Abramovich's girlfriend organizes Moscow Kabakov retrospective

Russian heiress Daria Zhukova, the girlfriend of billionaire Roman Abramovich, has organized the first retrospective by artists Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, which is due to open in Moscow next month, the project curator said.
Joseph Backstein said that the exhibition, which will run September 15 until October 15, will feature over 150 art works, paintings and drawings and will be held at the Moscow's Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, the Winzavod contemporary art center and Zhukova's recently opened Garage art gallery.

"Around $250,000 has been donated by the Russian Culture Ministry, $300,000 by the Artmedia company, and the rest from the Iris Foundation, which belongs to the director of the Garage center, Daria Zhukova," the curator said, adding the total cost of the exhibition has been put at $3 million.

Soviet-born Ilya Kabakov is one of the most famous and sought-after Russian artists. The 74-year-old artist is considered the founder of the conceptualist art movement in Moscow, which developed during the 1970s in the Soviet Union. He and his wife moved to New York in 1992.

In February 2007 Kabakov's 1982 work "Beetle" fetched almost $6 million at auction.

Ilya Kabakov's wife Emilia said in a press release "This is a very important show because it is our city, and because we will be able to show the 'total installations' in Moscow for the first time. We selected very important works and it is exactly 20 years since Ilya left Russia."

A lavish party attended by 300 celebrities and special guests was held in June to mark the opening of Zhukova's Garage art gallery, housed in a former bus shelter built in 1927.

Abramovich, the Chelsea FC owner, reportedly paid troubled British singer Amy Winehouse, a recovering crack addict, around $2 million to perform at the opening.

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