ART RUSSE ADDS MUKHINA BRONZE STATUETTE TO COLLECTION
26 Aug 14
ART RUSSE has acquired a rare miniature version of Vera Mukhina's "Worker and Kolkhoz Woman", one of the most iconic sculptures from the Soviet period. This bronze statuette is the second artwork based on Mukhina's famous sculpture in the art fund's extensive collection.
"Worker and Kolkhoz Woman" (1940) is an original 33 cm high bronze statuette, a gift version of the landmark monument that represents a dynamic sculpture of two figures with a sickle and a hammer raised over their heads. The sculpture is an example of the Socialist Realism with distinct elements of the Art Deco style. The worker holds aloft a hammer and the kolkhoz woman a sickle to form the hammer and sickle motif, "the ideal and symbol of the Soviet epoch".
Prior to its launch in 2012, ART RUSSE also acquired a plaster version done by the artist. The plaster sculpture was used to produce the bronze cast from which came the final version of the sculpture for the 1937 World's Fair in Paris, where she won the Grand Prix. The final work is 24.5 meters (78 feet) tall and was subsequently moved to Moscow. The 75 tonnes monumental artwork is now in Moscow on permanent display at the All - Russia Exhibition Centre (VVTs).
Because of the tremendous critical success and immense popularity of the sculpture smaller versions were made for senior Communist Party officials and sometimes presented as gifts to visiting dignitaries. This version, at 7 kilogrammes and at 33 cm high, is a version designed to sit on a desk. It remains mounted on its original black marble stand which, with its angular forms and sharp lines recalls Soviet architecture of the 1940's, which can still be best seen today in the 'Seven Sisters' skyscrapers in Moscow (including the Hotel Ukraina and the Moscow State University).
VERA MUKHINA (1889 - 1953) was a famous Soviet sculptor, monumentalist, graphic and theatre artist. In 1908-1911 she studied at the studio of K. F. Yuon, from 1911-1912 at the studio of I. I. Mashkov, in Paris at the Grand Chomier Academy under E. A. Bourdelle (1912), at the private school of F. Colarossi and at La Palette Academy in the classes of H. Le Fauconnier and J. Metzinger. From 1926-1927 Mukhina taught at the Art and Industry College within the Museum of Toys and from 1927-1930 at the All-Russia Art and Technology Institute in Moscow. She was a member of the Moscow Trade Union of Sculpture Artists (1917-1919), the Four Arts society of artists (1924-1931) and the Society of Russian Sculptors (1925-1932). In 1937, she was awarded the Grand Prix at the World's Fair in Paris. She was a People's Artist of the USSR, a full member of the Academy of Arts of the USSR and a Laureate of the State Award of the USSR. Mukhina is considered the brightest Russian sculptor of the 20th century.
"Worker and Kolkhoz Woman" (1940). Vera Mukhina. Bronze, 33cm high, 7kg.