Spotlight on Central and Eastern European Artists

Ans Azura is a digital platform that highlights both internationally renowned as well as lesser-seen post-war and contemporary artworks from this region. Suzana Vasilescu co-founded this online auction house and gallery, with the intent to garner better visibility and understanding for artists who have been overlooked by the Western market.

Ans Azura was born out of the necessity to cast a stronger light on the importance of artists from Central and Eastern Europe, as well as the Middle East. “One of the main barriers for artists from these two specific regions is the lack of a strong primary market. In countries like Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, you can usually find just one important gallery - if you are lucky,” explains Suzana: “On the other hand, Poland has by far the strongest art market in Eastern Europe. Romania and the Czech Republic have interesting art scenes that are constantly developing and are becoming very appealing.”

The mission of Ans Azura is to draw the attention to these often-overlooked areas where, according to Suzana, outstanding local artists are institutionally well known, part of important museum exhibitions and featured in collections of prominent museums, however their market potential is largely undeveloped.

The first online auctions on the Ans Azura digital platform took place in December 2021 amid the world pandemic. “We needed to adopt a new way of selling, while also growing the visibility of our target markets. Our plan is to offer our clients an extraordinary experience buying art online. We believe we will attract new young clients, who are the most regular users of various digital channels,” adds Suzana.

The first auction of Middle Eastern artists was likewise a great success. Ans Azura sold more than 80 % of the works offered, most of which went for more than the higher estimated value. This included names such as Huguette Caland, Etel Adnan, Shafic Abboud, Helen Khal.

Suzana Vasilescu is a Romanian art historian and art advisor. She is currently the Founder and Director of the contemporary art gallery, SUPRAINFINIT, and an art advisor for important private art collections in Eastern Europe. Suzana is a member of EduArt Advisory Board, which seeks to help strengthen the cross-border collaboration and increase the exchange of know-how within the region.