Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Artworld: The Russians are coming...

With Khodorkovsky out of the way and with growing clout displayed by Russians in the Litvinenko episode and the US missile shield brouhaha, it seems that the next place to assert for the Russians flush with oil cash is the arts world. The latest edition of the Economist reports that Russians are buying and stocking up on art like there is no tomorrow. From Art Moscow (a contemporary art fair with 60 exhibitors) to the fourth Moscow World Fine Art Fair, art is the thing to possess there....

Fabergé egg is any one of sixty eight jewelled eggs made by Peter Carl Fabergé and his assistants for the Russian Tsars and private collectors between 1885 and 1917.

The Russian art scene was bustling in the 1910s with major art movements like Rayonism, Constructivism and Suprematists ruling the roost but gave way to decrepitude on the imposition of Stalinism and the effects of Social Realism. The art for the next 50 years was stereotyped into scenes of rosy and healthy looking citizens roaming/stoking the communist enterprise.

Does this resurgence with the top dollars from oil and nuclear deals translate itself into newer art movements coming out of Russia or would it only involve the snapping up of works mindlessly by collectors without too much regard to fostering home grown art movements?

A post by Edward Winkelmen comes to my mind in this regard.

1 comment:

Tree said...

Hi Sunil, even during the darkest period of Soviet opression there were independent artists creating. Most created art with whatever they could find and had exhibits on the street until they were shut down.
To answer your question, yes there will be the mindless buying up of art and yes there will continue to be art movements. It'll be interesting to see how it all comes out in the end.