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In presenting paintings of modern Russian Masters to the art market, the Pushkin Gallery is doing much more than providing investment quality art. Founder, Kenneth Pushkin, is dedicated to satisfying a personal commitment to share the heart and soul of Russia, its gifted culture and profound history.
The Pushkin Gallery is located in Santa Fe, New Mexico, one of the hubs of the international art market, considered the third largest art market in the U.S. The Pushkin Gallery opened its doors in 2000 as the first Russian Gallery in Santa Fe, and the first in the United States to focus specifically on important, yet unknown Lifetime Collections. Mr. Pushkin, a pioneer collector of Russian Art, recognized the intrinsic and historic value of these paintings and focused on this exciting and emerging area of art. His instincts were right and the interest and appreciation of Russian Art in the marketplace has increased dramatically. The Pushkin Gallery has been further enhanced with the addition of Lifetime Collections by Nikolai Timkov (1912-1993), Boris Chetkov (1926-2010), Vasily Golubev (1925-1985), Viktor Korovin (1936-1991) and Vassily Borisenkov (1924-2007), as well as individual works by other important artists. To accompany these collections, Mr. Pushkin has published nine scholarly and exquisite books along with several catalogs showcasing the lives and works of these Russian Masters.
Kenneth Pushkin, a member of the noble Pushkin family and founder of the non-profit Pushkin Fund, spends a great deal of time in Russia. As an expert with well-developed ties to the Russian cultural and art community, he enjoys the opportunity to see countless collections and individual works of relatively unknown Soviet Era painters. With an eye trained as an investor, art historian and dealer, Mr. Pushkin selects only the most distinctive and highest quality paintings that meet his strict criteria.
Many visitors comment that the Pushkin Gallery is like a museum. "Perhaps, it's because we disseminate knowledge," remarks Kenneth. "Our paintings are outstanding examples of the world of Russian Art, fine and unique, and they are proving to be excellent investments. The value and collectibility of the paintings at the Pushkin Gallery is further heightened through our publications, sustained international promotion, and museum and auction placement. These combined elements provide our collectors with an extraordinary opportunity."
The emergence of the market for Russian Modernist Art is a fascinating narrative, symmetrical as it is to the dramatic collapse of the Iron Curtain. The on-going plot is even more intriguing because of the historical ironies involved and the fast paced tempo in which the story continues to evolve. The cast of characters centers around the passionate artists compelled to express their inner visions and their audience; art lovers, dealers, historians and critics.
Prior to the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, Russian art collectors were among the most prominent and prolific in the world, on occasion snapping up whole collections. The Soviet Era put an end to that practice. Ironically, 100 years later, art collectors from Russia and the United States are spending millions acquiring Russian art, some of the finest in the world. In fact, an auction of Russian art at Sotheby's in London (Evening Sale, June 2014) brought in $34,863,810. In the past three years, each successive auction at Sotheby's and Christie's has resulted in increased revenues. As a result, art experts believe Russian art will continue to grow in popularity. Recent history and economic forecasts justify their optimism.
More billionaires reside in Russia than anywhere else on the planet, according to Forbes Magazine. While that irony might depress a Karl Marx, the economic factors necessary for enormous capital formation over such a short period of time are clearly evident. Russia is rich in natural resources, especially oil. The increase in the value of art is directly linked to the rise in the price of crude, according to Stern in the News, a publication of New York University's Leonard N. Stern's School of Business.
In the 20 th Century the most famous Russian painters - Chagall, Kandinsky and Malevich, for example, were first recognized outside of Russia. Once these artists became famous, they were embraced in their homeland where the wealthiest collectors vied for their works. The discovery of quality Russian art of the Soviet era has followed the trend.
Pioneer art scholar Kenneth Pushkin, understood the opportunity when he first visited Russia, the land of his ancestors, in the early 90's. With his network of Russian art historians, he scoured the cities and the countryside to find the works of these lost masters. This ongoing process is not an easy one, but the results justify the effort. When Kenneth discovers a rare painting or collection and brings it back to the Pushkin Gallery, another chapter is added to one of the most exhilarating dramas in art history, a story that is far from over.
This book accompanies the first retrospective exhibition of works by Boris Chetkov in the United Kingdom. Re-imagining Russia, during Russian Art Week, presents the artist through his landscape and genre paintings.The vibrant and colourful pictures in this volume will introduce readers to his energetic and wide-ranging oeuvre. Theodora Clarke discusses the artist's life and work and places Chetkov in the context of Modernism and Russian art after World War II.
Theodora Clarke is Editor of the arts magazine, Russian Art and Culture, and Director of Russian Art Week in London. A renowned curator, art historian and critic on Russian art, she lectures widely on European modernism and the avant-garde artists of the early twentieth century.Theodora studied for her MA in Russian Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art and formerly worked for Christie's Auction House and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Boris Chetkov was born to paint, with a passion and an unbending desire to show his art to the world. He understood his calling not just with his mind, but with his heart and soul, and he followed his path relentlessly. His career took him from rural Russia, through Stalin's gulag, to the museums of St. Petersburg and Moscow, and famous private collections. He struggled against artistic oppression during the Soviet Era, but was rewarded in the twilight of life with international exhibitions, recognition and success.
In his lifetime Boris Chetkov painted hundreds of canvases in many styles and genres from landscapes and still lifes to portraits, equestrian scenes and abstractions. All of these are generously represented in this volume containing over one hundred of his masterworks, accompanied by Dr. Alexander Borovsky's writings on the artist.