At Cosmoscow, Russia’s international contemporary art fair, the country’s emerging and established galleries are displayed alongside a cast of international heavyweights—introducing Russian artists to a global audience, and vise versa. On the heels of the opening of the European biennial Manifesta 10, held in St. Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum, the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art’s move from a former bus depot to a Rem Koolhaas-designed space, and record heights in the Russian auction market, the fair builds upon what has already been a strong year for contemporary art in Russia. Below, we offer a list of eight points you need to know before the fair.
1. When? Where? How?
For the second iteration of the fair, Cosmoscow moves from a once Soviet chocolate factory to a former horse guard from the 1830s. The fair takes place from September 19th through the 21st, 2014, at Central Manege, Moscow (Manege Square, 1, Moscow, Russia, 109012). Tickets can be purchased online, here.
2. Why Visit?
Organized by founding director Margarita Pushkina and co-director Sandra Nedvetskaia, the fair brings together 26 galleries—from old-school local galleries like Regina and XL to visitors from New York, London, and Europe—all who have been carefully selected. The fair presents a wonderful opportunity to discover emerging Russian artists, previously unseen by the market, in addition to established local and international stars. Russian participants have been tasked with presenting solo- or dual-artist booths, which promises in-depth presentations of artists.
3. Galleries to Watch For:
International: With available works ranging from $2,000 to over $2,000,000, a selection of prominent international galleries will be on view at Cosmoscow. Highlights include Michael Werner Gallery, New York, showing work by Sigmar Polke and James Lee Byars; Massimo De Carlo, Milan, bringing work by Dan Colen and George Condo; and Javier Lopez, Madrid, offering work by Alex Katz.
Russian: Highlights from local galleries include Regina Gallery, one of Moscow’s first contemporary galleries (est. 1990) showing work by Semyon Faibisovich and Pavel Pepperstein; and XL Gallery, Moscow, (est. 1993) showing work Zip Group and Irina Korina.
4. Parallel Program
Cosmoscow features non-commercial projects by a variety of organizations. The nonprofit YARAT will present a solo booth by Baku-based artist Rashad Alakbarov; DON Contemporary Art Foundation will show a series of paintings by emerging Russian artist Albert Pogorelkin; Laboratia Art & Science Space will feature work by Russian collective Where Dogs Run; and XL Projects will show work by Irina Korina and graffiti artist Kirill Kto.
In addition, the exhibition “Collector’s Eye,” curated by collector and art historian Olga Vashchilina and presented by Guerlain, will show works from local private collections (including works by Christopher Wool); the Garage Museum for Contemporary Art will provide complimentary programming; and the V-A-C Foundation and Muhka (Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst, Antwerp) will launch a new initiative to support the emerging generation of Russian artists. Four finalists will be chosen to show their work during the fair, and one winner will be announced, whose work will enter the Muhka Collection.
A new section of the fair, Discovery, will feature emerging artists, galleries, and projects. Expect to find H.L.A.M, from Voronezh; A Palazzo Gallery, from Brescia; Anna Nova, from Saint Petersburg; Gallery 21, from Moscow; and more.
The fair offers a rich program of talks featuring art world professionals. Highlights include:
“Creating Opportunities: How & Why of Emerging Markets”
“The Global Art Compass: New Directions in 21st Century Art” by Alistair Hicks, Deutsche Bank’s Art Advisor and Curator
“Art Market” by Anna Arutiunova will discuss the changes to the traditional art market system during the 21st century, in advance of her new book to be released in November. The talk will take place on Saturday, September 20th, at 5pm.
“Art World Gone Digital: Discovering and Collecting Art Online,” featuring Artsy’s specialist Elena Soboleva, on her experience with the online art space and using new tools to stay on top of the shifting art market.
7. The Naked Heart Foundation Charity Auction
During the vernissage, The Naked Heart Foundation will present an exclusive contemporary art auction, titled off white, which will include 20 lots donated by galleries and artists, designed to “challenge the stereotypes of Russia, the West, art, colour and the Other.” It will be the foundation’s first auction dedicated solely to contemporary art.
Cosmoscow has partnered with Piaget, the Swiss jewelry and watch brand, known for collections based off of drawings by Salvador Dalí and works by Andy Warhol. As part of the off white auction, Piaget will offer a secret lot.