Sotheby’s auction house has decided to stop selling paintings by Russian artists in New York due to fading interest in Russian painters in the States. From now on, Russian paintings will only be auctioned in London twice a year.
The decision was announced Thursday by Sonya Bekkerman, the head of Sotheby's Russian Paintings department at the opening of the auction house's Moscow display. The US branch will focus only on applied art from Russia, as this genre still interests not only Russian but American art collectors.
The decision to shift the auction house’s strategy was prompted by the market itself, as most collectors of Russian art reside in Moscow and London, says the head of the Russian Department at Sotheby's London.
Sotheby's was the main art dealer offering works by major Russian painters. There is a number of galleries, like ABA, Adler & Conkright Fine Art, Russian Art Salon and a few others that offer Russian art for sale. However they seldom offer art of the same value as Sotheby's.
The US Sotheby’s office will continue operating in America, but will search for suitable Russian paintings for its clients in London.
The next Russian Art Sale will be held in London on May 28-29.
A display of the art due to go under the hammer at the May auction has opened in Moscow. Among the highlights is "Bluebells" by Natalia Goncharova, estimated to sell for between $4.8 million and $6.4 million.