More selective

Exhibitor numbers cut by 38%

MOSCOW. Local and international galleries vied for a piece of Russia’s growing contemporary art market at the 12th annual Art Moscow fair, 14-18 May. On show was contemporary art from 45 galleries, down from 73 exhibitors in 2007.

“Art Moscow is much better this year than in the past; there are fewer galleries, and the ones chosen are committed to the Russian market, and brought quality works,” said Russian-born Swiss artist Irina Polin, who displayed five photos at the Moscow-based Pobeda Gallery, two of which sold for E3,000 ($4,680) each.

More than half of this year’s galleries were from Russia, while foreign galleries included Volker Diehl Gallery of Berlin, and Valentina Bonomo Gallery of Rome. “Art Moscow is mostly about catering to the needs of Russian clients, so international galleries who have an international clientele didn’t feel a need to come,” said Ms Polin.

Hans Knoll, from Vienna and Budapest, said it sold a marble sculpture, Untitled, 2008, by British artist Tony Cragg for E180,000 ($280,800) to a Moscow collector.

The Moscow-based Triumph Gallery offered Damien Hirst prints, The Wounds of Christ, 2005; a sculpture of children committing acts of violence from the installation, Last Riot, 2007, by the Moscow collective, AES+F (see interview p35); and Pieta, 2008, a video installation by Russian art group Tanatos Banionis.

John Varoli

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