Art domain

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This new online domain .ART is a revolution for art and culture internet community! Web is a whole different world which can be difficult to navigate, so there must be some order, right?

Links to the websites can be managed in variety of ways, the most popular way of sorting enormous amount of websites is by country. Country domain is usually two-three letters, for example .fr for France, .ru for Russia etc. Another way of sorting domains is by industry, for example .edu is for education. This is when .ART comes in play.

In todays digital era and time of globalisation, when art and culture cross borders and no longer defined by nationality, why stick to national domain? .ART is here to unitise the art community. I think it is a brilliant idea to make it about the industry.

Collectors, foundations, news portals, galleries, museums, across the world have already adopted new domain. It is safe to say that the rest will follow. Across the early adopters of .art domain are ICA museum in London, Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Francis Bacon Foundation, Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, Magritte Foundation and even Kickstarter for art projects. So if you are in the industry, hurry to register your domain, as they are going very fast.

.ART, what an elegant solution for uniting unlimited web. Create your identity by upgrading your online presence and switch to .ART

Lisson Gallery night

Today Lisson Gallery had a late nigh opening of two shows: Anish Kapoor in gallery 67 Lisson Street and Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg exhibition at 27 Bell street. Both premises are in 2 minutes walk from each other so it is easy to see both. Both exhibitions are on display from 31st March until May 6.

I saw Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg first, it attracted many views. It was not big, only two rooms with major piece in the first room. The exhibition is called ‘Who am I to Judge, or, It Must be Something Delicious,’. The artwork is crafted in animated style – sought in the moment. It is surely interesting standing there and exploring each figure individually and how they interrelate. The display is bold, definitely questioning societies’ standards and pushing boundaries. See for yourself:

Anish Kapoor often works for Lisson Gallery and it is his sixteenth exhibition there. It was very refreshing to see variety of working techniques, not only his iconic cylinder shaped plates. Many abstract works were presented over two floors of the gallery and several large scale sculptures.

Opening night was busy as always with people drinking and sharing their opinions. If you are near the gallery check out these shows.

Ojas Art Gallery

Delhi is full of Art Galleries, old masters and contemporary ones. Our trip was packed with sightseeing so we did not have much time for commercial art galleries, however, we had a chance to visit one – Ojas Art Gallery. This is a contemporary art gallery which takes an innovative approach to Indian Art.

There is an indoor space (the main hall) and there is also a nice garden in front of a building. The main gallery building was closed the day we passed by so we only had a walk in the garden. Here are the sculptures that were displayed.



Frieze Masters


When I attended Frieze Masters two years ago it was not as popular as Frieze and the quality of art works was amazing – every artwork was a masterpiece. This time it was as more crowded and less engaging. I missed this years Masterpiece, so I can not compare these two art fairs.

All leading galleries participated showcasing multimillion art pieces. Wide range of art could satisfy any visitor: you could have found sculptures, canvases, icons, porcelain and antiques. Masterpieces by Picasso, Magritte, Fontana, Bacon and other well known artist were presented by different galleries. Old Masters galleries preferred conservative display of their artworks – either white walls or dark walls with light directed on the paintings.

I also want to point out the difference between Frieze contemporary ad Frieze masters and how two very different groups are targeted. In contemporary art fair the food offered was mostly pizza and sandwiches – food to go and on Frieze Masters you had more sophisticated options – oyster bar, champaign bar and high end Japanese restaurant.

Altogether it was more pleasant experience comparing to the main fair. And it is a great opportunity to explore masterpieces that belong to private hands and are rarely displayed to general public.

Frieze Art Fair

I attended Frieze art fair on the last day just before it’s closing time. The fair was in Regents Park between 6 and 9 of October. During last day it was still overcrowded and felt like a supermarket with no particular order. I rarely like contemporary art and this fair was not an exception.

All works at Frieze art fair were for sale, however, I could not imagine buying anything for my home. The majority of art works were “museum type” – large scale and weirdly made. I am not an art critic, but I would never put a tower made from furniture and decorations in my living room.

In the garden before entrance there is an installation with different tights stretched across tree branches and fences and continued inside the hall. The exhibition was a part of Frieze Project and created by Martin Soto Climent, Mexican Artist. The idea was to transfer the entrance into a dreamy-looking spider web. I am not sure if tights was the right tool to implement the ice because the entrance looked odd.

The Modern Institute‘s booth stood out, they used garage wall to display the works. It was something different from other exhibitors and caught my eye instantly. This UK gallery has a very fresh and interesting way of displaying the art. Their gallery in Glasgow transforms from industrial to white cube and then to marble space to better capture exhibitions. Now, I really want to go to Glasgow to visit it..

Another gallery that stood out was Marianne Boesky Gallery with there white cube space.  All white – artworks, walls and floor. I think this was one of the most photographed places during Frieze, white background was a perfect setting for pictures.

This gallery looked out of place, it seemed like a stand from Chelsea Flower Show rather than Frieze contemporary. It was 303 Gallery and garden installation is by Karen Kilimnik, American artist.

Here are some artworks that made me stop and look at them. Especially photograph of a swimmer – it looks extremely powerful, full of strength and will power.

And here is a lot of weird staff..

All in all it was a good way to see what is trending and what is the current state of contemporary art. Not many artworks were marked as sold but not all galleries display red stickers. I have noticed that a lot of art was broken into pieces and also many artworks were made with everyday furniture and home appliances. And pink Barbie installation, what is that about?

P.S. Some more interesting artworks for you to see.


Week prior to Frieze in London is full of late night openings and exhibition previews. House of the Nobleman opened its doors on 41 Conduit Street for the private view of British artist – Wolfe von Lenkiewicz. The exhibition is called “L’Oeuvre” which is ironic, since all his works are a modern take on well known masterpieces. So the title consonant with Louvre seems on point.

The exhibition is rather private and space is intimate. Many curious people and the artist was also among the crowd. It is on for a short time, so if you want to see these paintings in the flash you have to hurry – doors are open 5th–9th October, 10am – 8pm.

“…and the wall fell away”

It is a Frieze week, so many galleries scheduled private views and exhibition openings around it. So art community is very busy going from gallery to gallery exploring new exciting artworks and artists.

Stephen Friedman Gallery opened its doors for a private view of an exhibition “…and the wall fell away” by Yinka Shonibare MBE on September 27. This display will remain until 5th November  so you can visit the gallery any time to see the works. The exhibition is split between two spaces on the same street – one with paintings and the second one with sculptures and large painting in the front of the gallery.

The display is nice and clear, minimalistic interior helps to focus on the artworks. The artist was born in London but moved to Nigeria at the early age. However, he came back to London for collage. Yinka’s art explores race, religion, inequalities and other social issues.

Shonibare reinvents classical statues giving his interpretation with bold bright colours. His screen prints on canvas test Western religious ideals and provides personal vision of identity. Raising in Nigeria reflected on Shonibare art as he developed themes of nationality and colonial history in his art.

Family Office and Art

Wealth management industry is well developed in providing art related services; however, family offices in particular are not as developed as they could be. At the moment, the market for art related services is at the expansion stage and almost 40% of FOs are not offering art advise to their clients. This might be explained by the fact that a lot of collectors already have the knowledge required to manage their collection and are not looking for any advice. Alternatively, families with large collections are likely to have a curator that is working for them and is not a part of a family office. In this case families would not discuss their art with family office to avoid a curatorial overlap. Those FOs who are offering art related services for their clients are still more likely to use The Outsourced Model, rather than The Expert Generalist Model or in house. Although the difference between outsourcing (32%) and expert generalist (29%) is not very significant – only 3%.

A comprehensive in house art advisory is almost impossible to run due to the range of connoisseurs and experts required to cover different areas of the market, but is not necessary for business reasons. As art related services contribute to a very small proportion of the FO business at the moment. It is inefficient to invest many resources into insignificant activities of the business. Therefore, expert generalist model is the only possible in house model for art advisory in FO at the moment. The need for art advisory in house has been identified as a future model in order for family office not to lose any aspects of their relationship with the clients. It is likely that when outsourcing some aspect of the relationship is lost as clients are redirected to the 3rd party and family officer is no longer aware of what is happening to all the client’s assets.

There is a room for improvement in this research if the interviewee sample is increased. By doing that the information gathered would be more representative and reliable. Not only the sample size could be increased, but also a new target group could be introduced: interviewing the families in MFO. This would provide a new perspective on the subject. By having the opinion of the families on art related services, it can be analysed whom they trust more: an in house specialist or an independent one, would they use art advisory services if they were provided in house, would they consider staring a collection managed by FO, etc. A new perspective from the families can identify the need for these services within FO and shape the future of the industry. However, it is difficult to interview families to find out their views as family offices cannot reveal their clients’ identities, therefore, they can only be approached through personal network.

It is only logical to suggest that collaboration between FO and art advisory is likely to increase in the future. Family offices are seeking art advisory due to organic growth of wealthy art collectors. At the moment outsourcing is the most typical way of fulfilling this market need; however, there is evidence to suggest that in the future The Expert Generalist Model will increase as family offices acknowledge that at least one employee should be in house to coordinate all of the clients’ art needs. Moreover, the increased level of competition among multi family offices requires a greater level of differentiation between them. At the same time there the increasing desire and potential of UHNWIs to collect art. The Expert Generalist Model is where supply and demand meet: family offices achieve greater level of differentiation and satisfy clients’ demand for art.

Family Office is primarily overlooking financial affairs and as art is becoming a substantial part of wealth investment and recognised more as an asset class, there is an opportunity for the family offices to develop the range of their services. Considering the unstable performance of traditional assets in 2008, one way of differentiating for FOs is to develop alternative investment department which includes art. Financial services such as lending against art and creating small art funds can be a substantial part of the business in the future.

The hypothesis, which was identified in the beginning – The majority of family offices that offer art advisory services use The Expert Generalist Model –, has not been proven throughout the study. Even though the majority of family offices that offer art advisory services use The Outsourced Model the difference between the number of FOs using that and The Expert Generalist Model is only 3%, which is within margin of error.

Yayoi Kusama

Victoria Miro Gallery at Wharf Road presents an exciting exhibition by Yayoi Kusama. The exhibition is on until July 30th, the admission is free and there is no need to book in advance. However it can be busy, especially on Saturday, it is closed on Sundays and Mondays. There is another paintings exhibition by Kusama in Mayfair in Victoria Miro Gallery, do not mix them up!

Victoria Miro is a contemporary art gallery. The space is a traditional white cube. The exhibition spreads over three floors and back garden. Yayoi Kusama is a famous Japanese born artist and she has quite a resume! She was the artist representing Japan in 45th Venice Biennial, exhibited her artworks in Tate Modern (London), Centre Pompidou (Paris), Whitney Museum (New York) and also had a collaboration with one of the most recognised high fashion brands – Louis Vuitton.

There are three mirror rooms – one is in the garden, one on the ground floor and one on the second floor. The rooms are “space within a space” with mirrors on the walls and ceilings. Visitors are queueing outside each room and assistant lets people one at a time or group at a time, for those who came together. They only let you in for a short time, it felt like 20 seconds.

The rooms are: All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins, Chandelier of Grief and Where the Lights in My Heart Go. Considering amount of mirrors, you might as well call them “selfie rooms”, everyone took pictures inside (myself included).

I visited only two out of three rooms because Where the Lights in My Heart Go is outdoors and gets closed in bad weather to protect the artwork from excessive humidity.  I was told that there are some wholes in the ceiling so the daylight can get inside the room and sunbeam reflects in the mirrors. It is a shame that it was a rainy dyad we did not get the chance to go inside.

I visited All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins and Chandelier of Grief. I really enjoyed  both of them. It is a very strange feeling – being inside these mirror rooms, it felt like being in some magical space out of this world. Mirrors play with your mind and your perception of reality. Room with pumpkins was very intimate due to a very pleasant warm yellow colour of artwork pieces. Chandelier room was also very engaging, it was a bit confusing at first with all the patterns and repetitions in the mirror, but then I separated the reality from reflection.

Apart from mirror rooms there are some sculptures, paintings and a small gift shop with different books and small sculptures. It is a nice touch that all assistants are wearing T-shirts with Kusama’s signature spots pattern.

#YayoiKusama #InstaKusama

Russian Art at MacDougall’s

Today I visited preview of Russian Art Sale coming up on Wednesday, June 8 in MacDougall’s auction house. This auction is a part of a Russian Art Week in London (3rd to 10th of June): leading auction houses such as Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Bonhams conduct specialised sales in Russian Art. A lot of events are happening this week such as art exhibitions, lectures and workshops celebrating Russian culture.

The auction house was packed today and it was nice to hear many conversations discussing artworks in many languages. This time the crowd was extremely diverse, and to be honest, it was a pleasure to see a lot of interest from non-russians.

There were different types of art: paintings, photography, sketches, icons and porcelain figures. Subject matters were also very diverse – landscapes of classical Russian sceneries, portraits, some works had a political themes. Some artists were not very well known, however, there were some artworks by famous Russian artists such as Korovin, Aivazovsky and Lebedev.

The exhibition was over two floors: the layout of the first floor was museum like showcasing artworks individually, lower ground floor was a bit overwhelming with a lot of works.

Overall, it was a very pleasant visit with a lot of beautiful art. Entertaintment-wise there was live music which also created nice atmosphere. The estimated prices greatly varied, so whatever your budget is you can find something suitable.  Enjoy the photos!


One painting particularly moved me. It is an oil on canvas “Three Sisters” by Nikolai Bogdanov-Belshy (1868-1945). To be completely honest, I have never came across with his works before, but there was something about it very touching. These sisters look calm and maybe a bit sad at the same time, but there is something about their eyes that made me stop and stand there for a while.