Leonid Mikhelson, the CEO of the Russian natural-gas company Novatek, has devoted a portion of his wealth to bringing Russian contemporary art outside Russia. In 2009, Mikhelson created the V-A-C Foundation, named for his daughter, Victoria. The foundation funds exhibitions of and projects by Russian contemporary artists, such as Ilya and Emilia Kabokov’s 2014 installation at the Grand Palais, and the New Museum’s 2012 exhibition “Ostalgia,” which focused on Eastern European contemporary art. Mikhelson’s collection includes works by Paweł Althamer, Andreas Gursky, Sigmar Polke, Thomas Struth, among others.

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Leonid Mikhelson


Source of wealth:
Gas (Novatek)

Collecting area:
Impressionism; modern and contemporary art

Top 200 appearance:
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Fun fact:

Visitors to Mikhelson’s office will quickly notice a Gerhard Richter “Candle” painting, which he has proudly hung behind his desk.