After the revolution, the collections remained in their places for several more years – they were nationalized and turned into museums of new Western art, then merged into one Museum of New Western Art, and in 1948 divided between Pushkin and the Hermitage. Now, finally, they will show it in its original composition, telling not only about the artists, but also about the owners, whose choice essentially influenced all pre-revolutionary Russian art.
A pandan to Shchukin in Pushkinsky brought a collection of Bernard Arnault, about whom one could briefly tell about the same thing – a merchant, a rich man, a philanthropist and a fan of modern art. Works by Giacometti, Klein, Warhol, Basquiat, Boltanski, Banksy, Cattelan and other current stars will be shown in Moscow.
Bertrand Lavier, Empress of India II, 2005 Fondation Louis Vuitton
Next year, the tour will continue – the exhibition of the Morozovs will go to Paris, then there will be an exchange again – the Morozovs in Pushkin and the Shchukins in the Hermitage, after which the collections will return to their places, and in the Pushkin Museum it will be a new building in the Museum Town.
Records – Monet and Koons
Give a collector a real masterpiece, and he will not regret either eight or nine figures. This was once again confirmed by a series of auctions, which were held in New York in early May by Sotheby’s and Christie’s, traditionally collecting all the best that the market can provide for this session.
Claude Monet, Haystacks, 1890
The most expensive are still impressionists, post-war and contemporary artists. Sotheby’s put up for auction one of the iconic plots of Claude Monet – “Haystacks”. The work was written in 1890: Monet just turned 50, he bought his own house in Giverny and worked with inspiration in the surrounding fields. In a few months, he painted a series of 15 canvases, most of which are now scattered in museums around the world. The result – $ 110.7 million, not only a personal record for the artist, but also the first time in the history of the auction, when the work of the Impressionist jumped one hundred million mark.
The main achievement of Christie’s is a new record for a living artist. The top spot of this ambitious list is updated regularly and there is no limit. In recent years, it has been occupied by European classics – Gerhard Richter and David Hockney, who just celebrated anniversaries with great retrospectives. But in the modern market, competent PR and a skillful game are more expensive than experience and a long journey. And now the American Jeff Koons returned to the first line – and his “Rabbit” from the 80s, a huge “inflatable toy” made of polished steel, the only one of four copies still in private hands, went for $ 91.07 million.
Trend – Strong gender
Women artists have always been in the shadow of their male contemporaries, but for several years the attitude towards them has been changing, and this season the process has become especially noticeable. Museums were the first to start — in 2017, Prado exhibited still lifes by the 17th-century Flemish craftswoman Clara Peters, dedicating an exhibition to a woman for the first time in its history, and this year scheduled a double exhibition of Sofonisba Anguissola and Lavinia Fontana for its 200th anniversary.
Leading museums in Rome, Florence, Vienna, Antwerp, Paris, one after another, began to shift the focus of attention, highlighting artists of different eras, from the Renaissance to modernism, and not only well-known, but also new (more precisely, rediscovered) names. The trend has also reached Moscow – in winter, Artemisia Gentileschi’s “Judith” and two more works by male artists were brought to Pushkinsky from the Capodimonte Museum, but the emphasis was placed on it. It was also noticeable at the current Venice Biennale – the curators of the key pavilions also preferred the art of women.
Angelika Kaufman, “Portrait of three children”
The market is just picking up a new wave, and Sotheby’s turned out to be the pioneer. In January 2019, the auction house held an auction of old masters in New York, highlighting a separate block “Women’s Triumph” – 21 paintings by 14 “masters” of the 16th-19th centuries. They prepared thoroughly – in the flagship store of Victoria Beckham in London, they arranged a preview of the top lots, to which Victoria attracted the entire local beau monde. The result justified all the investments – almost all the paintings were sold, mostly above the estimate, seven price records were set, including the main one – $ 7.2 million for the brilliant painting of the French portrait painter of the revolution, Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun (the portrait of the Indian ambassador to France, Mohammed Dervis- khan). Sotheby’s promised to repeat the experience in the future.
Exhibitions of the Year – Contemporary Art
Cube at The Ritz-Carlton. The Cube Exhibition Hall and Gallery Cluster is a new large venue presenting contemporary art where potential foreign buyers gather. Large-scale swing – Cube focuses on the European format and style of communication, promises to take residents to major world fairs every year and thus promote contemporary Russian art. And also to educate and raise local collectors – a collection club and an educational program are in the plans.