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The artwork from the collection of Alexander Ginzburg was acquired on the Sotbis auction.
Oskar Rabin s "Stop! Moscow Street" is an important example of early non-official Soviet art, which started to emerge following the death of Stalin in 1953 in the context of the Khrushchev Thaw. The first group to appear was the Lianozovo School, which existed from the late 1950s to the mid-1970s. Founded among others by Rabin, it consisted of underground poets and artists who would meet in the camp barracks near the Lianozovo railway station located in a village on the outskirts of Moscow. Artist such as Lydia Masterkova and Vladimir Nemukhin, influenced by the work of the long-suppressed avant-garde of the 1910s and 20s, worked in an abstract style, while Rabin developed his own formal language based on set of symbolically charged motifs he would repeat throughout his career.
The present work dates from the same year as "City with Moon" (sold Sotheby’s London on 1 December 2021). Both paintings prominently feature distorted tenement houses and rooftops, which would become a central motif in Rabin’s oeuvre. Behind the dark and dirty facades human life does exist but is only hinted at by the light emanating from some of the windows. While the houses depicted in "City with Moon" could be in any industrial town in the former Soviet Union, the present view is without doubt one of Moscow, with one of Stalin s recently built Seven Sisters clearly visible in the distance. The painting is also unusually animated, with cars and trucks driving on a wide and busy street. The inclusion of an advertising poster, here one for ice cream, is another element that would feature in many of Rabin s later paintings.