NIKOLAI NIKOLAEVICH GRIGORIEV (RUSSIAN 1901-1979)
On the Riverbank, c. 1950s
watercolor on paper
28.1 x 53.9 cm (11 1/16 x 21 1/4 in.)
signed on verso
Collection of Viktor Kholodkov
Nikolai Grigoriev was a Russian (Soviet) painter and graphic artist best known for his landscapes. Born in Rzhev in 1901, he moved to Moscow to study at VKhUTEMAS (1921-1927). He first began exhibiting in 1926, and, in the same year, became a member of the ÔÕKryloÕÕ group (an artistÕs society formed in 1926 by followers of Aleksandr Osmerkin, one of the members of the ÔÕJack of DiamondsÕÕ group. ÕKryloÕÕ held one exhibition in 1927 and the following year its members were accepted en masse into OMKh). Grigoriev also exhibited with the ÔÕMakovetsÕÕ group with Vasiliy Chekrygin and Pavel Florensky.
This lot comes from the collection of Viktor Kholodkov (1948-2015), who fulfilled his passion for books, avant-garde design and paper memorabilia by devoting his life to collecting and dealing of prominent works of Russian graphic art of the first half of the 20th century. The dedicated collector acquired a multitude of books and artworks throughout decades, meticulously labeling and archiving every single item. Many came directly from the most preeminent artists of the time, as well as from their families and estates. He also possessed a vast number of drawings from the famous collection of another avant-garde enthusiast, Nikolai Khardzhiev. After leaving the USSR in 1989 and settling in California, Viktor continued his work as a Soviet art dealer and critic, actively publishing various articles and contributing to several major Russian avant-garde exhibitions across the U.S., such as the 1991 Russia Under Fire in the 40s on the West Coast and the 1992 Guggenheim exhibition The Great Utopia: The Russian and Soviet Avant-Garde. Kholodkov also contributed to the archives of the biggest American institutions. His sophisticated selection of over 2000 Russian sheet music covers was acquired by The Library of Congress, and an extensive amount of material related to VKhUTEMAS is now at the J. Paul Getty Museum.