VSEVOLOD VLADIMIROVICH SAKHNOVSKY (RUSSIAN 1903-1989)
Costume Design for Gabrielle from the comic opera "Le capitaine Roland", 1937
gouache on board
38 x 27.8 cm (14 9/16 x 10 15/16 in.)
inscribed upper left and right, signed and dated lower right, with label on verso
Collection of Viktor Kholodkov
Sakhnovsky was a Russian and Soviet artist known mainly for his works in theater: set design, costumes, and posters. Sakhnovsky actively participated in the Blue Blouse, an influential avant-garde theatre troupe. He mainly worked on theatrical stage and costume designs. ÔÕBlue BlouseÕÕ was a famous theater movement, the purpose of which was to convey political propaganda through choreography. This movement was extremely popular in the 1920`s and many prominent authors, composers, producers, and artists made their contribution to the Blue Blouse movement, including such figures as N. Aseev, O. Brik, V. Mayakovsky, S. Tretyakov, I. Dunaevsky, et al. Sakhnovsky also created numerous playbills and posters for Blue Blouse performances, and extensively worked on designs of group`s printed production. When the Blue Blouse publications were discontinued, they were replaced by a similar magazine called Small Forms, to which Sakhnovsky contributed many of his works.
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.