Fifth International Contemporary Art Fair Cosmoscow Reports Increasing Number of Galleries, Artists, Collectors and Visitors

Sep 25, 2017 1:30PM

This year Cosmoscow saw the record number of 54 participants, growing number of 19,200 visitors and rewarding sales results across Russian and International exhibitors. In order to attract collectors, Cosmoscow keeps including works at every price point, which this year ranged from €300 to €350,000.

Image courtesy Cosmoscow

• 54 galleries from Russia, Europe, America, and Middle East

• 175 contemporary artists from around the world

• 3 new curated sections and vast non-commercial programme

• €118,700 Off white charity auction total

• 350 journalists attended the Fair within 4 days

• 130 group and individual guided tours for Cosmoscow guests

• Cosmoscow Talks 3-day educational and Media Lounge programmes of over 20 events

• Establishment of the Cosmoscow Foundation for Contemporary Art

• 500 children participated in Cosmoscow Kids programme operated by SOMA

• 50 partners including sponsors, media, museums, institutions and suppliers

• 19,200 people visited the Fair over four days

Cosmoscow Collectors’ preview solely attracted over 3,000 visitors, including prominent collectors, established and emerging artists, reputable art professionals and other connoisseurs of contemporary art. Among the guests visited the Fair were Natalia and Igor Akhmerov, Dilyara Allahverdova, Oleg Artemiev, Peter Aven, Oleg Baibakov, Maria Baibakova, Inna Bazhenova, Victor Belotserkovsky, Shalva Breus, Virginie and Christian De Dencourt, Florence and Daniele Guerlain, Alistair Hicks, Thomas Hug, Nick Ilyin, Ekaterina Kibovskaya, Alexander Kibovsky, Dmitry Lukovnikov, Teresa and Nicola Mavica, Tamaz and Iveta Manasherov, Svetlana Marich, Evgenia and Alexander Popov, Andre Rogger, Vladimir Smirnov, Konstantine Sorokin, Olga Sviblova, Eric Shiner, Kaneka Subberwal, Oksana Tarakanova, Zelfira Tregulova, Sofia Trotsenko, Natalia and Igor Tsukanov, Vassily Tsereteli, Alexey Verkhoturov, and many more.

Remaining the only international contemporary art fair in Russia and CIS, Cosmoscow continues fostering local art market by supporting young and emerging artists and gallerists including a special Cosmoscow Stand Prize that given to the Fragment Gallery (Moscow) established in December 2016. Two special mentions were given encouragement prize also selected by the jury – Shaltai Editions (Moscow) participated in Discovery Section and 11.12 Gallery (Moscow) participated in three sections of the Fair.

Off white charity auction took place on September 8 in partnership with Phillips Auction House benefitting recently established Cosmoscow Foundation for Contemporary Art. The auction brought together 17 works by contemporary artists totaling €118,700 including top price paid for Pavel Pepperstein’s Who is to Blame? (2011) sold for €22,000.

“Anniversary edition of Cosmoscow proved that contemporary art market in Russia is gaining ground on a year to year basis. The growing figures and continued interest speak for themselves. We are very pleased with the positive feedback we received from galleries, collectors and the general public. It is a great sign for the art market and for the whole art community that inspires us to stay strong in the pursuit of your goals. I want to thank all our partners, including Credit Suisse, Messika, Bentley and Beluga Transatlantic,” said Margarita Pushkina, Founding Director of Cosmoscow International Contemporary Art Fair and Founder of Cosmoscow Foundation for Contemporary Art.

In 2017 Cosmoscow programming was splitted into five sections, including two regular sections Main and Discovery, represented both well-established and emerging galleries. Collaborations section welcomed international and Russian galleries to share booths and create a joint display including 55Bellechasse (Paris), Boccanera Gallery (Trento), Gallery Odile Ouizeman (Paris), Knight Webb Gallery (London), Nk Gallery (Antwerp), Raster Gallery (Warsaw), Samuel Maenhoudt Gallery (Knokke), Sandy Brown (Berlin), Tatjana Pieters (Ghent), Temnikova & Kasela (Tallinn). The Focus section of Cosmoscow welcomed five Norwegian galleries, including Khartoum Contemporary Art Center (Oslo), Locus (Oslo), Prosjektrom Normanns (Stavanger), Rake (Trondheim), Terminal B (Kirkenes). Past Present section included museum quality works by artists who has greatly influenced contemporary Russian art history.

“Both Russia and the art world need Cosmoscow to continually improve and play a more important part in our lives.  The fair is playing a significant role in encouraging a growing awareness that Russian artists are not receiving the attention they deserve,” said Alistair Hicks, curator and writer.

Main achievements in 2017 The Off white auction of 17 works by Russian and international contemporary artists totaled €118,700. The auction started a two-year partnership deal between Cosmoscow and Phillips Auction House. The proceeds will benefit recently established Cosmoscow Foundation for Contemporary Art.

As part of the partnership between Cosmoscow and the State Tretyakov Gallery named Cosmoscow’s Museum Partner for 2017, a special acquisition of three works by Russian artist Andrey Kuzkin to the museum’s permanent collection with participation of the Foundation was announced.

“The Right to Life project explores the possibility of preserving memory and handing it over to future generations. This function is also performed by museums. I am grateful to the Cosmoscow fair and personally to Margarita Pushkina and Zelfira Tregulova for making it possible for my works to be included in the collection of the Tretyakov Gallery. It is very important to me,” said Andrey Kuzkin.

The non-commercial programme of the Fair was highlighted by installation of Cosmoscow 2017 Artist of the Year Ivan Gorshkov (Voronezh) and Cosmoscow 2017 Non-Profit Institution of the Year Typography Centre for Contemporary Art (Krasnodar).

For the third consecutive year, the Swiss bank Credit Suisse has served as the Strategic Partner to Cosmoscow supporting the fair in its mission to develop the contemporary art market in Russia and to make Russian artists more visible inside the country and globally. At the fair opening, Credit Suisse and Cosmoscow announced the winner of their joint award for emerging artistic talent in Russia. A panel of international and Russian art experts named 26-year old Artem Filatov, from Nizhny Novgorod as the recipient of the Credit Suisse Cosmoscow Prize for Young Artists. He will get a financial grant of CHF3,000, mentorship support from Credit Suisse and Cosmoscow art experts, and an opportunity to go Switzerland to explore the Swiss art scene. He will also have an option to participate in art residency provided by the cultural hub PROGR in Berne.

“We were very pleased to be able to support Cosmoscow again this year in producing what is a remarkable artistic event,” said Andre Rogger, head of Credit Suisse Art Collection. “We have been hugely impressed with the quality of the work on display and especially with the entrants to the Credit Suisse Cosmoscow Prize for Young Artists. We’d like to heartily congratulate the winner – Artem Filatov – and hope that we can help him develop his artistic career.”

Exhibitors reflected on their experience of the fair:

“We were invited by Cosmoscow to be part of Focus section as an artist run space. Having never been to Russia before, we did not know what to expect from the art market or the culture. Cosmoscow has been very friendly and open during the whole process, and the high number of visitors and response to our artists works has been impressive and very positive. We think there is a special energy in Moscow, especially amongst the younger artgeneration, who will make things happen internationally and think in a new way conceptually,” said Margrethe Aanestad and Elin Melberg, Prosjektrom Normanns.

“The fair was a great success. We are overwhelmed by the level of interest of Russians and Muscovites in contemporary art, particularly in the art of our artist, Balqees Fakhro from the Kingdom of Bahrain. We hope to return next year,” said David Hawkins, Art Select.

“It was our first time at Cosmoscow and in Moscow. It was nice to be able to show works of our artists to such a wonderful and broad audience including Russian artists and curators,” Charlotte Rostad and Trygve Ohren, RAKE.

“It was our first participation in Cosmoscow. It was a commercially successful experience that allowed us to expand our client base. We are very pleased that the jury awarded us the prize for the best stand. Cosmoscow allows you to introduce a large number of people to contemporary art, which is beneficial for galleries and artists,” said Sergey Gushchin, Fragment Gallery.

“Cosmoscow enhances its position as a networking platform for the local financial elite, which is certainly pleasing,” said Ksenia Podoynitsyna, Gallery 21.

“Once again Artwin Gallery was introducing works by promising Russian artists to contemporary art lovers as part of Cosmoscow. This time the sales spoke for themselves. We are very pleased that the works of Dima Rebus and Artem Filatov went to important private and corporate collections from Russia and Europe. Another reason for pride is the Credit Suisse Cosmoscow Prize for Young Artists, which was awarded to Artem Filatov!,” said Mariana GuberGogova, Artwin Gallery.

“Many guest remarked that our stand favorably stands out among others in terms of its conceptual approach. We received many meaningful inquiries, in particular – 5 requests from curators regarding future exhibitions,” said Luba Kuzovnikova, Terminal B and Cosmoscow Focus section.