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Russian billionaire collector Mikhelson continues support for art despite downturn – Bloomberg

Posted by artradar on February 16, 2009


Varoli reports on Bloomberg that Leonid Mikhelson is sponsoring a display of 30 works by 20th-century Russian master artist Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin, many of which are well known to the public.

Billionaire Leonid Mikhelson’s company OAO Novatek is sponsoring Russia’s first exhibition of a state museum’s works by a private gallery, with a display of 30 masterpieces by the 20th-century master Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin.

Russia’s second-biggest gas producer is making history 534 miles southeast of Moscow at the Victoria Gallery in the Volga city of Samara. Patronage is aiding Russian culture despite the decline in economic growth, stocks and the ruble.

Some of the paintings, known to many Russians since childhood, show a Bolshevik leader dying on the battlefield and a peasant riding a red horse which sails off into the sky.

“Novatek doesn’t abandon friends in hard times,” Vladimir Smirnov, Novatek’s vice-chairman, said in an interview. “We will continue to finance exhibitions at leading Russian museums.” The pieces are on loan from St. Petersburg’s State Russian Museum.

Novatek’s  is also financing the Russian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in June 2009.

The company is the main sponsor and has pledged 300,000 euros ($385,700). Mastercard Worldwide is another leading sponsor of the pavilion, while the Russian government pays about 10 percent of the costs.

“Without Novatek’s support, it wouldn’t have been possible to pull this off,” said Olga Sviblova, chairwoman of the Russian Pavilion. “Most Russian companies prefer to support classical art, not contemporary art.”

About Mikhelson:

Novatek Chief Executive Officer Mikhelson is a collector of Russian fine art. While he declined to comment about his collection, art dealers say he prefers 19th-century and early 20th-century Russian art.

Born in a town on the Caspian Sea in Russia’s republic of Dagestan, Mikhelson graduated in 1977 from Samara’s Civil Engineering Institute. Before helping to create Novatek in 1994, he spent most of his career building gas pipelines.

In April 2008, Forbes estimated Mikhelson’s fortune at $5.9 billion, and ranked him as Russia’s 27th richest person.

Source: Bloomberg

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One Response to “Russian billionaire collector Mikhelson continues support for art despite downturn – Bloomberg”

  1. How would it look like if a painting portrays Mr OBAMA… as not a politician but a discipline of thought… ?

    Obama quotes Gandhi as his hero…

    I see “OBAMA… not just a politician but a discipline of thought…!”

    Renaissance, once again…..!

    How would it look like if a painting portrays Mr OBAMA… as not a politician but a discipline of thought… ?


    As a natural lover of art I have attempted a painting* [* Size 20” x 30”, oil on canvas] that portrays Mr. OBAMA, as his name is being inscribed in the timeline of human progress…

    The painting is aimed to become a distinct work of art for future generations to know Mr OBAMA… as not a politician but a discipline of thought…

    It talks about the change in the social-economic-political USA of 2009…. forced by several eye opening factors, primary being the economic crisis of some terrifying magnitude… and a load of others…

    It talks about an amazing little Scrabble that interlinks three of the most powerful words in today’s world.. viz… Peace, America, Obama..

    It talks about the balanced intellect of the youngest president where he is neither left handed nor right handed. He may take sweet decisions and bitter ones, the sole effort is towards making things “right”.

    It tells a little story about the red color of its flag … the original dark red shade changing to blood red and again going back to [191,10, 48 ] dark red… as the left handed American president uses his right hand as well while he re-colors the original dark red color [191,10, 48 ] in its flag …

    It says about the new president’s belief that “Peace Is Power” and not the opposite.

    It attempts to portray the hopes and the faith of American people…. symbolized by a kid [the future] as the angel [the destiny] is blessing…

    It talks about “OBAMA… not a politician but a discipline of thought… “

    “The change”….. “The journey”… “191,10, 48 back to 191,10, 48…” “Renaissance, once again…..”,

    as the world is watching…


    Sandeep Doshi.
    Self taught artist charged with positive emotions

    Mumbai , INDIA

    Would anyone agree me that the word Obama is ‘actually’ working… to restore hope, faith, peace and the long lost smile?

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