Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, whose fortune is estimated by Forbes magazine at $19.5 billion, has pulled out as general sponsor of Ilya and Emilia Kabakov’s first retrospective in their native Russia. Despite the setback, the artists say the show will open as planned on 15 September in the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts and CCC Moscow, a new gallery set up by Dasha Zhukova, partner of Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich. Ms Zhukovaâ€™s Center for Contemporary Culture is located in the Bakhmetevsky Bus Garage built by Konstantin Melnikov, one of Russia’s most important modernist architects.
Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich bought two paintings that were sold at record-breaking auctions last week, according to reports.
Lucian Freud’s Benefits Supervisor Sleeping sold for Â£17.2m on Tuesday, followed by Francis Bacon’s Triptych, which fetched Â£43m just 24 hours later.
The Art Newspaper quoted sources saying the London-based Russian billionaire was the buyer of both paintings.
A spokesman for Mr Abramovich declined to comment.
He said: “We don’t get into personal matters.”
The life-sized Freud painting of a sleeping, naked woman, titled Benefits Supervisor Sleeping, sold for $33.6m (Â£17.2m) at Christie’s in New York.
Christie’s described the work, which shows Jobcentre supervisor Sue Tilley asleep on a sofa, as a “bold and imposing example of the stark power of Freud’s realism”.
It set a new world record price for a work by a living artist.