Igor Tsukanov is one of the world’s bigest collectors of post-war Russian art. His collection counts an excess of 350 works by almost 50 different artists. He started the collection mostly acquiring Russian art from the first third of 20th century like Goncharova, Roerich, Exter, Anisfeld, Grigoriev and Yakovlev. The collection has grown substantially since then adding such contemporary artists as Pivovarov, Ovchinnikov, Neizvestny, Vasilievv Bruskin, Kosolapov, Komar&Melamid, Faibisovich, Tselkov to the catalog.
Tsukanov continues to expand his Non-Conformist collection and pays world record prices for rare pieces. His most extravagant purchases include £168,500 for Oskar Rabin’s 1969 “Violin at the Cemetery” at MacDougall’s in 2006, £468,500 for Oleg Vasiliev’s 1990 “Before the Sunset” at Sotheby’s in 2008 and £45,000 for Edward Gorokohvsky’s “Red Files” at Sotheby’s on 25 November 2013.
Whilst building his collection up to a museum level Tsukanov has taken on an art ambassador mission by founding Tsukanov Family Foundations. Thanks to his efforts world’s art communities nowadays have access to the best of Russian contemporary masterpieces of the Moscow school of the soviet avant-garde.
“Breaking The Ice” exhibition was pronounced Moscow’s unofficial art display of the 1960s-1980s. It was launched by Tsukanov’s foundation in London in the winter 2012-2013 and hit record number of attendees. Tsukanov signed a partnership agreement with Saatchi Gallery and successfully organized the largest exhibition project dedicated to Russian contemporary art. Tselkov’s “Five Faces” – the work reproduced on the cover of the catalogue to the exhibition.
“The ice-breaking” triumph was followed up by another exhibition, dedicated to Russian, American and Chinese pop-art, this time around and was also held in London. Pop art in Soviet Russia was born in 1970s and called Sots art or Political art. It originated from paintings by Komar & Melamid, Leonid Sokov, Grisha Bruskin and others most talented Soviet artists, whose works now belong to the TFF.
Tsukanov definitely made a valid point that Russian art collectors don’t only travel the world to appreciate and acquire unique masterpieces, but take active part in global art community movement.