Kiev, Ukraine

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The 20th Century Realism Collection

We have created a selection of works by some of Eastern Europe’s most renowned landscape painters, including Anatolii Fomin, Aleksandr Mynka, Yevgenii Chuikov, Nina Prokhorova, Leonid Zaborovskii, et al. The expressiveness and technical mastery of their works are rooted in strong academic training and the relative isolation of the artists during a unique period in art history. These paintings are characterized by a raw sense of truth, compositionally and chromatically tasked to convey a sense of presence before the beauty of a real scene: whether a seascape, a forest clearing, or an urban landscape.

‘Realism never goes out of fashion,’ says Myroslava Hartmond, expert in our network. Many clients quietly admit to me that they do, in fact, prefer traditional landscape or still life to contemporary art that is often more abstract. With today’s tendency towards eclecticism in interior design, I adore introducing classic pieces into minimalist interiors. Twentieth-century realists are also a sound bet for investors looking for art that will steadily gain in value due over the coming years.’

The artists, whose work forms part of the 20th century realism collection, created in the Soviet period, when the artist relied on the state for patronage. It is true the state had control over artistic output – access to art materials was given only to members of an Artists’ Union, who went through the traditional art academy route. The academies took their cue from 19th-century realism, and rejected the modernist ideals propagated by their Western counterparts. Under communism, no art market existed as such: the state commissioned artists to create uplifting, motivational, and technically accomplished artworks to decorate public buildings.

This led to the creation of a hermetic body of work – technically accomplished, true to life, and expressive within the rigid canon of academic painting. Many of these works were acquired in the early 1990s directly from the artists’ studios, as well as local dealerships during the early years of Ukrainian independence. Art of the Soviet period has entered the market, and has gained a steady following among collectors and investors alike due to its high quality and scarcity.

Artists include:

Anatolii Fomin (1925-2013)
Nina Prokhorova (1925-2002)
Yevgenii Chuikov (1924-2000)
Nikolai Karmaz (1927-2001)
Aleksandr Mynka (1938-1999)
Anatolii Liashkov (b. 1923)
Boris Portnoi (b. 1937)
Leonid Zaborovskii (b. 1967)

Myroslava Hartmond