Artnet has Michael Bown wandering Art Moscow. Here he ducks into a Kiev gallery and gets a cold dose of reality:
Natasha Sheiko of Tsekh Gallery, Kiev’s leading contemporary gallery, told a similar tale. Nearly all the buyers in her fine high-ceilinged post-industrial space in Kiev hail from Europe or Russia, while Ukrainian demand remains very weak. Sheiko also reported that Viktor Pinchuk, the man who brought international contemporary art to Kiev, has slashed his exhibition budget, and the opening of his new museum is still unscheduled.
The state of woe in Ukraine was borne out incidentally on the stand of another Kiev gallery, Collection Gallery, where a large work by Ilya Chichkan, Ukrainian representative at the last Venice Biennale and arguably Ukraine’s most adored artist, was available for a mere $15,000. At the Fine Art Gallery booth, paintings by Masha Shubina — who happens to be Chichkan’s wife as well as winner of last year’s Pinchuk Art Center special prize — were priced at $10,000.
Masha told me that her Pinchuk prize, money apart, consists of work experience in Antony Gormley’s London studio. So, one of Ukraine’s better-known young artists has been rewarded with the job of making coffee for the spindly maestro. He’s a lucky guy.
Art Moscow 2010 (Artnet.com)