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Arts Calendar / January 18 / Exhibitions
Anna Titova. The Amazing Journey of a Mischievous Boy
The Vadim Sidur Museum and the Moscow Museum of Modern Art present The Amazing Journey of a Mischievous Boy, a research project by artist Anna Titova who reimagines the renovated permanent exhibition of the Vadim Sidur Museum. It took several years to complete the project which also includes the reconstruction of Sidur’s lost sculpture as well as interaction with public organizations in the Perovo and Novogireevo districts. The project is the result of Anna Titova’s long research into the means and practices of reproducing social and cultural connections that work in urban environments. Inspired by a critical reading of modernist urban utopias, gender studies of subjectivity, and the concept of distributed action in Jane Bennett’s new materialism, the artist explores the conditions allowing to transform hierarchical cultural systems into open and inclusive environments, with immersiveness becoming an inclusion that endows the public with a new level of agency. The Amazing Journey of a Mischievous Boy includes the following parts: the first floor features results of working with Vadim Sidur’s personal archive, while the second floor focuses on the project carried out with local grassroots organizations Mamas up and Perovo Architectural. From the moment it opened within the walls of a former flower store in 1989 until its transfer to the Moscow Museum of Modern Art in 2018, the Sidur Museum has defended and fought for the right to be a unique open environment for audiences with different needs and abilities.
Vadim Sidur Museum 
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 
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  
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  
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  
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 
World Champions. Waves of Joy
The Moscow Museum of Modern Art presents a large-scale retrospective exhibition of the World Champions art group: the most audacious and jovial association of the late 1980s and early 1990s, which grew out of a group of school friends. The exhibition will display more than 200 paintings, drawings, objects, and works on fabric created between 1986 and 1990. A number of the group’s actions and performances will be reconstructed from photographs and documents, since the artistic practice of the World Champions often involved creating a work and then immediately destroying it. According to the curators, the work on the exhibition resembled «putting together the elements of a puzzle, a detective investigation, a search for unknown champions». The curators had to search for each of the works featured in the exhibition turning every single one of them into an undeniable victory, a true archaeological finding. Giya Abramishvili, Konstantin Zvezdochetov, Konstantin Latyshev, Boris Matrosov, Andrey Yakhnin (at different times Igor Zaidel, Vadim Fishkin, Gor Chakhal (Hovhannesyan), Vladimir Shvyakov and others participated in the group’s actions) named their association «World Champions» to mark their undeniable self-declared superiority. The title intended to highlight the group’s significance against the overall artistic context. The name of the group implied that its founding artists should always and everywhere be first.
Moscow Museum of Modern Art on Gogolevsky bulv 
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