Colin Gleadell points out the dearth of Russian art sales as London’s Russian week collapsed to an all time low of £17m in sales, less than half the previous year’s already declining sales of £40m, across four different auction houses. Sotheby’s and Christie’s accounted for that bulk of that total:
The decline in the rouble and the price of oil were just two of the factors that contributed to the downturn. Art that is compatible with socialist realism, however, is still in demand. Both Sotheby’s and Christie’s sales were led by paintings of rugged peasant women by Ukranian artist Abram Arkhipov, which sold for several times their estimates. Peasant Woman in a Red Dress at Sotheby’s was a classic idealisation of peasant life in the 1920s and sold for a record £905,000, more than three times the estimate.
Market News: Russia’s record low (Telegraph)