MOSCOW.- The Kandinsky Prize was awarded to Alexey Beliayev-Guintovt for his series of nationalist paintings “Motherland-Daughter.” The award comes with 40,000 euros. When Alexey Beliayev-Guintovt’s name was announced many of his detractors yelled and called him an ultra-nationalist. Anatoly Osmolovsky, last year’s Kandinski Prize winner, led the protest and screamed, “Disgrace”. The shouts continued when the artist gave his acceptance speech.
Marat Guelman, owner of the M&J Guelman Gallery that represents Osmolovsky said, “The problem is not just that the artist is ultra-right, but that he tries to make an artistic career on his political views. This decision could hurt the prestige and influence of the Kandinsky Prize.”
This is the second year of the prize, named after Russian abstract painter Wassily Kandinsky. The prize aims to raise the profile of new art in Russia. It is sponsored by Art Chronika Foundation, Deutsche Bank AG and the Moscow-based holding company, IFD Kapital.
Dmitri Khankin, co-owner of Triumph Gallery, stated, “The jury recognized he’s a talented artist who created his own artistic language.”
Alexey Beliayev-Guintovt said, “My art represents the majority of Russians, while my critics are from the liberal minority. I want my art to mobilize people to support our country’s traditions.”