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Arts Calendar / December 17 / Exhibitions
Becoming Jewish
Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center presents the exhibition Becoming Jewish: tradition and everyday life in Jewish childhood. The display will present rituals, games, and artifacts that define the world of childhood in a Jewish family. Traditional cultures are built from rites and ceremonies, which shape the mentality, create the sense of belonging to one’s nation, and build bridges between generations. Jewish traditions and practices are transmitted inside the family through entertaining stories, rites, gifts, and other memorable events. Many of the life stages of a child a ritualized — circumcision, redemption of the firstborn son, first haircut, first day of school, coming of age ceremonies. Once a child grows older, parents start introducing them to the Jewish festivities. Children play active part at the Passover Seder — special family dinner in the beginning of the Passover; they spin ratchets during Purim; they parade with small flags to the synagogue on the Simchat Torah — the day that marks the end of the annual cycle of weekly Torah readings; they get presents and money for Hanukkah; girls burn candles during the Sabbath evening on Saturdays. Child memory is selective and associative, it keeps everything unusual. Everything that goes against the usual way of life: taste of a festive food, special Passover kitchenware, sounds of klezmer and Purim spiel costumes. It is through childhood memories that the collective knowledge of culture is constructed.
Jewish Museum & Tolerance Center 
France and Russia: Ten Centuries Together
The display dedicated to the centuries-old history of Russian-French relations includes more than 200 pieces, among which are archival documents, personal belongings of the heads of state, diplomatic gifts and works of art. Throughout centuries they have been carefully kept by the museums, archives, libraries of both countries and above all by the royal treasury – the Armoury Chamber of the Moscow Kremlin. The exhibition opens with a unique document, recalling the events of the 11th century when the Old Russian and French ruling dynasties intermarried: the daughter of the Great Prince Yaroslav the Wise became the spouse of King Henri I. This manuscript from the funds of the National Library of France dates back to the year 1063 and has a Cyrillic inscription, presumably an autograph by Anna, daughter of Yaroslav. In 1896 a copy of this document was presented to Emperor Nicholas II during his official visit to Paris. At the same time, the Russian monarch had an opportunity to see the so-called Reims Gospel that in the 19th century was associated with Anna Yaroslavna, while a part of it was written in Cyrillic letters in Church Slavonic. The President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin presented a facsimile copy of the manuscript to the President of France Emmanuel Macron during the official visit in 2017. The Reims Gospel, being a symbol of friendly relations between the two countries, is one of the key objects of the display.
Moscow Kremlin Museums 
Gustav Klimt. Gold of Modernism
Portraits, landscapes and images of nude female nature in the format of an immersive show. Exciting, sensual, innovative - those epithets accurately describe the paintings of Gustav Klimt. At the exhibition “Gustav Klimt. The Gold of Modernism” you will not only see all the major works that provided the artist with a world-wide fame, but thanks to the Cinema360 technology you will plunge inside his canvases. The oeuvres of his “golden period” literally glow from the inside and are comparable in it power on the spectator with icons. The hall space flooded with golden light represents a total multimedia installation immersing the spectator into the sensual world of female images surrounded by a charming music. The total projection area is 1200 sq.m. Portraits, landscapes, decorative compositions and images of nude nature, which carried out a revolutionary takeover in Viennese painting, are presented at the exhibition in the format of a bright and spectacular immersive show. Surrounded by music and color, the spectator seems to be flooded in a magical world.
Artplay na Yauze 
Ilya Repin, Known and Unknown
The exhibition is associated with the large-scale retrospective exhibitions of Repin’s work in 2021‒2022 at the Finnish National Gallery (Ateneum Art Museum) in Helsinki, and in the Petit Palais in Paris, where the Tretyakov Gallery will provide a large number of paintings and graphic works to be exhibited for a long duration (including many works from the Gallery’s permanent exhibition). The works by the “unknown” Repin include paintings and graphic works that were not part of the artist’s 2019 retrospective in Krymsky Val. The paintings by the “other” Repin were created by the artist later in his life. The chamber exhibition will bring together approximately 30 paintings by the artist created in different years, including his paintings and graphic works from the Tretyakov Gallery collection, three female portraits and the evangelical composition “The Incredulity of St. Thomas” (1920–1922) from private Moscow collections, as well as a sketch, “The Son Killer” (1909), a later version of the painting “Ivan the Terrible and his Son Ivan on November 16, 1581” (1885, State Tretyakov Gallery) from the Voronezh Kramskoy Regional Art Museum. A special focus of the exhibition will be the section devoted to the history of the masterpiece, “Ivan the Terrible and his Son Ivan on November 16, 1581”, that has been undergoing restoration since May 2018. In addition to pictorial sketches, a multimedia program will be presented to reveal the history of creating the painting as well as the modern restoration processes on the painting.
Tretyakov Art Gallery 
Japanese Art: From Hokusai to the Present
A new multimedia exhibition "The Art of Japan: from Hokusai to Modern Times" will include not only internationally known masterpieces of such masters of Japanese prints as Katsushika Hokusai, but also little-known to the general public works: women's portraits of the "last guru of the ukiyo-e era" Yoshitoshi Tsukioki and landscape prints Imao Kainen from the private gallery of Russian collector and connoisseur of Japanese culture Catherine Pugacheva. Wooden ukiyo-e prints - "pictures of the changing world" - were perhaps the most striking phenomenon in Japan in the XVII-XIX centuries. They are the mirror of Japanese urban culture with its complex hierarchy, special language of allegories, allusions, symbols, its mythology, specific spirit of freedom and special aesthetics. It was engraving that made Japanese art famous in European countries. Thanks to it in XIX century "Japaneseism" penetrated into European painting and arts and crafts, influencing the impressionists, postimpressionists and masters of Art Nouveau. And yet for most people Japanese art remained a curiosity: paintings seemed like unfinished sketches, scrolls like wallpaper, and prints like caricatures.
Artplay na Yauze 
Kaleidoscope of Collections. Rarities of the Museum Collection
The Museum of Contemporary History of Russia collection (former the Museum of the Revolution of the USSR) was formed under the influence of the events taking place in the state. Initially, the museum was created as the museum of the revolutionary and democratic movement, and it saw its main tasks as showing the glorious revolutionary past, the chanting of the fighters against the autocracy, the story about the history of the CPSU (b). However, from the very first days, the museum began to receive not only documentary materials, but also the material relics. The museum actively complicated propaganda porcelain, art lacquers, metal and glass objects symbolizing the struggle of the working class for the fair world. When completing art collections, the plot has always been very important for the museum — the historical event reflected in the particular work, the disclosure of the surrounding life actual themes by artistic means. Thus, the collection of decorative and applied arts was gradually formed. The Museum of the Revolution storages were actively replenished with the gifts from the Soviet and foreign delegations to leaders of the state, prominent political and economic figures of the country, as well as with the products made in the single copy for the opening of various congresses and party conferences. Despite the fact that these items were created by the best masters of their time, not all of them could be exhibited in the permanent exhibition. In different years, the museum staff found many ways to show art relics to visitors: these were exhibitions of gifts, and visible storage of museum collections, and, finally, the exhibition that you see now — “Kaleidoscope of Collections. Rarities of the Museum Collection”.
Museum of Contemporary History of Russia 
Markus Lüpertz. A Small, Irrational, Artist-led Retrospective
The Moscow Museum of Modern Art presents the first Moscow retrospective exhibition of Markus Lüpertz, one of the most famous representatives of contemporary German art. The exhibition is part of the Year of Germany in Russia 2020–2021 and is supported by the Goethe-Institut. Lüpertz first gained fame in the early 1960s for his provocative canvases, saturated with militaristic symbols, referring to the still very recent tragic experience of the Second World War. The last German dendy, enfant terrible of the local art scene, Markus Lüpertz belongs to the same generation of artists as Anselm Kiefer and Gerhard Richter. It was them who formulated the most traumatic and urgent issues of the post-war German society, including the problems of historical memory and overcoming the past. Like some of his other compatriots, Lüpertz found his own artistic language in German Expressionism. An allegorical element, referred to as a nonsense object or dithyramb can be seen as the main motif of Lüpertz’s work. The latter definition refers to Friedrich Nietzsche’s conception of the Dionysian beginning in culture — the rapture of oblivion and the ecstasy of destruction. This object helps Lüpertz to conceive of the ancient legacy in a grotesque plasticity that combines ancient Greek forms and animated images. His ambiguous, in some places discomforting works are devoted to reflecting on the same range of questions — the nature of the pictorial image, the role of the artist, the place of the past in the present — and what awaits us in the future. The exhibition at the MMOMA showcases nearly 100 paintings and sculptures, including a number of the artist’s key and emblematic works.
Moscow Museum of Modern Art  
Melvin Sokolsky’s High Flight
The Lumiere Gallery presents Russia's first exhibition of the legendary American photographer Melvin Sokolsky. The Gallery will showcase his most recognizable works, including the iconic Bubbles series, which brought worldwide fame to the then 30-year-old Sokolsky. “We are actively studying and presenting the genre of fashion photography, which evolved in the 20th century. It is doubly important to take advantage of the opportunity to work with original prints during a photographer’s lifetime. The chance to see Melvin Sokolsky’s work in Moscow is, of course, unique, both for collectors and for those who are just beginning to discover this genre,” says the founder and director of the Lumiere Gallery, Natalia Grigorieva-Litvinskaya. The development of fashion photography in the 1960s was closely intertwined with the new technological capabilities of the time. Fashion publications were the driving forces behind the new image of a woman, her freedom and social status. The art directors of major magazines looked for young and bold photographers capable of experimenting. The golden age of the glossy magazine, together with photographers such as Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, and Melvin Sokolsky, awakened interest in the genre among galleries and museums, and subsequently, fashion began to increasingly overshadow other genres at auction sales.
Lumiere Gallery 
Other Shores. Russian Art in New York. 1924
In September the Museum of Russian Impressionism will present a research exhibition about the largest US show of Russian paintings, sculptures and graphics by a hundred prominent artists. Almost one hundred years later, visitors will have the opportunity to view more than 70 signature works from museum and private collections in Russia and abroad, including the Albertina Gallery Vienna. In 1924 more than 1000 items were displayed at the Russian Art Exhibition in New York. This was a unique cross-section of Russian art from the first two decades of the 20th century, and since the works were offered for sale, the artists selected their best pictures to send overseas. After the exhibition the paintings were scattered all over the world. The Museum found many of them in collections in the USA, Canada, the UK, Switzerland, Spain, France, Germany, Austria, Armenia, Tajikistan and other countries. This wide-ranging detective work resulted in one of the most ambitious Museum projects. It took the curators more than a year to find these works. Art historians have managed to establish the fate of several hundred pieces, and some have been rediscovered for the viewing public. The exhibition will include paintings by Leon Bakst, Igor Grabar, Boris Grigoriev, Mikhail Larionov, Ilya Mashkov, Pyotr Konchalovsky, Boris Kustodiev, Zinaida Serebryakova and other artists from the collections of the State Tretyakov Gallery, the State Russian Museum and the State Hermitage Museum, as well as from the collections of Viktor Shkulyov, Anatoly and Maya Beckerman, Roman Babichev and others.
Museum of Russian Impressionism 
Paweł Althamer. Silence
The spatial installation Silence by Polish artist Paweł Althamer is a garden for meditation built in the square in front of Garage Museum of Contemporary Art. To Althamer, each element of the garden—be it a fallen tree or a particular deciduous bush—is a hidden quote, while the composition as a whole is a unique environment where the restless city dweller of today can alter the regime of time, as if transported to a picturesque space in a past era, where the rhythm and pace of life were not by default accelerated to the limit. According to Althamer, Silence is a space where everything happens here and now. It is only in such a space that we can truly find time for ourselves. Working with the community of people with disabilities, with whom he organizes regular sculpture and drawing workshops, has been an important part of Althamer’s practice since 1993. For the artist, this special kind of collaborative authorship represents the therapeutic power of art in action, as well as art’s ability to socialize individuals whose life is otherwise almost invisible to society. For Silence, Althamer collaborated with local specialists in working with people with disabilities to create a number of meditations and spiritual and physical practices accessible to everyone, which take place in the garden at specific times. The garden meditations are based on the principle of audio description (a type of narration used to convey visual information to the blind) and require objective and non-judgmental description of objects and the space, which allows us to experience a reality that seems obvious in a different way.
Garage Museum of Contemporary Art  
Plyusch Theater
The Moscow Museum of Modern Art with the support of pop/off/art gallery presents the first retrospective exhibition of Ivan Plyusch, covering the last fourteen years of work by one of the most brilliant artists of the post-Soviet generation. The exhibition includes more than 50 works from Russian and international private collections. Some works will be displayed for the first time. Paintings, sculptures and installations of different time periods, complemented by curatorial texts of Dmitry Ozerkov, will transform the exhibition space of the museum into a theater of the artist. The title Plyusch Theater, suggested by the author himself, most accurately expresses the nature of his artistic practice — his paintings and installations, which are gaining momentum, often take on a theatrical appearance and transform the space of any exhibition in the same way that scenery complements the stage of a theater. «Plyusch speaks sincerely about what really worries him — about the collapse of Soviet reality in his early works, about the disintegration of his own personality into the inner consciousness and the personality acquired from without, finally about time flowing around him and inevitably leading to the end,» writes project curator Dmitry Ozerkov. The exposition in the MMOMA comprises 9 exhibition rooms, connected both chronologically and conceptually. The viewer will be introduced to key series of works by the artist, such as: Sculptures, Red Balls, Between Dream and Nightmare, reconstructions of installations Play Without Actors.
Moscow Museum of Modern Art  
Snow on Grass
Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center presents Snow on Grass, exhibition by the animator Yuri Norstein and the artist Francesca Yarbusova. The project celebrates Yuri Norstein’s 80th anniversary. Since the beginning of his artistic life, Yuri Norstein has been the mythmaker of the animation, a visionary who treated his art as creation of universes at the intersection of painting and literature. Inhabitants of his worlds — characters from Hedgehog in the Fog, Tale of Tales, and The Heron and the Crane — combine reality and fiction, the past and the present, childhood memories and adult reflections. The exhibition at the Jewish Museum will follow the creative strategies of Norstein and Yarbusova, offering a guide to and a labyrinth through the biographies and works of the two artists. The main exhibits on display will be the materials from the Norstein’s Studio and large stage-like installations created for the exhibition.
Jewish Museum & Tolerance Center 
Thomas Demand. Mirror Without Memory
Garage Museum of Contemporary Art presents the first Russian exhibition of Thomas Demand, one of the most important photographers of recent decades. Borrowing images of events from the press and other sources (or organizing technical shoots), Demand reproduces these scenes in life size from cardboard and paper—basically making sculptures—after which he photographs them and subsequently destroys the models. Mirror Without Memory is composed of several fragments spread across two floors of the Museum. The ground floor is focused on the concept of models and modeling, the alpha and omega of Demand’s practice. Through interaction with architects (the Japanese practice SANAA and the UK-Swiss practice Caruso St John Architects), the artist presents a comprehensive exploration of the model: its life cycles, inner dynamics, the regimes of its synchronization with physical reality. On the first floor this energy of dialogue produces different forms. The first things the visitor discovers when climbing the stairs are hanging cinema structures that show movies by the German film- and TV maker, author, producer, public figure, and ideologist of the New German Cinema, Alexander Kluge. These film pavilions, designed by Demand, are floating models that distantly reference constructivist form-making.
Garage Museum of Contemporary Art  
Together, Noting
The Moscow Museum of Modern Art, with the support of the Embassy of Finland in Moscow and the Finnish Institute in St. Petersburg, presents the exhibition together, noting, which showcases the works of 11 Finnish artists following the research trip to Finland. The works are combined into a conceptual unit through the curator’s travel notes and explore the nature of language as a system of notions, a technology that shapes actuality. The exhibition will be complemented by a public program featuring talks with the artists, a discussion about language from an anthropological perspective, a conversation with a Finnish self-organized art platform Mustarinda and a lecture by Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art collection curator. The title of the exhibition together, noting refers to the meaning of the Latin word connotatio, which literally translates as joint denotation. The linguistic matrix defines collective ethical principles, aesthetic tastes, and interpretations of the world at large. Language is a system of signs, a conceptual instrument describing reality. Every language carries its own reality, whether it is a language of the Latin or Indo-Iranian group, Finnish or Russian, the language of modernism or postmodernism, the language of the artistic environment or digital technology. Language is a set of names, codes, the possession of which allows you to give meaning to the sum of the different meanings, to build a conceptual continuum.
Moscow Museum of Modern Art (at Yermolayevsky per.) 
Van Gogh. Letters to Theo
The correspondence with his brother Theo covers the two large periods when the life and creations of Van Gogh falls apart – the Dutch and French periods. Letters to Theo is a breathtaking, unique document stretching over hundreds of pages. This is a dialogue not only with the addressee, but with himself, God, and the whole world as well. It looks like a cry of pain. Visitors of this multimedia exhibition will not only see more than 400 masterpieces of Van Gogh written in different periods of his life - in the Netherlands, in Paris, in Arles, in Auvers-sur-Oise, but also hear the story told in letters from the first- person. The new and unique technology Cinema360 will help you to totally immerse yourself into the artist's oeuvres - images are not projected only on the walls, but even on the floor and on the rear projection screens that visually change the geometry of the hall.
Artplay na Yauze 
Xenia Hausner: True Lies
The exhibition Xenia Hausner: True Lies will open on 28 September at the Gallery of 19th and 20th Century European and American Art at The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts. Visitors will get to see a total of 30 paintings by Xenia Hausner and a series of photographs made by the artist in preparation for her painted works. In most of Hausner’s paintings, the action takes place in a theatrical setting with meticulous staging, arranged lighting, and decorative backdrops, where models play out roles in mysterious and ambiguous mise-en-scènes. The very title of the exhibition points to the importance of theatrical principles in the artist’s work: the arranged, the invented and the fictitious turn out to have a truthful inner content that evokes the viewer’s immediate reaction. In Xenia Hausner’s work, everything is designed to intensify the viewer’s experience – a task previously pursued by several generations of 20th-century painters. The artist attains this goal thanks to her vivid palette, sweeping brushstrokes, ornamental motifs and decorative designs, which are further enhanced by large formats and powerful and monumental figures that place her work in the tradition of altarpieces, historical paintings and state portraits.
Pushkin Fine Arts Museum 
Yuri Pimenov
Yuri Pimenov is an acknowledged, well-known classic of Soviet Russian art. Yuri Ivanovich was an immensely versatile person: an imaginative and bright creator of easel and decorative-monumental painting, teacher and Professor, author of countless Soviet film posters and a talented graphic artist, book and magazine illustrator. He also tried himself in sculpture, worked a lot on stage design in theatrical productions, was engaged as a production artist on the set of Soviet cinematography. Pimenov was not only an artist but also a publicist - he wrote a number of books and articles. For a long time, Pimenov was the chief artist of the magazine "Ogoniok", where he published his articles on the fine arts and prominent masters. Yuri Ivanovich was a socially active person: he was one of the organisers of the Easel Painter's Society (OST) in 1925, later participated in the artistic society called "Izobrigada", worked a lot in the Moscow Regional Union of Artists (MOSKh), was elected a member of the Presidium of the Academy of Arts of the USSR. He was teaching at the Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography (VGIK) for more than thirty years, leading a studio of painting and bringing up more than one generation of successful artists of theatre and cinema. The artist Alexander Labas described Pimenov in the 1920s: "Pimenov was very active, fast, lively, cheerful, he laughed a lot, he liked to talk about trifles, liked to dress up, to show off a bit. There was an impression that he does everything without thinking, on the move, with a smile, sometimes with a smirk, liked to laugh at someone, to joke, and then all this was instantly forgotten, and he already spoke and laughed about someone else." (Source: RA GALLERY)
New Tretyakov Gallery 
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