artnet: Two Russian Galleries Pull Out of the Art Fair List and Will Be Replaced with Ukrainian Spaces

Two Russian galleries have withdrawn their participation in the next edition of the Liste art fair in Basel, and their locations will be taken over by two Ukrainian galleries, Artnet News has learned.

Fragment, which has spaces in Moscow and New York, and Moscow-based Osnova, have confirmed they will no longer be featured at List, which is scheduled to take place June 13-19.

The two Ukrainian galleries that will take their place are The Naked Room, based in Kyiv, which is the producer of the Ukrainian pavilion at the Venice Biennale, and Volochyn Gallery, whose founders, Max and Julia Voloshyn, have been stranded in the United States since their trip to Art Basel Miami Beach. Their gallery at home has become a bomb shelter.

“We highly appreciate the decision of our two Russian galleries, Fragment and Osnova, to withdraw from this year’s Art Fair Basel List in favor of Ukrainian galleries and artists. With this decision, they send a strong and courageous declaration of solidarity with Ukraine. , and both galleries continue to be an important part of the Liste community,” said Joanna Kamm, Director of Liste.

Max and Julia Voloshyn, founders of Voloshyn Gallery. Courtesy of Voloshyn Gallery.

Kamm also pointed out that none of the other participating galleries planned to exhibit Russian artists. The complete list of exhibitors will be announced on March 23.

List previously joined a group of Eastern European galleries Calling all exhibitors who attended the fair to donate to NGOs providing humanitarian and legal aid to refugees from Ukraine.

Other upcoming art fairs in Europe, including Art Basel, Art Brussels, Miart in Milan and Spark in Vienna, also said they would not host any Russian galleries, but that was because no galleries Russian had applied. There will also be no Ukrainian galleries represented.

“Art Basel condemns the military invasion of Ukraine in the strongest terms and stands in solidarity with the Ukrainian people,” a spokesperson for the fair said in a statement to Artnet News. “Art Basel does not have any existing partnership agreements with Russian companies, nor do we have any Russian galleries represented at our upcoming Art Basel fairs.”

“Art Basel does not believe in discrimination on the basis of nationality, and we have not issued such a directive to our galleries,” the spokesperson continued. “We are aware that the overwhelming majority of people active in the Russian art scene vehemently oppose the current regime in Russia and even the invasion, and we believe, now more than ever, that it is important to provide a platform for these voices of protest.”

Russian billionaire Petr Aven, who has resigned as a trustee of the Royal Academy in London. Photo by Valery SharifulinTASS via Getty Images.

Spark, which runs from March 24-27, said he had not rejected any Russian galleries nor was the fair expecting works from Ukrainian artists, adding that “a cultural boycott is not is not the solution”, quoting a editorial published in Artnet News written by author and cultural strategy advisor András Szántó. “Art is a way to maintain dialogue, we must not cut off Russian artists. Because without dialogue there is no room for diplomacy,” Spark’s spokesperson said.

“We want to convey the message that fairs, by definition, are meeting places that bring people together, so we must be promoters of peace. For us today, peace is of the utmost importance,” said a spokesperson for Miart, which runs from April 1 to 3.

Much of Europe and the West have sanctioned Russia since war broke out in Ukraine on February 24. A number of establishments removed Russian oligarchs from their boards and refunded donations.

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