Sunday, February 27, 2011

Emerging Russian artists gain solid foothold in Spain's revitalized market

Rembrandt: Dimtri Gutov's inspiration
An inspired work by Gutov

Russian gallerists may still be celebrating, wobbly with vodka, thrilled their initial pessimism about ARCO Madrid (ended 20 Feb.) shapeshifted into bouyant sales and surging interest by Spanish collectors in the "honoured" eight VIP-invited galleries and their artists.

As an art traveler in Russia (1976 and 1985), I sensed the sullen if not Dostovesky dark side of the Russian soul, a unique pessimism gene, born from a tortured history of wars and profund suffering, poverty and Big Brother rule, yet one that perpetually rebounds with brilliance and artistic vitality.

ARCO implanted optimism in the Russians, and they're talking about it.

Russian gallerists told "Voice of Russia" (VOR) last week they're thrilled and surprised at the robust sales and VIP treatment Madrid and ARCO lavished on their stables of artists, who steadily gain market traction.

Just before leaving for Madrid, the Russians professed doom and gloom in characteristic fashion, aided and abetted by the Crash of 2008.

How wrong they were and how delighted they must be.

Take Marina Alexeyeva, for example, whose sales to European collectors prompted rumours the Marina Gisich Gallery in St. Petersburg, which represents her, may have captured the gold in sales.

The Gisch gallery, however, shares the podium with Moscow's Marat Gelman Gallery.

Its co-owner, Yulia Gelman, said hers brought the largest number of artists to Madrid.

In spite of her previous pessimism, Marat Gelman artists did extremely well, she added.

Could this be the reincarnation of a more positive Russian soul?

This optimism should continue, especially for the next 12 months between Spain and Russia.

On 25 Feb., the two countries inaugurated "Russian-Spanish Cultural Year."
About 700 mainly cultural events are in the works.

ARCO served as the project's catalyst, catapulting Russia's emerging contemporary artists into the spotlight.

It was respect and an elevated profile for the Russians, a sense of honour, Irina Gorlova of the State Russian Centre of Modern Art, told VOR, which impressed her most about ARCO Madrid.

Gorlova and her entourage of 20 staged a multi-media show, offering 150,000 ARCO attendees a big-screen virtual tour of the Moscow Museum of Modern Art and its branches in St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Kaliningrad.

She said this promoted much interest in Russia and Russian art.

Among ebullient Russian artists, whose souls vigorous sales uplifted: Dimitri Gutov, who creates iron structures after Rembrandt drawing, whose work is pictured above.

Rock on and practice peace and love.

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will be in peace." Jimmy Hendrix.

Stefan, the ArtTraveler(TM).

You may be seeing a few two-minute ArtTraveler vidoes inserted in my posts just to spice things up; you can see others on YouTube.

Competa valley from Villa Chile, photo by Liz Paris

Join Dutch walkers Rob & Joost on their 1,000-km. pilgramage from Seville to Santiago de Compostela (Via de la Plata). They've got a great art and architectutral photo library going on their blog.

Seeking a walking tour or week-long sculpture or mosaic workshop taught by a maestro in our beautiful mountains? see: and

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