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Dead Fox in Adidas: Sotheby’s Contemporary Russian and Eastern European Art Auction Highlights


11.25.13 Marina Galperina

Due to trends in sale figures, Sotheby’s Auction House is loftily legitimizing a previously under-Sotheby’ed part of the art market — “Contemporary East.”

“The first-ever sale dedicated to contemporary art from Russia and Eastern Europe staged by an international auction house” with art from “both established and young experimental artists from across the Ukraine, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Lithuania and Russia” has been going on since this morning.

DMITRY VRUBEL, FRATERNAL KISS (TRIPTYCH)

You know this Brezhnev and Honecker’s make-out from the Berlin Wall. These are three panels, “prototypes.” Basically, this is like the mascot of outdated political art right here, sans Berlin Wall hunks. Estimated at $63,928 – $95,892.

KRISTOF KINTERA, A PRAYER FOR LOST ARROGANCE

Czech artist. This is hilarious. Best piece in the auction! I have no idea what it means! Or what this Christmas ball-wrapped furry fatty is telling us, but the emotive precarious pose into which it has been taxidermied appeals to my nostalgic needs for absurdist whimsy as a Russian expatriate.

PAVEL PEPPERSTEIN, THE CIS CREST

There’s some great minimal political art in this auction, like this updated “CIS” (SNG) crest turned into a “snow” crest. Big up for sustained pretty misery vibes! Just don’t expect any Putin-era criticism. Not any time soon. Not above ground.

ARSEN SAVADOV, THE COMMEDIA DELL’ARTE IN CRIMEA

This piece exemplifies a certain flavor of the polished digital salad of mytho-anthro-political mishmash that’s all the hype these days. Not as good as AES +F group’s stuff, but promising.

GEORGY GURIANOV, PORTRAIT OF VIKTOR TSOY

This fan art-style drawing of Viktor Tsoy from USSR’s coolest almost-export Kino just sold for $205,369 WHAT THE FUCK SOMEONE EXPLAIN WHAT THE FUCK Why? (Michael Idov reminds that Guryanov was Kino’s drummer, with a curious and fairly respectable sideline in SotsArt-style and died a couple of months ago. Oh.)

More picks in the slideshow above.