Mikhail Kamensky has a very interesting essay in The Art Newspaper outlining the reasons for Russian Art’s predicament. More important, he points out the logic of the world discovering this undeniably rich vein of art history trapped in state museum vaults but also hidden behind a wall of misunderstanding and global friction:
During the 70 years of the Soviet Union’s history, the art market was monopolised by the state. This meant that the majority of works by the then leading artists headed straight to museums, now almost all of them are stuck in storage. […]
Russian art needs to be organically blended into the world’s art history, a task—both political and cultural—that should be a foreign policy priority. The visual Esperanto of Russia must incorporate art from Russia’s silver age (early 20th-century) and Modernism with that of its better-known avant-garde artists.
The recent opening in New York of the exhibition Russian Modernism: Cross-Currents of German and Russian Art, 1907-1917 is a milestone event (Neue Galerie, until 31 August). The side-by-side comparison of museum quality works by artists both known and unknown to visitors, in such a key institution, cannot go unnoticed.
Meanwhile, private museums and foundations, for Modern and contemporary art, are active in Russia, and also run projects outside of the country. They have purchasing power and the more ambitious their plans, the greater is their influence on the art market. My hopes for recovery and development are pinned on such institutions. Not only for the market for Russian artists, but for the entire cultural scene.
Why Russian art has been left in the cold (The Art Newspaper)