Fifth edition of Cosmoscow continues to strengthen Russia's contemporary art market

COSMOCOW is an international contemporary art fair hosted in Gostiny Dvor, a historic building and beautiful architectural monument located 150 meters away from the Kremlin.

Cosmoscow was launched by Russian collector and philanthropist Margarita Pushkina in 2010. Her goal was, and is, to attract Russian and international collectors, galleries, and artists. She told the Financial Times in a 2015 interview: "I realized that Moscow had an urgent need for a dynamic international contemporary art fair. We needed to develop the infrastructure of the market and to attract an international audience. Part of the parallel process was to introduce a new Russian audience to contemporary art and involve them by encouraging a dialogue... There is no modern history of collecting in Russia — it only started 20 years ago."

This fifth edition of the fair will bring 54 galleries to show off their artist rosters — an expanded figure from the 2016 edition, which hosted 38 galleries by comparison — with more than 150 artists on view. Representatives from diverse venues span the countries of Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, Georgia, Italy, Norway, Poland, Russia, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

The 2017 edition will launch a number of new initiatives, including a special Cosmoscow Stand Prize for the most impressive curatorial approach of on–site exhibitors, to be selected by a jury consisting of both Russian and international art institutions. In addition, this year's inaugural Collaborations sector invites galleries to share booths and successfully create a joint display.

One notable exhibition will be presented by the Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography, which will overview "100 Years of Photography" within Soviet history from 1920– 1990.

Among the newcomers this year are Askeri Gallery (Moscow), displaying works by Conor Mccreedy and Jae Yong Kim; Nadja Brykina Gallery (Zurich and Moscow), presenting works by Yuri Zlotnikov, Vladimir Andreenkov, Igor Shelkovsky, and Marlene Spindler; plus Art Select (Bahrain), an art consultancy promoting work by Balqees Fakhro.

A focus on Norway will highlight a cross–section of contemporary Norwegian art via five galleries. Oslo will be represented by LOCUS, an artist–run space and a small publishing house, and Khartoum Contemporary Art Centre (KCAC), a conceptual art initiative developing projects linked to Africa and the Middle East. Terminal B, a new project space in Kirkenes, is located at the border where Norway meets Russia.

Cosmoscow will take place September 8–10. — AFP Relaxnews