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Savtchenko Prices Rise as International Interest Grows

Private and institutional interest in the artwork of Russian painter, sculptor and photographer Ekatherina Savtchenko is slowly increasing in the U.S. In Europe and Russia, where the artist’s work has been displayed in more than a dozen museum exhibitions and numerous art galleries since 1990, the market for her work is quite active.

NEW YORK—Private and institutional interest in the artwork of Russian painter, sculptor and photographer Ekatherina Savtchenko is slowly increasing in the U.S. In Europe and Russia, where the artist’s work has been displayed in more than a dozen museum exhibitions and numerous art galleries since 1990, the market for her work is quite active.

Savtchenko, who sometimes goes by the name Ekatherina S., was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, and currently divides her time between Düsseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Her colorful acrylic paintings and painted-over photographs (of herself, in various theatrical poses, sometimes distorted by the camera) reflect and transform images from mythology and religion or express emotional states.

In a show at Oslo’s Galleri Pingvin last February, all of the works—five painted-over photographs and 25 acrylic paintings—were sold to German and Scandinavian collectors. Bjørn A. Mathisen, director of Galleri Pingvin, noted that exhibitions of Savtchenko’s work, which take place on an annual basis, are typically sold out. In a show at New York’s A. Jain Marunouchi Gallery last spring (May 2–31), on the other hand, four of the twelve photographs on view found buyers, all Manhattan collectors, according to Marunouchi gallery owner Ashok Jain. Jain told ARTnewsletter that the most recent show produced more sales than the previous one, in 2007, from which only two photographs were sold.

Prices for Savtchenko’s photographs, which range in size from 2 by 3 feet to 7 by 4 feet, start at $12,000 and range up to $28,000, and paintings are priced between $15,000 and $56,000, depending on size, which are similar to that of her photographs. More rare are her lithographic and silkscreen prints in editions of 50 to 150, which are priced at $1,500, and bronze sculptures (in editions of six), which cost $30,000 apiece. Mathisen says that his gallery arranges the majority of the artist’s sales in Europe, although other galleries in Russia and Germany also hold occasional exhibitions of her work.

International prices for Savtchenko’s work rose considerably from 2006 to 2007, Jain says, noting that photographs were selling for between $3,000 and $12,000 at his gallery’s 2006 show of her work. “She has been getting a lot of major attention all over the world, at the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg [in 2004], in China and India [in 2007 and 2008, respectively].”

Neither Jain nor Mathisen report any secondary market sales.

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