The “miner” put up for auction is a fragment of a larger “In the mine” canvas, created at the same time as Deineka's famous masterpiece “Before going down into the mine”. Both works were written after the artist’s trip to the Donbass on the instructions of the periodical “The Atheist at the Machine”.
"" In the mine "and" Before descending into the mine "- huge canvases for that time, solved almost in black and white, with a slight addition of red ocher, I tried to convey the rhythm, the solemnly tense state of work or the expectation of it", - wrote the artist in 1961.
The canvas "In the Face" was the exhibit of the first exhibition of the Society of Artists-Easel Artists (EAST), held in Moscow in 1925. Why after such a successful opening day Deinek decided to share the original composition is unknown. Of the three miners working in a limited and dimly lit space, only the left figure has survived. This fragment, now known as the “Miner,” the artist left in his workshop and at the end of his life presented a colleague to Nikolai Ponomarev. The heirs of the latter sold the canvas to American collector Raymond Johnson, who in 2002 became a co-founder of the Museum of Russian Art in Minneapolis. In the meeting of this connoisseur the work of Alexander Deineka was until now.
Left: Alexander Deineka, Miner (1925). Private collection
Most of the most expensive works put up for auction are related to Soviet propaganda. Nevertheless, art lovers will be able to purchase paintings without ideological coloring.
One of such works is "Spring" (1974) by Leonid Kabachek with a preliminary estimate of 40 - 60 thousand pounds sterling (53 - 79 thousand dollars). In 1975, it was bought by the director of the Tokyo-based Gekkoso Gallery Yoko Nakamura. Now, along with this genre composition, the gallery sells at auction five more works by Soviet artists.
Left: Leonid Kabachek, "Spring" (1974). Gekkoso Gallery, Tokyo