Roman Babichev: the Artist must do what he thinks is right, not trying to please
ARTinvestment.RU   05 июня 2020

May 28, held a regular webinar AI, organized in the form of an interview. The questions of the head of the portal E. Molchanov and guest chef-редактора Dmitry Belkevich said the Roman Babichev, one of the biggest collectors of Russian and Russian art

the Conversation was decided to divide into two logical parts, reflecting the different spheres of the art world: art and the market. The first part of the interview today we bring to your attention.

Yegor Molchanov: Your collection was created in 1992, almost 30 years, and today it has more than 4 thousand works of painting, graphics and sculpture. You remember that first strong impression of the art? What was it?

Roman Babichev: This happened quite late. My childhood was spent far from the capital, in the city of Prokopevsk of the Kemerovo region. Father was a mining engineer, mother — teacher of French and English. Till 18 years I existed in parallel with art, without interfering with him. Of course, I watched what-то albums, went to the Museum, but what I could see at that time in a provincial Museum? Picture, which, as Sergei Mikhalkov, "a worker drags a machine gun. Now he will come to fight"? And no interest that I did not cause. But when I entered the Moscow Institute of management, began to visit the Pushkin Museum (Tretyakov gallery was then closed). I saw some-то fragments of the collections of Shchukin and, of course, was shocked. Looking at the work of van Gogh and Signac, I realized that I like it very much, but felt that in the art there is still something hidden from the untrained eye. I started buying and review albums on art, interested in modernist trends, but the main shock occurred in the winter of 1975, when I learned that at ENEA in the pavilion "beekeeping" exhibition of non-conformists, or, in other words, the informal artists. Before this took place and was defeated by the famous "Bulldozer exhibition", and of course, I ran to look at the works of non-conformists. Three hours in the cold, the huge, kilometer-long queues, and when I went in, I saw "job" Otari Kandaurova, "the Street of the blessed virgin and 2-й stalled I. Christ's" Oscar Rabin, works by Dmitry Krasnopevtsev and others! I couldn't imagine what could be in the Soviet Union, — and that's when I had a burning desire this to exist in the same space.

E. M.: And how quickly you implemented? When you bought the first work?

R. B.: I wanted to start collecting at the same time, but my scholarship was only 45 rubles. I found the phone Vyacheslav Kalinin, called him and asked him to sell me the etching. But even the etching was worth more than half of the scholarships that I can afford could not. Thus, from 1975 to 1992, until that moment, when I had the opportunity to buy art, it's been 17 years.

Denys Belkevych: During this time, of course, there nasmotrennost, came knowledge. All-таки you began to buy. Why? What motivated you through the years to start collecting art — emotions, the desire to invest money (especially back in the 90-х) or social component?

R. B.: no doubt, purely romantic aspirations. The money I got to other business, he held the position of Deputy General Director together with the German enterprise did not expect that art can make by investing in it. After a few years my friends — collectors and antique dealers — taught me that. I remember I bought some-то a picture that I upon closer examination did not like. I complained aloud and was very surprised when they said, "you sell". — "How to sell?" I was not prepared, but science was rapidly attained.

On the social component did not have a speech. I started collecting right after the collapse of the Union, when the collection was by no means an attribute of high social status. Then collectors and hiding from the criminals and from the authorities. The collection of paintings and Antiques authorities considered literally a crime, and all the polls collectors — speculators, and often invited them to discuss it with him. Although where-то I read an interesting phrase that "collectors with their collections climb the social ladder". And if the meaning of this phrase previously applied only to the collectors of the developed countries of Europe and America, today, I think it applies to Russia.

of Course, continuing to collect, I took into account some pricing — not an investment, namely the price — component: knowing how much art I haven't allowed myself to buy that-либо higher than market prices. Although a few purchases at inflated prices I've had: it was when I clearly understood that the price of the artist or specific work will inevitably grow. I allowed myself to buy two or five times more expensive — and never lost. All these works are still in my collection: rising prices not a reason to break up with a great thing.

E. M.: In your interview, you can find the words that the collector should be a Shopaholic, and at the same time — to act ruthlessly to average and uninteresting things. How to combine these approaches, especially for the novice collector? How to choose what to buy?

R. B.: When the person begins collecting, it starts to learn. If the person is not born into the family of a collector or antiquarian, he had to start from scratch. Accordingly, the average quality of the thing somehow penetrated his collection. About shopping: in one interview I actually talked about it, he's actually not needs to be a Shopaholic, he becomes them. The dependence in which he finds himself, — is one of the most difficult experiences in a very nice case. Indeed, when the passion of the collector develops, then you have every week want to do it yourself injection — to buy a new thing. It got to the point that, as-то one month I bought about 180 works. The constant need to buy new art — this is the mania of collecting, and are not so interesting to buy new clothes, change of car or expensive watches. It is not pay attention: the deeper one is immersed in "a morass" of collecting, the easier it is abandoning its former habits and needs, which seemed to him a status.

And to the question, what to buy, the answer is simple: buy art. No matter famous artist or a painting or a drawing, painting or engraving. Main — the work must be of good artistic level and yours at heart.

B. D.: You often buy famous artists or are you more interesting to discover new names?

R. B.: it may seem strange, but the identity of works of a brush of a famous artist is not always the determining factor — for me the most important artistic quality of the work. I often prefer a powerful thing artist second row vague sketch or a very unfortunate painting of the first row. Here are the Georges Pompidou Centre, for example, never buy the outstanding work of the artist, if all other or most of his work is average. Centre Pompidou-such a thing will not take, and I'll take, and gladly. My collection consists mainly of very good things different artists: there are famous and not famous, often not included on the artistic Olympus. To take the artist Konstantin Zefirova: magnificent painter, but today his work is valued very cheaply.

E. M.: do You remember the first purchased work? What has added to your collection lately?

R. B.: I do not remember the specific work, and group works. When in 1992 I decided I could afford to collect art, then turned to the very informal artists: spotted several phones, called — but found no counter-interest. They told me to call you in a year-полтора. I explain myself this by saying that if our market was attended by powerful Western buyer who is interested in Russian art after the Sotheby's auction in Moscow (1988. — AI.) and "perestroika". And to what-то time friends-художники invited me to the widow of Rostislav Nikolayevich Barto, a pupil of Alexander Shevchenko. She lived in the building "To" University of Moscow: Stalinist architecture, high ceilings, decorative moldings. Rostislav Nikolaevich collecting Japanese furniture and decorative-прикладное art. It all looked stunning. We met, and she let me on the first day to buy 36 works of her husband. This may seem an unreasonably large number for the first purchase, but I've been waiting for this moment for 17 years! You can consider just 2 of the year of patience. And the last one I purchased work — "Suzanne" Tatiana Mavrina, written in 1940, one of her best works.

E. M.: Can identify the most valuable work?

R. B.: I can't (smiling). It's like answering the question, what child in the family favorite.

D. B.: if There-то that unites all purchased work?

R. B.: during the 28 years of my collection was gained flesh, increasing the number of the collected material. Later it turned out that all this is subordinated to one's taste, and in the congregation manifested a certain logic. It turned out that my collection absolutely does not contain works of conceptual art, her paintings, drawings and sculpture, the main advantage of which is plastic. Second: the basic unit of the collection — Russian artists of the twentieth-тридцатых years of the twentieth century, but not implanted at the time of the stylesocialist realism, the so-called "socialist modernism" (a term introduced into scientific circulation by the art critic Viktor Tupitsyn). This works that reflect real life, but in manners prevailing at that time, currents of modernism such as cubism, futurism, surrealism, abstractionism, expressionism and others.

I did not collect Russian avant-garde for the reason that after George Costakis left "scorched earth": not only the best work of the avant-garde, and almost everything went to his meeting. Remained, probably, only a few dozen things. And I never had a collection of avant-garde, the quality and authenticity of the items even close to his.

What else unites my stuff? My guest recently was a famous architect Andrey Chernikhov, the grandson of Yakov Chernikhov, who said, "each picture has its own inner world, regardless of the plot. And this world with what-то metaphysical, magical tone". I noticed that in my pictures the time does not stop and continues to flow. Things are poster, there is photographic — where everything came to a standstill, and there are landscapes, portraits and even still life, in which sense the movement of time within the picture. You say that Nikolai Krymov, Aristarkh Lentulov, or Andrei Vasnetsov not metaphysics? I will say more: they — mages! And try to choose works in which I see the magic of the artist.

E. M.: What are your criteria for selecting authors: the artist's place in art history, market indicators (auction sale) or information activity — level of publications, catalogs, and critics (if we are talking about modern artists)?

R. B.: Rather, guided to the place which the author occupies or for which he may qualify. Contemporaries I still buy a few, I have a complicated relationship with contemporary art. I know how the authors worked in the XX century, and see that today we offer contemporary artists. I'm a big fan of contemporary Western artists, and among our isolated yet only a few names. Contemporary artists, a new language, conditional, trudnootdelemy, decorative-прикладной, souvenir, they are trying to introduce into the picture a lot of humor. I think the quality of the picture it umoristicheskie. Although there are collectors — for example, French Paquita Escape Miro, who believe that only paintings with a sense of humor should be included in the collection. I belong to the collection of a little-другому: I don't think has to be satire or irony, because buy work by contemporary artists, continuing that plastic line that takes precedence in my collection. For example, I love the works of Konstantin Batynkov. A great virtuoso, a master calligrapher, he continues the line of surrealist "automatic writing" proposed by andré Breton. I love this artist, gather exceptional quality of his major work, which I have about 80.

D. B.: How important is it for you a personal acquaintance with the artists? Is there a need of a dialogue with the authors whose works are included in your meeting?

R. B.: ninety Percent of my collection — is working departed authors. I would love to talk to them, but... With contemporary artists I am very interested to meet and hear what they think about his work. It is difficult to list all, but among them there right philosophers, sages, great intelligence... a Big impression on me of a conversation with Yuri Zlotnikov, Paul Nikonov Konstantin Batynkov, Valery Koshlyakov and others. I acquire the work of living artists, but as a rule, the work of older artists — Pavel Nikonov, Nikita Alexeev, Valery Yurlov. Lately I began to like modern abstract painting —, I have a large collection of Yuri Zlotnikov, there are works of Vladimir Andreenkov. It is a logical extension of my collection. Or take KINETICA, a member of the "Movement" Alexander Grigoriev —, I choose him in the style of op-арт, uneven breathing to op-артистам in love with the work of Victor Vasarely 1975. Andrey Krasulin — representative of the style Arte-повера — is also no stranger to abstraction. I often go to workshops — for example, in Saint-Петербурге attended workshops Kirill Makarov, Denis Ichitovkin, Alexander Florensky, Vladimir Shinkarev, Ivan Ivy and Irina Drozd and many others. In the workshop you deal with the work not through the monitor, as it is now becoming more and more accepted: in the monitor you only see a completely flat glossy image with varying degrees of color distortion. And the surface of this painting's texture, changes in illumination and shadows from each stroke vibrate pattern, it becomes alive and gives you untold pleasure.

E. M.: You have published three issues in a series of "Modernism without a manifest. A meeting of Roman Babichev", prepared for publication two more, including "Russian art 1953-2010". Why don't you move modern art in a separate volume? What, in your opinion, the similarities between the art of the second half of the twentieth century and the present day?

R. B.: the series name, "Modernism without a manifest" implies that with the advent of Soviet power Russian modernists could no longer publish their manifestos and declarations, such as the Italian futurists. The second half of the XX century in my directory begins with 1953, the year of the death of Joseph Stalin, and includes the "thaw" of the authors of the older generation. Many artists, such as Tatiana Mavrina, Alexander Labas and others, in his works until the mid 1950-х years was somewhat restrained. And in the fifties came their second heyday, they began to apply bright colors in the works has a new free expression. Next to them you will see artists left Mosha — Pavel Nikonov. Nikolai Andronov, Andrey Vasnetsov — titans the art of our time, as well as artists of the so-called "unofficial art". And in the same volume there will be works by contemporary artists which in my collection is a little bit afraid that the individual that they are not enough. Although it is not known what rates will be updated in the collection of the modern art may be yourthe wish will come true. In 2020 I plan to publish 1-й volume in the series — "pre-revolutionary", which will be released the fourth, and immediately proceed to the last, the fifth fact, which release is scheduled for 2021.

D. B.: Earlier you said that about ninety percent of his collection, acquired from relatives of the artists or through inherited funds. Is there a contemporary artist chance the novel Babichev come to his Studio? What artist should be of interest to You?

R. B.: the Artist must do what he thinks fit, to carry out his program, not trying to appeal to and interest me or anyone-то else. And if he gets in my field of interest — is a separate issue, is my problem. Among today's my task — collection of contemporary art. And just to make a set of works by contemporary artists I'm not interested: these meetings a lot of work in them is fragmented and often their choice is determined in such a thing as fashion. This applies not only to contemporary authors. For example, there was a fashion artist Ivan Pohitonova — just because there was a collector who paid him big money and eventually dispersed prices. These boards, with a painted beach and the two figures — about what makes today much more interesting artist Daniel Archipenko, — has risen in price to $ 600 thousand. Then the collector stopped buying works Pohitonova, and now again they are several tens of thousands.

In the existing part of the collection I managed to design some interesting model and bring it to life. Part of modern art until it fails. Not there is such a coherent model of the collection of modern art, which would have provided an interesting idea, distinguishing it from others. Maybe we should go the beaten track — to collect the material, trusting my own taste and see what happens. And in artists ' studios are often, above I talked about this.

E. M.: We remember the exhibition at the Moscow Museum of modern art in 2017-2018. How often are you willing to open his collection for public display? Some exhibition projects are planned for the future?

R. B.: I Recently calculated that working from my collection participated in over 80 exhibitions at various venues. It was major museums — Tretyakov gallery, Russian Museum, which is just a part of one of the exhibition dedicated to Leningrad Association "Circle of artists", showed 47 works from my collection, the Pushkin Museum, where the exhibition "the Apartment-музей" I was given two rooms and even the Centre Pompidou, which hosted the exhibition Rouge ("Red") in the space of the Gran-Пале, as well as smaller museums and galleries.

Solo exhibitions, in addition to "Modernism without a manifest" in the MMSI, I was not. The history of its creation is very interesting. Once my guest was Vasily Tsereteli (Director of the Museum. — AI.), he carefully examined the collection and immediately offered to do an exhibition in any exhibition space of the Museum. I invitedco-curator art historian Nadezhda Plungian, which is the scientific editor of the directory-резоне Assembly and the author of most of his articles. It turned out that show the entire line of Soviet modernism even in the 14 rooms of the building on Petrovka — is no easy task, space is simply not enough. We have long argued, because the Museum did not allow us to make a tapestry hanging, and in the end the Museum was proposed to divide the exhibition into two parts and show them one after the other. The first (common) part of the cover art from the beginning of the century to 1980-х years, the second was dedicated to artists of Leningrad. The exhibition was supported by the Department of culture of Moscow, the Museum (which, by the way, even some of the Rangers have art education) provided a perfect public relations and support. In the end, both parts were visited by over 50 thousand people. Now the exhibition can be seen on my website there are photos of the halls and all the works that took part in it.

Today, I have developed and ready to be exhibited about 10 exhibitions of my congregation, but there is a big problem with a high platform, which plays a significant role in the formation of public opinion about the artist. Major museums to interest hard. However, the exhibition should be directed at improving the status of artists and Russian art in General — and this equally needs to be interested and the collector, and museums. For example, I would like to make a personal exhibition of Alexander Vedernikov — one of the best Leningrad artists: I have about 800 pieces of works, including lithographs, watercolors, paintings and sculpture. Just need to introduce him to Muscovites. By the way, the last time a person has to produce in a large number of false watercolours Alexander Semenovich and sell them through the Moscow auctions. I'm going to inform you, probably through Facebook, auction houses and buyers about how to distinguish fakes from original pieces. It is unacceptable that the creative legacy of Alexander Vedernikov was diluted for nothing like work, as happened to the legacies of some other artists.

the Second part of the interview with Roman Babichev read next week.

Attention! All materials of the site and database of auction results ARTinvestment.RU, including illustrated reference information about the works sold at auctions, are intended for use exclusively for informational, scientific, educational and cultural purposes in accordance with Art. 1274 of the Civil Code. Use for commercial purposes or in violation of the rules established by the Civil Code of the Russian Federation is not allowed. ARTinvestment.RU is not responsible for the content of materials submitted by third parties. In case of violation of the rights of third parties, the site administration reserves the right to remove them from the site and from the database on the basis of an application from an authorized body.

Индексы арт-рынка ARTIMX

Top 37

Узнайте первым об открытии аукциона!

This site uses cookies, it can collect data about IP addresses and users. N 152-FZ «On Personal Data» and continue working with this site, you confirm your consent to the processing of personal data in accordance with the law N 152-FZ «On Personal Data» and «The policy of LTD «ArtIn» with regard to the processing of personal data».
Back to Top