Metaphysics in Russian Art
Curated exhibition & auction of contemporary
Russian art in London, presented by Maxim Boxer
Friday 21–Tuesday 25 November 2014
Exhibition: Friday & Tuesday 10–6pm, Saturday, Sunday & Monday 10–5pm
Auction: Tuesday 25 November, 5pm
Venue: Erarta Galleries London, 8 Berkeley Street, London W1J 8DN
We are pleased to announce that Maxim Boxer returns to London for the second
exhibition and auction celebrating contemporary and avant-garde Russian art with
Metaphysics in Russian Art.
The phenomenon of ‘metaphysical painting’ first appeared in Italy in the works of
Giorgio de Chirico, Carlo Carra and Giorgio Morandi around 1910. Their work was
determined to penetrate the fundamentals of being, reaching out to the origins of
objects and ideas. Although these key propositions resonated widely in Russian
art and philosophy, here they underwent a distinctive reinterpretation. Rather then
sharing Italian fascination with the magic of pure space, Russian artists focused on
the objects. Eager to grasp the supreme existential meaning of the ordinary, they
approached the reality via ‘tangible vision’, enhancing the speculation towards things
with tactile contact with their form, volume, and texture.
Opening to coincide with the Russian Art Week and showcasing some 50 works
by modern and contemporary Russian artists, Moscow curator and gallery owner
Maxim Boxer’s Metaphysics in Russian Art exhibition will focus on the evolution of
metaphysical thought behind art produced by Russian artists from the early twentieth
century to the present day.
The exhibition includes works by established masters of ‘unofficial art’, Boris
Sveshnikov, Oscar Rabin, Vladimir Nemukhin, Vladimir Yakovlev, Dmitry
Krasnopevtsev and Ilya Tabenkin, whose post-war practice actualised the themes
of magic life of an object and the glory of the everyday. The selection of paintings
by Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin serves as an epigraph to the exhibition. Throughout his
practice Petrov-Vodkin developed an original interpretation of the key themes within
metaphysical art: from death and resurrection to a somnambulist existence within
The show will also introduce a generation of artists from 1980s–1990s, who professed
puritanical simplicity and integrity of expression in their art: Igor Makarevich, Nina
Kotel, Nikita Alexeev, Irina Zatulovskaya, Vladimir Salnikov, Arkady Nasonov, Vitaly
Pushnitsky, Gor Chakhal, and Alexander Pankin.
A final section will focus on young artists whose practice resists the virtual spatial-
temporal shifts of reality today as they strive to assert their inalienable right for
a personal, unparalleled view of the world and its ‘simple things’. The display
will include selected photographs by Vladislav Efimov, artist and teacher at
the Rodchenko School of Photography and Multimedia in Moscow, as well as
photographic works by his students.
A program of public events will take place alongside the exhibition, with curators’
tours of the exhibition for collectors and art lovers, in Russian and English. On
Saturday 22 November, 2.30pm, Vladislav Efimov will share his observations on
the evolution of metaphysical thought in art and photography. He will be joined in
conversation on Sunday 23 November, 2.30pm, by Dr Daniel Rubinstein, philosopher,
the head of photography in Central Saint Martin’s and founding editor of the journal
Philosophy of Photography. Note: both events will be conducted in Russian language.
For bookings see: Eventbrite: Metaphysics in Russian Art
On 25 November, the last day of the exhibition, all the art works on display will be
offered for sale at an auction. The public auction is intended to attract European and
Russian buyers and European galleries and museums. With lots priced between
£500-£10,000, affordability is key to the concept.
MAXIM BOXER co-founded Alfa-Art in 1991, the first auction house in Russia
focusing on Russian modern and contemporary art. Over the next few years he
aims to stage further themed exhibitions and auctions in London with the aim of
showcasing the work of contemporary Russian artists while illuminating the roots and
richness of their work, particularly with regard to the avant-garde.
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