Metaphysics in Russian Art - exhibition + auction


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 and Tuesday 10-6pm, Saturday, Sunday and Monday 10-5pm

Auction: Tuesday 25 November, 6.30pm

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 urban labyrinths.

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.

Tours: Friday 21 November, 3pm free tour in English and Monday 24 November, 3pm in Russian, these exhibition tours will be led by Professor Sergey Khachaturov,

a Russian art-critic, art theorist and curator, PhD in Art History, and professor of Lomonosov Moscow State University. He is a laureate of the Ministry of Culture Award, and a nominee of the "Innovation" State award in contemporary arts. 

Talks: 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:


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.