With trials, harassment, and other forms of intimidation, Russian authorities are striking out against curators and artists—who are, in turn, organizing projects that are increasingly provocative and political. Read More
Femme nue couchée, one of several Courbets owned by the Hungarian Jewish collector Baron Ferenc Hatvany, disappeared after World War II from a Budapest bank vault. The painting resurfaced 50 years later in Slovakia, setting off a cat-and-mouse game that resulted in its restitution to Hatvany’s heirs—who loaned it to the Courbet retrospective at the Grand Palais in Paris. Read More
On Sept. 14 billionaire Alisher Usmanov acquired the entire art collection of legendary cellist Mstislav Rostropovich (1927-2007) and his wife, Galina Vishnevskaya, for more than $70 million. Usmanov immediately announced plans to return the trove—which includes paintings by Boris Grigoriev, Nikolai Roerich and Vladimir Borovikovsky—to Russia. Read More
Despite serious concerns about the provenance of a Russian artwork—raised just days before the work went on the auction block—it sold for £420,000 ($722,400) to a Russian buyer.
The picture In the Dukhan, Imaginary Journey to Turkey, by Mikhail Larionov (1881-1964), was a highlight of the Russian art sale on Nov. 28 at the MacDougall auction house, London. Estimated at £250,000/350,000, the painting had been authenticated by art historian Anthony Parton, Larionov’s biographer and compiler of a forthcoming catalogue raisonné, who wrote that the work was “one of Larionov’s most significant paintings from 1910.” Larionov and his wife, Natalia Goncharova, were major figures of the Russian avant-garde. They settled in Paris in 1917. Read More
Whether the first Moscow Biennale accomplished its aimsto legitimize contemporary art in Russia and to thrust contemporary Russian art onto the international stageis debatable, but it was certainly the most important art event in the city in many years. Read More