Catching up with Cosmoscow

By Anna Savitskaya - Tuesday, September 6, 2016
Catching up with Cosmoscow

In just a matter of days, Cosmoscow art fair will take off once again in the Russian capital. Artdependence Magazine had a chance to ask several of the fair’s participants to share their expectations for the upcoming event, and to offer readers a sneak peek preview of what’s to come. Four gallerists talked with us about their local art scenes, the current trends they observe in contemporary art, and how they survive and succeed in the current art market.

Catching up with Cosmoscow

In just a matter of days, Cosmoscow art fair will take off once again in the Russian capital. Artdependence Magazine had a chance to ask several of the fair’s participants to share their expectations for the upcoming event, and to offer readers a sneak peek preview of what’s to come. Four gallerists from different countries talked with us about their local art scenes, the current trends they observe in contemporary art, and how they survive and succeed in the current art market.

Olga Temnikova, Temnikova & Kasela gallery (ESTONIA)

Ardependence Magazine: Tell us about your gallery: when and how it was opened, how it evolved, what are your gallery's mission and plans?

Olga Temnikova: Temnikova & Kasela gallery was established in 2010 by gallerist and dealer Olga Temnikova and cultural promoter Indrek Kasela. It functions as one of the few commercial galleries in Estonia, representing local artists both locally and internationally. The gallery space, located in the center of Tallinn, also serves as a platform for introducing artists and projects from abroad. Through its local and international activity, the gallery aims to address the conditions in which it operates, contextualizing both its own practice as well as its place within a wider art world.

AD: What are you going to show at Cosmoscow? What are your expectations?

OT: We will show three artists - Finnish-German artist Mikko Hintz, Estonian Photographer Sigrid Viir and a painter Merike Estna. The last two will be presented in Moscow for the first time, although Merike Estna is already represented in several Russian collections. We are expecting to present an amazing stand and are hoping to engage in dialogue with local institutions, collectors and colleagues. Cosmoscow has always been a great fair for us on every level, so expectations are rather high.

AD: What do you think about the international art market, and your local art market? What are the tendencies and how does your gallery fit into the world's art scene?

OT: The Estonian art market is a developing one - there are some amazing people we truly enjoy having around, and patrons have been really inspiring. In addition, Estonia recently became a part of international philanthropist organization Outset. The international market for an emerging gallery like ours still feels like combination of numerous local markets... some stronger, some weaker, in one way or the other.

If we talk tendencies, then I'd say that art world is becoming more and more experience driven: collectors do not just want to own the artworks, they want to go deeper, they want to be a part of creation by supporting the production of large pieces, or maybe just help museums to collect  they want to help education, they want to share it with their children.    

I’d agree with opinion makers who argue that contemporary art is going through the stage rock music was going through in late 60s and 70s -  contemporary art has never been so popular, museums have never received these huge amounts of visitors, there have never been so many galleries, artists and collectors and it is fun, but it’s also a great challenge to be a part of it. By saying this I mean that we surely feel as though we are a part of it, we are for sure one of the 80% of galleries that make 20% of sales, but it is not about the money, we are not in hurry to convert it into hard cash. Rather, we are interested in having a program one can be proud of, a program which makes sense in Tallinn in the 21st Century. The goal is to keep on transforming Tallinn into a destination for artists and writers we admire and to not forget to have fun all along.

Mikko Hintz, NO 01, 2016. UV print on linen, 33x37cm. Courtesy Temnikova & Kasela gallery

Mikko Hintz, NO 12, 2016. UV print on linen, 38x46cm. Courtesy Temnikova & Kasela gallery

Merike Estna, And the way you hold this as a distant precious brushstroke really breaks my heart (From series "Everything I have, everything I had, everything I'm going to have, nothing"), 2016. Acrylic, canvas, 60x45cm. Courtesy Temnikova & Kasela gallery

Sigrid Viir, From series "Sweet Smiles and Golf Clubs", 2016. Pigment print, aluminum, wooden frame, 40x55cm. Courtesy Temnikova & Kasela gallery

Mr. Fer Francés, gallery partner and director of The Galería Javier López (SPAIN)

AD: Tell us about your gallery: when and how it was opened, how it evolved, what are your gallery's mission and plans?

Fer Frances: The Galería Javier López opened its doors in London in June 1995 with a programme of contemporary art, including projects by X-Art Foundation, Martin Creed, Simon Martin and Thomas Ruff. Since February 1996, when it transferred to Madrid, the gallery’s goal has been to show a programme that alternates between presenting the work of young artists and exhibitions by more established figures to give a complementary view of the scope of contemporary art. 

In November 2010, Javier López opened a premier space in Madrid to move his gallery from the city centre to an exceptional building designed by renowned architectural firm Vicens + Ramos, situated in a privileged location right at the edge of El Pardo national park, in La Florida, Madrid. The dialogue between the architecture and landscape creates a unique environment where exhibitions are planned with an approach along the lines of a Kunsthalle, lasting longer to provide a complete picture of an artist's work. 

Since February 2011 the gallery has operated exclusively in this new space, where we aim to present a dynamic programme of both emerging and recognized artists who are creating exceptional and innovative work, taking part in the latest trends in contemporary art, and whose production and approaches are open to the latest techniques and whatever kind of surface. 

In September 2013 Fer Francés joined the gallery as a partner, performing a series of curated projects and exhibitions that have enriched the program of the gallery with national and international artists, both young and recognized, some related to urban art and others to the most fresh painting proposals. 

The gallery participates in various international fairs since its inception, having seen increased its presence in them in recent years. 

AD: What are you going to show at Cosmoscow?

FF: We will be showing works by Sarah Morris, José María Yturralde, Francesco Clemente, KAWS, Guillermo Pérez Villalta, Marina Vargas and Pilar Albarracín. 

AD: What do you think about the international art market, and your local art market? What are the tendencies and how does your gallery fit into the world's art scene?

FF: With the world economic crisis that we are currently living, any art fair we attend we don’t really know what can happen. With that said, we have already some good clients in Moscow that trust us and that know our artists; so, we can only be positive, it is the only way forward. Everywhere we go we always keep our eyes open and visit every booth to see what there is to offer. Regarding young artists in particular there is much more to study than the creation itself, in order to look at them from a business perspective, it takes a lot of effort to build up an artist and in order to do it right you really need to know the person as well as their work.

Francesco Clemente (b. 1952), Jigsaw Puzzle III, 2009. Watercolor and pastel on paper, 195,58 x 254 cm. © Galeria Javier López & Fer Francés Madrid

Ekaterina Iragui, Galerie Iragui (RUSSIA)

AD: Tell us about your gallery: when and how it was opened, how it evolved, what are your gallery's mission and plans? 

Ekaterina Iragui: Galerie Iragui is a contemporary art gallery in central Moscow. It presents a cross-disciplinary programme with a particular focus on conceptual work. It's committed to the promotion of Russian contemporary art. The gallery contributes to the participation of Russian artists in international projects and their integration into the global art context. Attaching much importance to research, Galerie Iragui works in collaboration with cultural institutions and curators in Europe and presents an ambitious programme dedicated to fostering critical dialogues between artists, viewers, and institutions. 

The gallery has participated in the Moscow Biennale and the Moscow International Biennale for Young Art and has realized hors-les-murs projects in association with museums as Centre Georges Pompidou and Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris, and the Museum of contemporary art in Perm.

   

AD: What are you going to show at Cosmoscow? What are your expectations?

EI: At this year's Cosmoscow we are showing knitwork and drawings by Olga Bozhko and canvases and objects by Georgy Litichevsky.

Olga Bozhko was born in 1974 in Moscow. She graduated from the Russian Academy of Theatre Arts (Scenography Department) in 2000, and the Moscow Institute of Contemporary Art in 2010. In 2002-2003 Olga Bozhko realized several projects in collaboration with Irina Korina (”Zamorozka”, Art-Klyazma, 2004). In 2005 she started her career as a solo artist, creating immersive installations, objects and drawings. In 2010 she became a member of VGLAZ art group. Bozhko has since 2014 also been working as a curator, collaborating with Zverev Center and Studio 50A in Moscow. In autumn 2015, Olga Bozhko had a solo show at Pushkin House, London, organized in collaboration with Galerie Iragui.   

Born in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, in 1956, Georgy Litichevsky graduated from the Moscow State University M.V. Lomonosov in 1979. Litichevsky has been painting since 1974, between 1985-1986 Litichevsky collaborated with the group «Detsky Sad», and in 1986 he founded the art group “George & George” together with Georgy Ostretsov. From 1990 to 1992 he was a member of BOLI, in 2005-2010 Litichevsky organized performances as a member of a perform-group “Zianida”. Since 1993 he has been one of the editors of “The Art Journal”, founded by Viktor Miziano.  The works of Litichevsky can be found in the collections of the State Tretyakov gallery and the State Centre for Contemporary art in Moscow, as weel as the Pompidou Centre in Paris.

During the fair, we expect to see new faces amongst Russian collectors. In the last few years in Moscow, many of Moscow's foundations launched educational programs for contemporary art. We feel that the Russian public is becoming more and more aware, and curious, of contemporary art practices. That's been the case for us last year – we met people that we've never seen before in the gallery, who bought from us then and who follow our activities through the year. Also, we expect to see some of our new foreign friends-collectors that we've met on different international art fairs.

AD: What do you think about the international art market, and your local art market? What are the tendencies and how does your gallery fit into the world's art scene? 

EI: The local contemporary art market is not really getting bigger, but it is for sure getting more professional. Which is to say that collectors are doing their research into contemporary art. They also appreciate more the professional advice and services of the gallery.

Of course, we are far from being in the situation of Central Europe or America, but the local market understands more and more the true value of contemporary culture.

As to how our gallery fits into the world's art scene – we feel appreciation from international art directors, curators. Our participation in art fairs is growing in number, but also in quality: Art Brussels, Artissima, Art Dubai, Viennacontemporary, Drawing Now Paris…

Olga Bozhko. Street sweet street. 150 x 300 cm. Knitwork, 2014. Courtesy og the artist and Galerie Iragui

Olga Bozhko. FREEcolor. 2014. Watercolor and ballpoint pen on paper. 30x40 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Iragui

Georgy Litichevsky. Treble clef. 2013. Acrylic on canvas. 190x200 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Iragui

Georgy Litichevsky. Hairy face flower. 2010. Watercolor on paper. 29 x 21 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Iragui

Nadya Kotova, NK Gallery (BELGIUM)

AD: Tell us about your gallery: when and how it was opened, how it evolved, what are your gallery's mission and plans?

Nadya Kotova: NK Gallery was opened in Antwerp in 2012 as a result of following my long-term interest in contemporary art. I have started collecting as early as the 90s. Having obtained a degree in economy, I was interested in the business side of the art field, and that led to completing art management studies in Maastricht University. I see my gallery as a continuation of myself: originating from Russia and living in Belgium almost 17 years, I am attracted to exploration of the Russian and Belgian mental and cultural codes. Therefore, I see the mission of the gallery in stimulating intercultural dialogue and creating a bridge between Russian artists and global audience and collectors. NK Gallery works closely with established Belgian, Russian and international artists, whose works are distinguished by international public institutions and private collections. Represented emerging and mid-career artists are supported by the gallery through participation in the major contemporary art fairs: London's Global Art Fair, Art Paris, CosMoscow, Art Dubai. NK Gallery is a member of Antwerp Art, a group of selected art venues in the city.

AD: What are you going to show at Cosmoscow? What are your expectations?

NK: At Cosmoscow 2016 NK Gallery will show a duo exhibition of Taisia Korotkova (1980), Russian mid-career artist, and Hans Vandekerckhove (1957), established Belgian artist. The exhibition reveals similarities between the two artists, coming from very different cultural backgrounds and belonging to different generations. Not only do they both turn to meticulous and demanding high skill techniques of figurative painting – Hans Vandekerckhove in his multilayered, self-concentrated, self-contemplating oil on canvas works, Taisia Korotkova in her tempera on gesso wooden panels, going back to medieval icon painting in the manner of execution – but they both search for metaphysical and spiritual behind material. Vandekerckhove finds motioneless beauty in minimalist architecture and landscapes, abstracted from past and current. Korotkova discovers the signs of strange, metaphysical existence in space science artefacts, undergoing their second life. An observer can not but feel that there is always an extra dimension in the works of both artist, beyond and above the depicted. 

AD: What do you think about the international art market, and your local art market? What are the tendencies and how does your gallery fit into the world's art scene?

NK: Regarding interest to contemporary art, Belgium ranks high among European countries. Collectors are open to new names and quite a few of them are passionate about Russian contemporary art. NK Gallery in turn offers a quality selection of artists who have been included in public collections or shown in museums in Russia and Europe. We aim at expanding our pool of artists by turning to East European and Middle Eastern art scenes, which possess an interesting potential. NK Gallery plans to participate at Art Dubai, for the second time, in 2017. 

Taisia Korotkova, Mir Station series. Mir Station. Sleeping Room, 2015. Tempera on gesso, wooden panel 50x30. Courtesy NK Gallery

Hans Vandekerckhove, Olafurs, Western View, 2016. Oil on canvas, 100x80. Courtesy NK Gallery

 

Hans Vandekerckhove, Olafurs, Eastern View, 2016. Oil on canvas, 100x80. Courtesy NK Gallery

Anna is a graduate of Moscow’s Photo Academy, with a previous background in intellectual property rights. In 2012 she founded the company Perspectiva Art, dealing in art consultancy, curatorship, and the coordination of exhibitions. During the bilateral year between Russia and The Netherlands in 2013, Perspectiva Art organized a tour for a Dutch artist across Russia, as well as putting together several exhibitions in the Netherlands, curated by Anna. Since October 2014, Anna has taken an active role the development and management of ArtDependence Magazine. Anna interviews curators and artists, in addition to reviewing books and events, and collaborating with museums and art fairs.

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Luc Tuymans, Flemish Village 1995.  Collection MuHKA, Antwerp

Luc Tuymans, Flemish Village 1995. Collection MuHKA, Antwerp

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