The era of the flashy oligarch has passed, say Muscovites. Russians have gotten used to being rich, and are thinking about more sophisticated investments than the next pink Porsche. Catering to this so-called “new sobriety,” the World Fine Art Fair returns to the Russian capital from May 27 to June 2. Around 4,500 pieces from 60 galleries will be on sale at the Manezh, a neoclassical hall and former military stable opposite the Kremlin. Now in its third incarnation, the fair attracted 45,000 visitors last year.
“It’s a really important place, and there are a lot of Russians buying art,” says fair president Yves Bouvier. However, it’s hard to define still-developing tastes. “It’s a new market, people are still finding out what they like,” he admits.
This story first appeared in the March 24, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Among the items on offer this time will be works by major modern artists like Marc Chagall, Mark Rothko and Wassily Kandinsky, along with pieces from 22 jewelers including Bulgari, Harry Winston and Van Cleef & Arpels.
But luckily it’s not all about the new world order: Kicking off the festivities will be a sumptuous sit-down dinner inside the Manezh, where 500 guests will dine on traditional treats like blinis heaped with caviar.
Moscow World Fine Art Fair
May 27-June 2