MOSCOW – With a Picasso on sale for nearly £10 million and diamond necklaces going for almost twice as much, the opening of the Moscow World Fine Art Fair on Tuesday night was proof that the balance of power in the art world is shifting inexorably eastwards, reported Adrian Blomfield from The Telegraph.
The art fair has been visited by many people now that it has been made fashionable to buy art as was demonstrated two weeks ago when Roman Abramovich bought Francis Bacon’s “Triptych” for $86.3 million and the 1995 Lucian Freud painting “Benefits Supervisor Sleeping” for $33.6 million last week at Christie’s and Sotheby’s in New York.
Jose Maria Cano, Spanish painter who has caused a sensation with his large scale portraits similar to the mini portraits in the Wall Street Journal, has been told by his gallery that Russians have asked to be painted in his style. Cano’s works of art grace the cover of today’s ArtDaily. The paintings made by Jose Maria are receiving significant acclaim worldwide because of their groundbreaking characteristics. His art work is being shown in Malaga, London, Moscow and Prague.
International and Russian dealers have 1 billion euros ($1.6 billion) of art on offer at the Moscow World Fine Art Fair as they hope to profit from the new elite’s growing appetite for art.
When Yves Bouvier, President of ArtCultureStudio SA (ACS), was asked why he decided to organise this event, he said that he took on this unprecedented challenge simply because everyone said it could not be done. Not only did he do it
successfully but he has turned this event into the annual meeting point for art lovers and professionals in Eastern Europe.
What makes the Moscow World Fine Art Fair so attractive to visitors not only from the East but also Europe and the United States? It is a mixed fair exhibiting the best of every art form covering antiquity, French antique furniture from the eighteenth century, French and Russian nineteenth century furniture, Italian Renaissance, English Romanticism, Impressionism, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Russian classical modern art, Design, Contemporary, Photography, and the finest jewellers, top international brands as well as designers from Russia, China, Switzerland and California.
2004 was the inaugural year of the Moscow World Fine Art Fair. Zurab Tseretelli and Tusi Chogovadze were the initiators at the Russian end. An extraordinary 27 exhibitors arrived with stunning wares from France, Holland, Belgium, England, Switzerland, Germany and America. This had never been done in Moscow before.
Some 50’000 visitors queued in the rain to see the fair. 2005 meant a larger venue
had to be found. Over 60 fine art professionals wanted to participate. Valdimir Putin promised that he would celebrate the May national festivities in the newly renovated Manege after it had been destroyed in a fire.
Again, no one believed he could do it but if he did, we planed tobe the first to organise an art exhibition in this fantastic venue. Putin won his bet and so did we.
In the same year, the buyer of the Forbes’ Collection of Fabergé objects chose to exhibit some of the best pieces at the fair. A jewellery wing was designed to gather 20 of the world’s top brands. Christie’s displayed Princess Margaret’s jewellery collection. In collaboration with The World Monument Fund, they organised a gala benefit in the Kremlin reception halls and the impenetrable throne room. All proceeds were donated for the renovation of Ostankino Palace.
2006 had to be even better – but how? In conjunction with the first Biennale of Contemporary Art, Olga Sviblova and Jérome de Noirmont organised an internationally acclaimed one man show by Bettina Rheims at the fair. In addition, ACS would honour the budding movement born of the last fifteen years of perestroika. Major Russian contemporary art galleries participated. Professionals
admitted meeting new collectors at the fair even those who claimed they knew every collector in Moscow. This is what an art fair is all about; bringing people together to celebrate art. Again the visitors appeared in throngs but this time they meant business. We hit record sales on both floors.
2007, was the year of jewellers, Moussaieff brought the largest flawless coloured diamond in the world. Leviev presented rare pieces from the New York boutique. Jewellery Theater won the award of the best presentation. A superb gala and fashion parade was organised in honour of the jewellers. The event was hosted by the Prince and Princess Michael of Kent and proceeds were donated to the Michael of Kent Foundation. The writers’ Guild, Muranovo was replicated, a wooden palace which housed Russia’s most famous writers of the last century. Oscar Rabin launched his monograph edition in the VIP lounge. BMW Art Cars graced the fair with four of their “Art Cars”. Book expert Lefebvre of Paris discovered that one of his recent purchases turned out to be four pages missing from a part of the Hermitage collection. He officially returned the work to the Ministry of Culture of the Federation of Russia during the fair. He was duly thanked and rewarded by the government officials during a television news broadcast shot on location. This is yet another great achievement.
In this respect, ACS is very happy to work hand and hand with UK based Art Loss Register. 2008 is the celebration of five years of dedicated experts doingMWFAF 10 MWFAF 11 what they do best to create The Moscow World Fine Art Fair.