Title: Soviet Contemporary Art
The Property of the Kniga Collection, Paris
Saturday, May 5, 1990
The Puck Building
A dream come true has the marvelous and tragic quality of leaving one an orphan at the very moment it is realised.
It is probably in this state of mind that I find myself today after having scoured the Soviet Union in search of its contemporary art. For over a period of five years, I visited hundreds of studios, purchased numerous paintings and discovered a large number of artists who were exhibiting their work for the first time. They were accepting, finally, a compromise with the establishment which, in dismissing these artists up until now, might have increased their creative force tenfold.
If not the establishment, it was the artists themselves who caused this metamorphosis to occur. They refused to succumb to the restraints of the system. They were always conscious that their secrecy, a judicious harbor of emotions, discord and of suffering, protected them by nuturing their inclination for strategy haloed with enough paranoia to be both artist and Soviet. I never truly understood this, but after all, it is of little importance that their lives cannot be grasped, nor can the life of their country which, at this moment, is tasting the freedom given it by the giant who undertook to save it. What a tragic fate for this nation, condemned to live in excess, drama and subjection, which cannot cope with reality, with lies as their sole refuge.
The works you will discover in this catalogue are real and a part of our culture, they hang in our museums and our galleries where they live with the works of the great artists of the West.
Here they are! Strong in their pictorial quality and aware of their historical place. I contemplate with sadness that they will be breaking free like bottles going out to sea and that the auctioneer's hammer will lead them to other shores and other settings.
Paris February 8, 1990
The book has a red front cover and gilt lettering to the spine, front and rear cover.
The rear cover is illustrated.
The front cover has wear and tear along the upper edge, upper outer corner and lower outer corner.
The front cover has creases and scratches along the outer upper and lower edge.
The front cover has scratches across the centre.
The front cover has raised plastic laminate by the upper hinge.
The upper rear hinge has bumping and wear and tear.
The lower rear hinge has bumping and wear and tear.
The rear cover has wear and tear and minor bumping to the lower outer corner and upper outer corner.
The rear cover has been raised along the lower edge.
The rear cover has been indented along the upper edge and has wear and tear.
There are scratches across the rear cover.
There is minor foxing on the front endpages.
There are stains to the lower edge of the front pages.
There are signs of damp on the rear endpage near the spine and mild foxing on the rear endpages. Price has been reduced to reflect this fault.