail to notice the “graphic interpretation”, which defined young Deineka’’’’’’’’s style. It is apparent in the emphasised delineation of the contours; the clear separation of colours; the contrast between the volume of the model’’’’’’’’s head and the background; the stylised density of space; and, finally, in the facial architecture, resembling a technical drawing. The artist creates a modern and dynamic portrait of his model using broad brush strokes on a light, unpainted canvas, with a minimum of tone variations. At the same time, Deineka’’’’’’’’s brush strokes are voluminous, so that the borders of the colour spots lend volume and weight to the form, conveying the movement of the face and its lively expression. The separate colour planes do not merge or fade into one another, but clearly relate to one another spatially and generate a striking, voluminous and recognisable image of a female artist of the 1920s. The deliberately angular, barbed contours of this iconic, vigorously painted portrait bear the unmistakable hallmark of the master, with his broad, temperamental style. This is most probably the sole remaining portrait of Paula Freiberg by Deineka, which remains in private ownership, and one with a troubled history. Paula Freiberg was arrested soon after her husband in 1938, sentenced to forced labour and died in transit to the camps. Thereafter Deineka, for obvious reasons, avoided bringing up this dangerous liaison, and the present work probably only survived because he left it unsigned and did not inscribe it with the model’’’’’’’’s name (as he did with another portrait of Freiberg, which is now in the collection of the State Tretyakov Gallery).
Auction: Stahl -Apr 23, 2016 - HambourgLot number: 292
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
Description: Alexander A. Deineka 1899 - 1969 attr. Street Football, Watercolour, 29,5 x 42 cm, lo. ri. monogr. AD, framed under glass, uninspected out of frame., Russian painter. D. studied 1915-17 at the Charkov academy when he left to serve the army. He developed into one of the most important exponents of Socialist Realism.
Auction: MacDougall's -Oct 12, 2015 - LondonLot number: 26
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
26. DEINEKA, ALEKSANDR (1899-1969) Behind the Curtain, signed and dated 1933. Oil on canvas, 75 by 54.5 cm. Provenance: A gift from the artist to his friend Fedor Bogorodsky (1895-1959), a Soviet artist (inscription on the work). Collection of the Bogorodsky family Important private collection, Europe. Authenticity of the work has been confirmed by the expert T. Zelyukina. Aleksandr Deineka, the recognised master of official Soviet art, is represented by a unique canvas, Behind the Curtain . The painting dates from 1933, when the artist was at the height of his creative career. Deineka is best known as a tireless proselytiser of his socialist homeland, which he glorified in awe-inspiring images of war, patriotism, labour, and sport. Deineka's masterpieces, such as The Defence of Petrograd (1927), Mother (1932), Future Pilots (1937), The Defence of Sevastopol (1942) and In the South (1966) have become essential classics for generations of Russians. It would be hard to point to an artist who was more recognizable or definitive of the Soviet era. His images, full of optimism, have become fused with the Soviet past, as remembered by those who lived through it - a past that may be partly fictitious, which varies from the sublime to the tragic, but which is undoubtedly unique and vibrant. The art of Aleksandr Deineka is much more than evidence that such a way of life once existed: it is a precious artefact and one which affirms the essence of that life. The theme and mood of the work, which is offered at auction, is extremely rare, not only for Deineka, but for most artists of the time. Of course, works with an erotic component continued to be produced, even in the darkest days of artistic restriction (for example, the works of Sergei Eisenstein or Ivan Yefimov). However, most of such works were only brought to the public gaze after the collapse of the totalitarian system. Other subdued nudes by Alexander Samokhvalov and Vladimir Lebedev were never exhibited at the time. Deineka, however, is a special case. His paintings used to headline the most prestigious Soviet art exhibitions, and the inclusion of Behind the Curtain in an exhibition would have inevitably caused scandal. The decadent eroticism of Konstantin Somov and Boris Kustodiev was no longer tolerated, and totalitarian morality allowed no deviations. Deineka donated this unique work, presumably in 1933-1935, to his fellow artist Fedor Bogorodsky, in whose family it remained for many years (as confirmed by the inscription on the canvas, Deineka to F. Bogorodsky).The two artists were firm friends at the time and travelled together on painting expeditions. It is known, for example, that they visited the Crimea together. The painterly and artistic merits of this chamber work are in no doubt. The rich, pulsating brush strokes, the exquisite silver-ombr colouration expressive of the early morning, the model's expression that speaks wordlessly but unmistakably of the circumstances all of these elements give Deineka's painting a lively, sincere, even frisky aura. The quirky character of the details of the work few in number yet skillfully captured - reminds us that simple human hedonism lived on, underlying Verses on My Soviet Passport, factory machinery, combine harvesters and coal mines with no regard for an artificial and false morality.
Auction: Bonhams -Jun 4, 2014 - LondonLot number: 59
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
Various properties Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Deineka (Russian, 1899-1969) Pioneers in a row, 1925 illustration for the magazine Bezbozhnik u Stanka , 4th issue, 1925, p.30 signed with initial 'D' in Cyrillic (lower right) pen, ink and wash on paper 18 x 31cm (7 1/16 x 12 3/16in). sold with the original magazine, Bezbozhnik u Stanka , which features the illustration Footnotes Provenance Private collection, Berlin Literature Bezbozhnik u Stanka , 4th issue, 1925, p.30
Auction: MacDougall's -May 27, 2012 - LondonLot number: 47
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
DEINEKA, ALEKSANDR (1899-1969) Phlox in a Red Jug signed and dated 1960; bearing the label of the Moscow section of the Art Fund of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic on the stretcher. Oil on canvas, 75.5 by 50 cm. Comment1 Provenance: Private collection, Europe. Authenticity of the work has been confirmed by the expert Yu. Rybakova. Aleksandr Deineka – bard of progress, speed, flight, metal, of the endless spaces being conquered by mankind, of the spearhead labour force, of sport – was no stranger to the subtler lyric of nature and human life. An interest in still life emerges in his work at the very beginning of the 1930s, evident in the splendid cycle Dried Flowers . With the years, his attention to nature in bloom and the lyrical current in his painting only strengthens. Phlox in a Red Jug , a painting of 1960, is striking confirmation of this. This eye-catching, festive still life composition bears the hallmark of Deineka’’’’s style, showing the artist’’’’s overriding tendency to see, even in flowers, strict architectural form, clear logic and structural completeness, an organised consistency of rhythm, and a well defined colour profile. It is no accident that Deineka’’’’s favourite ornamental plants are phlox and gladioli, which have a stable configuration and lend themselves to linear representation. When the artist depicts the phlox, nurtured by the warmth of the sun, in all the vigour and luxuriousness of their flowering, he is also working in a profound way on the specifics of colour, studying the behaviour of red in different textures and contexts: the living matter of clusters of blossom, the glazed ceramic of a vase and the textile of background drapery. The resulting colour spectrum of the painting is built on portraying the complex influences of one shade or tint on another. For Deineka still life was always a creative laboratory, the sphere of artistic freedom in which he could turn his back on the exaggerated generalisation and harsh focus demanded by his work on monumental paintings and decorative panels, and paint nature “at point-blank”, searching in her for idiosyncrasies and sculptural qualities that are never repeated. It was no chance remark of the painter’’’’s when he said: “When painting walls... I recall my... landscapes, flowers and sketches. Painting my huge great works without them would be like painting them without my soul.”