We want you back: Annie Kevans's portrait of Michael Jackson
Princess Michael of Kent is acting as a consultant to Galerie Gmurzynska, the Swiss modern and contemporary art dealers. The princess has fulfilled many roles in the art business, working with Macconnal-Mason, the St James's gallery which advises Andrew Lloyd Webber, and more recently as president of Partridge Fine Arts, the New Bond Street art and antiques dealership which has since closed. Last month, she and her husband, Prince Michael, sold £2 million of silver at Christie's amid suggestions that that they were raising money to pay the commercial rent on their grace-and-favour apartment at Kensington Palace. Last week, she was spotted on Gmurzynska's stand at Art Basel Miami Beach chatting to various clients, including Hollywood star Sylvester "Rocky" Stallone, who was making his debut there as an artist. Asked if she was thinking of buying one of his paintings, which were priced at between $30,000 and $40,000 each, she told the Art Newspaper: "It's not a question of wanting to, but of being able to afford to." The princess is apparently being advised by Tracey Emin on building a contemporary art collection.
The Russian presence in the London art world is set to grow next year. Scheduled to open next March is the Regina Gallery from Moscow's Winzavod district, which specialises in Russian contemporary art and was among the exhibitors at the Frieze Art Fair this year. Also on the horizon is the launch of the new Aktis Gallery in St James's, specialising in more established 20th-century Russian artists – Poliakoff, Chagall, Soutine – who contributed to the diversity of the school of Paris before and after the Second World War. Before the new gallery opens, Aktis will present the first UK exhibition for one of Russia's most distinguished living artists, Vladimir Yankilevsky, which will open at the Mall Galleries in February. Yankilevsky was famously denounced as "degenerate" by Nikita Khrushchev in 1962 and was subsequently selected by Sotheby's for its groundbreaking sale of Russian contemporary art in Moscow in 1988. He was one of the chosen exhibitors for the Guggenheim's RUSSIA! exhibition in New York in 2005 and has lived in Paris for the last 17 years.
A modest success was achieved for British artist Annie Kevans at the opening of Art Basel Miami Beach, when all 10 of her works, shown on the stand of New York dealer Perry Rubenstein, were sold. Kevans, who paints small, psychologically charged portraits, was discovered while she was a student at St Martin's by art consultant Flora Fairbairn, and her graduation show in 2004 was bought in its entirety by Charles Saatchi. Recently, she has been taken on by the Fine Art Society, who took her to New York for the Volta fair in March, when 43 of her works sold for £3,200 each. Her latest work can be seen in the Society's Bond Street gallery in an exhibition entitled Ship of Fools, in which she looks at celebrities and the relationship between madness and success. Among her subjects are Michael Jackson, Marilyn Monroe and Sir Winston Churchill. All priced at £3,500, 21 of the 35 works have already been sold.