The fourth annual Moscow World Fine Art Fair opens its doors in the Manege for its seven-day run on Monday, May 28. Over eighty international dealers from the United States, Switzerland, France, England, Japan and Russia offer a wide range of specialties including furniture and works of art spanning the 16th through 21st centuries, sculpture, Old Master paintings, Impressionist and modern masters, drawings, tapestries and carpets, Asian art,ceramics, silver, porcelain, and jewelry.
The Fair takes place in one of the most treasured and beautiful neo-classical buildings in the city.The Manege can be compared to the Grand Palais in Paris in terms of its beauty and spectacular architecture. It was built in 1817 to commemorate the 5th anniversary of Russia's victory over Napoleon. Engineer Augustin Betancourt used ground breaking construction techniques for the time; not a single supporting column was used to uphold the structure and all the wooden beams remained exposed. Both the façade and the interior decoration were designed by the renowned French architect Joseph Beauvais - Ossip Ivanovitch Bovet - who also designed the Bolshoi and Maly Theaters in Moscow.. Large enough to hold an entire infantry regiment of more than two thousand men, it was originally built for military parades. After the 1917 revolution, the building was used as a government garage, In 1957, it was transformed into an Exhibition Hall. In the early 90s, it underwent further reconstruction, but in 2004, a fire broke out in the wooden rafters and beams, and though the walls withstood the flames, the roof caved in. Extensive restoration during the past year has brought the building back to its original splendor,.a perfect setting for this fair.
From antiquities to Contemporary art, new comers...
Since its inception, the Fair organizers have been successful in reaching out to a diverse group of dealers whose presence on the art scene had not been known until their appearance at The Moscow World Fine Art Fair. A number of new exhibitors will be among the participants, including Gallery Shiraishi from Tokyo, traditional and contemporary Japanese art; Stamegma, from Marseilles, French 19th century antiques; Orel from Paris, Russian contemporary art… Cecile Lemarie from Strasburg, features a one-man show by the artist Flore Sigrist, and Vanitas from Moscow, specialists in Northern Europe, brings Flemish and Northern School works from 16th to 19th centuries. Among exhibitors returning to the fold are Georges De Jonckheere, Pierre Dumonteil, Aveline, and Elysium, all from Paris, Berko from Brussels, and Moussaieff from London.
Illustration : Chimney watch from Fontainebleau Palace with sculpture group Chariot of Love France , early 19th century ( Galerie Empire of History )
...and old timers...
From The Academy of Fine arts gallery to the XL Gallery, the old timers are there. Art Déco XXe siècle with a collection of Lalique, Michel Guy Chadelaud with a magnificent collection of Krieger, Chowaiki Mosionschnik, from New York, with works from Russian constructivists and American chromatists like Rothko, Galerie Schmit with works by Eugène Boudin, Soutine, Renoir. Vallois Gallery sculptures by Chana Orloff and a one-man show by Moscow artist Yuri Kuper. Eighteenth century furniture and objects of art are there too, with exhibitors like Partidges from London, Jean Marie Rossi , B..and B. Steinitz, from Paris. Bernard Shapiro, from London, and Bernard and Stéphane Clavreuil, from Paris offer rare book and early views of Moscow. Russian exhibitors, like Regine Gallery, Partner Projects or Morozov Manufacturing - an artist association - offer Russian avant-garde, while Art Agency which concentrates on Soviet art, and Kournikova Gallery on émigré works in Europe at the beginning of the 20 th cenury. Galerie Minotaure from Paris, brings artists who worked in “The Ruche” like Lanskoy, Charchoune or Starisky.
The jewellery wing, inaugurated three years ago, is more important than ever. Eighteen jewellers will exhibit in Moscow. Leviev from London, with rare and exceptional colour diamonds, and Faerber, from Geneva, a specialist in estate jewellery, will paricipate for the first time. Together with such glittering names as Bulgari, Van Cleef & Arpels, Golay Fils & Stahl, Avakian, Sabbadini, Chatila, David Morris and Moussaieff, with enormous precious stones, …And Gilbert Albert the extravagant Geneva jewelry designer.
The Fair organisers have again turned to Patrick Hourcade to develop a concept of luxurious and intimate comfort to present this heavy palette of jewellers. The tone will be pink and chocolate. On the other hand, the art and antiques exhibition continues to offer a city like surrounding with arched boutiques suggesting a de Chirico surreal cityscape harbouring its many treasures.
Illustration: Earrings set with yellow and black diamonds ( Avakian Gallery )
Fair catalogue 600 p. ill.col., 21x29,7 cm: rbl 600
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