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The Russian art market — 2017. The results
ARTinvestment.RU   21 december 2017

The turnover of the auction market for Russian art in Russia and abroad, the indicators of consumer activity, trends, achievements and failures of the year, as well as the arguments on the subject, where are we even moving?

the status of the Russian art market in 2017

I'll tell you that the statistics below generally confirm our subjective impression: 2017 was for the Russian art market a year of recovery from the crisis. The personal economic situation of the majority of the old buyers of Russian art has not improved. At least not better enough to return to active acquisitions. And even the influx of new collectors (and they appear) could not compensate for the General decline in consumer activity.

on the other hand, much worse too. It was about the same as last year. And figures, and trends. The volume of sales at auction in Russia (painting, drawing, sculpture — segment OUT) in 2017 rose by almost a third compared with the year 2016 and almost $9 million.

On the Russian auction market (and the experience of our AI Auction did not contradict) in the segment FROM increased demand for-прежнему use of the sixties and seventies ("the Committee"). Interest and quality classics in a range of up to 400 000 rubles. The most active people are in the price range of up to 100 000 rubles. Well, the upper border of the Kingdom emotional purchases ("like — bought") is an amount of 30 000 rubles.

table 1. Indicators of auction of Russian art market (ARTS) before and after the crisis

Indicator / year 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Sales volume at domestic auctions, million dollars 21 14 4,6 7 8,7
Average share of lots sold at domestic auctions,% 39 41 35 44 38
The volume of sales of Russian art at world auctions *, million dollars 525 677 573 287 455
Average share of Russian lots sold at world auctions,% 52 48 48 52 47

* the global turnover of Russian art, we include the results of the auction deals with the works of all artists orbit Russian art, who were born or have long lived and worked in the territory of the Russian Empire / USSR / Russia, including Mark Rothko, Chaim Soutine, Marc Chagall and Wassily Kandinsky. Source:

the Most expensive paintings in 2017

table 2. Top-10 most expensive paintings of Russian artists at international auctions in 2017

PlaceArtistPriceWork`s name
1Kandinsky, Vasily Vasilievich41 828 688 USDBild mit Weissen Linien (Painting with white lines)
2Rothko, Mark32 375 000 USDSaffron
3Chagall, Marc28 453 000 USDLes amoureux
4Malevich, Kazimir Severinovich21 162 500 USDSuprematist Composition with Plane in Projection
5Feshin, Nikolay Ivanovich4 874 682 USDPortrait of Nadezhda Sapozhnikova
6Jawlensky, Alexey Georgievich4 086 385 USDInfantin, Spanierin (Spanish Infanta)
7Deineka, Alexandr Alexandrovich3 820 123 USDHeroes of the First Five-Year Plan
8Goncharova, Nataliya Sergeevna3 208 455 USDStill life with teapot and oranges
9Lempicka, Tamara de3 012 500 USDPortrait de Kizette
10Staël, Nicolas2 295 000 USDLe phare (Antibes)

* the Rating is made according to the rule of "one artist — one painting" to the top consisted of several paintings by the same author.


the Most expensive Russian work 2017 in the press immediately nicknamed "Kandinsky in the Tretyakov gallery". It is known that this painting in 1919, bought the Museum of painterly culture in Volkhonka. After 1920, the painting was moved to the Tretyakov gallery. Around 1974 it-то manner acquired (purchased or traded) by the German collector Wilhelm hack. The magazine "der Spiegel" shared assumption that the hack is suggested the authorities of the USSR Lenin's letter, and a valuable canvas Kandinsky was part of the deal. Anyway, but in 2017, "Painting with white lines" set an auction record for the work of Kandinsky and updated top Russian artists.

unlike the native of the Russian Empire, Mark Rothko. For him, $ 32 million not a personal record. But in 2017happened just like that. Luxurious, two meters, pulsating with color picture of "the Saffron" is a particularly valuable period and can become a decoration of any Museum.

"Lovers" by Marc Chagall — is one of the most beautiful works of the artist that when-либо exhibited at the auction. So nobody was surprised when, from-за it had not only to govern personal record (which was held in 1990), but also to rewrite the auction rating for Russian art as a whole. It is possible that "Valentine" bought a Russian collector. There is no exact information, but in the final, was traded to buyers from Russia and Asia.

Selling the paintings of Malevich Suprematist — is always an event. On the market his paintings — rare piece goods. In 2017 had the chance. And it may happen that the next such case the collectors have to wait years and even decades. "Suprematist composition with plane in projection" comes from the legendary collection of Nikolai Hardzhieva. It's possible she participated in a landmark avant-garde "0.10" in 1915. The picture was exhibited many times — in the museums of the Guggenheim, Tate Modern, etc. And in terms of provenance it matters not — hence the price.

That unites all these millions records? First, they were established for Russian artists not national but international importance. That is, for those hunted by collectors all over the world, not just ours. And second: all these records were set not in Russia. In the internal auction market the most expensive bid for painting in 2017 amounted to almost $290 000. As we say, feel the difference.

table 3. Top-10 of the most expensive works of the sixties at international auctions in 2017

PlaceArtistPriceWork`s name
1Bulatov, Erik Vladimirovich517 055 USDHappy New Year
2Yankilevsky, Vladimir Borisovich289 900 USDАдам и Ева (Триптих №5)
3Kabakov, Iliya Iosifovich277 738 USDFlying 12
4Veisberg, Vladimir Grirorievich169 431 USDStill life with cubes and cylinders
5Tselkov, Oleg Nikolaevich166 500 USDFour-headed woman and two men
6Bruskin, Grisha150 210 USDMoonlight
7Vasiliev, Oleg Vladimirovich100 140 USDView of the Statue of Liberty on a Foggy Night
8Orlov, Boris Konstantinovich98 566 USDВоинство земное и воинство небесное
9Sitnikov, Vasily Yakovlevich91 575 USDKremlin under the snow
10Purygin, Leonid Anatolievich86 970 USDРождение Венеры


table 4. Top-10 of the most expensive works of contemporary art

PlaceArtistPriceWork`s name
1Guriyanov, Georgy Konstantinovich61 529 USDШтурвал
2Peppershtein, Pavel Viktorovich32 795 USDThe Dying Gangster
3Dubosarsky V.E. | Vinogradov A.A.32 795 USDЛето (Диптих)
4Novikov, Timur Petrovich29 036 USDOdysseus journey
5Logutov, Vladimir23 192 USDБез названия
6Zakharov, Vadim Arisovich22 991 USDSans titre
7Tsoy, Viktor Robertovich21 255 USDУбийство
8Zigura, Egor20 000 USDColossus that awakens
9Savchenkov, Inal19 713 USDНочной охотник
10Deyak, Mikhail Mikhailovich18 531 USDWater


Events in 2017 with a plus sign

1. 22 March 2017 was approved by the national standard "Examination of works of art. Paintings and drawings. General requirements" (GOST R 57424-2017). it was first recorded demands on the expert opinion and specify the dataset that you want to make some changes. The standard is not mandatory for application. Who wants — can issue opinions on its form. But who wants to paper of course, knows what to appeal. An important feature of the "standard for examination of art" was the obligation of the contractor in writing inform the customer about the presence or absence of the contract professional liability insurance expert who will carry out the examination of the object. It is expected that in the future it will be an incentive to insure the work of the experts.

2. All major market participants have experienced this year. Plus there are new auctions and other forms of organization trade. If in the past year and even before the auctions were closed or suspended the operation until better times, but this year, on the contrary, there were new players — e.g., "auction No. 1", "auction house Egorov". Fair format continues to try "Gathering collectors". That is, in the market there are new centers of art-жизни that exactly once with a plus sign.

3. The outgoing year showed a persistently high level of interest in exhibitions of art. The crowd was Rafael in Pushkin, on the "Thaw" in the state Tretyakov gallery and other blockbusters. The authorities have not yet published data on attendance in 2017-м year, but would not be surprised if the record of last year (123 million visitors) will be broken. Alas, this interest in the community to museums and exhibitions has a high correlation with the activity of people in the Russian art market: "Love the art — is not to want to buy it". However, there is hope that one day the quantity turns into quality and part of a new generation of viewers converted to customers.

Events in 2017 with a minus sign

1. In 2017, the state Duma twice missed the opportunity to simplify our national art-бизнесу trade particuarly art. In the past year again failed to amend the law 1993 "On the export and import of cultural values". the amendments developed by the deputies Andrei Makarov and Olga Kazakova, were designed to simplify cross-border transactions with works of art under 50 years of age. In particular, there was a chance to address the current insanity with obtaining an export permit for the works of contemporary artists. Which are already pretty thin in terms of oppressed art-рынка. Most of the existing restrictions — legacy of the times we shall not sell, and squander the national cultural heritage. As it turned out, people far from art-рынка still good are the stories about some greedy investor (and probably even Americans) who bought up cheaply by Russian artists and will take out abroad. The explanation that all is not so long ago, officials and deputies do not apply. Or act, but it is easier to live on templates. If everything is banned —so, well done, patriot. None of the companions do not blame. And if you think about the benefit of artists and the business — means liberal, lobbyist, and probably altogether corrupt. Okay. To sum up. In 2016, the legislation actually prohibitive for the export of works of art, has not improved. Foreign buyers on the-прежнему quickly lose interest to the Russian paintings as soon as you know about the procedure of removal. Associated with these economic losses of Russian artists, galleries and auctions, the government do not care. In the end, ahead of — at least another year of missed export opportunities. And who would of thought.

2. In December 2017 was officially announced that the premises the CHA will be transferred to the Tretyakov gallery. The consequences of the court decision on liquidation of the International Confederation of unions of artists, the successor of the Union of artists of the USSR. It took place in September 2016. While it was hoped that the liquidation process will drag on for years and yet the fact that the building will give it the New Tretyakov gallery. But in December, there were signals that the situation will evolve more rapidly: the Minister of culture Vladimir Medinsky reported in the Duma, CHA, "which were illegally privatized", depart Tretyakov Gallery, and the complex on the Crimean Shaft, 10, will be the largest exhibition facility in the country. For the Russian art market that will be enormous negative consequences. Artists will lose their budget exhibition area with the "gravity" of visitors, the gallery-арендаторы — customer-friendly shopping locations, and all of us together — Antique Salon, which was held in the Central house of artists for over 20 years. A full-fledged alternative to this site is not yet proposed. Yes, most likely, will not.

3. At the end of 2017 adopted the law that share data on sold works organization representing the interests of the artist, for payment of compensation to him (about 5 % of the value of resold paintings). It's called the Federal law of December 5, 2017. No. 381-ФЗ "On amendments to article 1293 part four of the Civil code of the Russian Federation". It requires that copies of accounting documents, as well as, apparently, disclosure of information about sellers in the interests of an outside organization for management of rights on a collective basis. Because clients — is a key value art-бизнеса (and any business in General), no one in their right mind does not want to do. That is, except the additional financial burden on business (and therefore, the buyers of art), work in the conditions of the new law will require from galleries, auctions and SP a significant restructuring of the current business-процессов to fulfill № 381-ФЗ, but not to be in conflict with the law № 152-ФЗ "On personal data". New costs (administrative, legal, clerical, etc.) mean that the transaction for the sale of art will once again be expensive and confusing. Consequently, buy art will be even less than now.

What happens to the circle? If all goes as planned by the authorities (state Duma, the Ministry of culture and other agencies who are familiar with the situation in the country), then next year's art-бизнесу have to work in more difficult conditions — without promoted fairs inthe usual CHA, without foreign markets, and even with the new risks in business-процессах from-за legal uncertainty around payments on copyright (the right route). Everything was done on purpose: to "traders" think not on the blockchain and no plans on digital economy, but only about how to survive and adapt to the changing rules of the game. Why did the government want to complicate the lives of the members of the national art market —, I do not understand. Say, about money and talking about the next "trough"? What can I say, not discussed. That's only on the potential consequences of all this is more like sabotage and economic sabotage. Well, what money can be collected at the devastation? However who-то (let's call them so) hard to the expiring 2017-й we are not regarded as a year of missed opportunities, and just remembering how the last relatively quiet. Okay, now to escalate. Wait — will see. In the end, where we did not disappear.

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