In a ceremony today William F. Ruprecht, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sotheby's, announced that Sotheby's has opened an office in Moscow and appointed Mikhail Kamensky as Managing Director. Mr Kamensky, a former Director and Presidential Advisor to the Bank of Moscow, will direct the company's efforts in Russia, whose collectors are increasingly becoming one of the world's most important and dominant forces in the art market. Sotheby's is the first international auction house to open an office in Russia, and its decision to establish an office in the region further strengthens Sotheby's foundations in the area which began nearly 20 years ago in 1988 when the company held a landmark sale of Russian avant-garde and Soviet contemporary art in Moscow.
Speaking about Sotheby's in Russia, Mr Ruprecht said: 'This initiative demonstrates Sotheby's continued commitment to Russia and our recognition that our Russian clients buy and sell at Sotheby's globally and want to be able to interact with us in Moscow. Our decision to establish an office in the region and appoint Mikhail Kamensky as Managing Director of our Moscow Office will enable us to bring a higher level of attention to our buyers and collectors based in Russia. These sophisticated and discerning collectors have tremendous buying power and are transforming the international art market.'
Managing Director of Sotheby's Russia, Mikhail Kamensky, commented: 'Since its landmark sale of Russian Avant-garde and Soviet Contemporary art in 1988, a sale which I attended and which sparked my interest in the auction business, the name Sotheby's and auctions have been virtually identical in the Russian mind. I believe Sotheby's has an extremely important role to play in meeting the Russian desire and need for art and culture. With the opening of our office, the company will be able to enrich Russian cultural life by bringing world art culture to Russian hands.'
Mikhail Kamensky - Managing Director, Sotheby's Russia: As Managing Director, Sotheby's Russia, Mikhail Kamensky is responsible for implementing a strategic plan for Russia, an important and dominant area for Sotheby's existing and future global business. Mr Kamensky's distinguished career spans both the Arts and Management, and he has worked for banks, museums, institutions and auction houses throughout Russia. He has spent time at Alpha Art Auction House as Art Director, where he was also a Board Member, he has worked as Senior Researcher at the Russian Ministry of Culture of Institute of Art Studies and at the world-class Pushkin Fine Arts Museum as a Deputy Director. Most recently Mr Kamensky has held a position as Director and Presidential Advisor to the Bank of Moscow.
Sotheby's Moscow Office, which is located just moments away from the Kremlin on Romanov Pereulok, 4, Bldg. 2, 125009, will allow Sotheby's to provide services for its international and Russian based clients, including Valuations, Financial Services, Educational Initiatives, Sotheby's Diamonds and Private Treaty sales. The office will also further facilitate Sotheby's plans to exhibit highlights from its worldwide sales in Moscow. In January this year the company, for the first time, brought to Moscow highlights from its inaugural London sale of Modern and Contemporary Russian Art, as well as highlights from its New York sale of Western Contemporary Art.
Moscow Exhibition at the State Historical Museum, Red Square 1 - May 24th-27th: To coincide with the opening of Sotheby's Moscow Office, the company will for the first time exhibit highlights from its June Sales of Impressionist & Modern and Contemporary Art, including one of the finest works from Claude Monet's celebrated waterlily series ever to have come to the market, Nympheas of 1904 (estimate: $20-30 million) and a sublime masterpiece by Francis Bacon, Self Portrait from 1978 (estimate: $16-24 million). Important works from Sotheby's June Russian Sale will also be on view, including the top lot and highest value piece in the sale, Still Life with Jug and Icon by the 20th century Russian painter Mikhail Fedorovich Larionov (estimate: $1.99-2.99 million).
Sotheby's in Russia: The company has been holding sales dedicated to Russian Art since 1985, and conducts annual sales of Modern and Contemporary Russian Art (in February to coincide with Sotheby's International Contemporary Art sales), biannual Russian Sales in London (in June and November) and an annual sale of Russian Art in New York (in April). In 2006, Sotheby's Russian Art sales raised a total $153 million (the highest annual total to date for sales of Russian art at Sotheby's worldwide) - an annual turnover which has grown 20-fold in the last six years - and already this year sales of Russian Art have realised $56.1 million.