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Arts Calendar / May 31 / Exhibitions
Assuming Distance: Speculations, Fakes, and Predictions in the Age of the Coronacene
Arising as an unplanned event in the Museum’s exhibition calendar and initially driven by the humanitarian mission of helping the art community, Assuming Distance: Speculations, Fakes, and Predictions in the Age of the Coronacene was designed to allow artists to implement new large-scale and ambitious works. Thirty-three participants, including 11 group projects, were selected from over 1,000 applications. Although abstract reasoning may appear to be a thankless task, art incorporates the power of imagination and in the current state of suspension this quixotic resource is in great demand. The phrase “speculations, fakes, and predictions” in the title of the exhibition represents various versions of art’s “distance” in relation to reality, a distance that each artist chooses independently in line with their personal working methods. Assuming Distance introduces a wide range of forecasts, insights, and scenarios: absurd, fantastic, visionary, and frighteningly realistic. The works on display address not only the future but also possible versions of the past or present. They interpret speculation in an extremely broad way, from the figure of the profiteer to secret societies, from alternative medicine to technology startups, from trickster investigations and parafictions to imaginary museums. Whether these hypothetical worlds relate to alternative economies or conspiracy theories, new forms of employment and social interaction or systems of control and biopolitics, each of them references the economic, political, and social models discussed or derives from paradoxical and irrational creative thinking.
Garage Museum of Contemporary Art  
Decline of the Dynasty: The Last Rurikids and the False Dmitry
From its origin up to the end of the 16th century, Russian statehood was inextricably bound to the dynastic history of the Rurikids (or Rurik dynasty). Princes, Great Princes and Tsars – the descents of the semi-legendary Rurik – had been governing Russian lands for more than seven centuries. The right of the Rurikids to absolute authority was of sacred significance for Russian society. The exposition in the exhibition hall of the Patriarch's Palace tells about the most significant events in the Russian sovereigns' family history in the mentioned time. On display are monuments related to the heirs' accession to the throne, marriages, births and deaths. Among them are remarkable works such as signs and symbols of royal power, items from the treasury of monarchs, personal belongings of the royal family members, family relics, attributes of funeral and memorial rites, and valuable historical documents. Visitors will see the most prestigious and iconic monuments dating back to the last Rurikids. The decline of the royal family at the end of the 16th century gave rise to the chaos, the so-called Time of Troubles — the nation-wide calamity, the very existence of the Russian statehood was threatened in this historical period. The emergence of impostors in Russia was one of the consequences of the dynastic crisis. The exposition in the exhibition hall of the Assumption Belfry is devoted to one of the most mysterious figures of the Russian Time of Troubles - the pretended son of Ivan the Terrible, the Tsar of Muscovy Dmitry Ivanovich, who called himself Dmitry the Emperor and remained in history as Dmitry the Impostor, or False Dmitry I.
Moscow Kremlin Museums 
Dreams of Freedom. Romanticism in Russia and Germany
“Dreams of Freedom. Romanticism in Russia and Germany” is the largest international exhibition project on this subject in the history of the State Tretyakov Gallery. It has been developed in cooperation with the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (Dresden State Art Collections). This is the first comprehensive attempt to compare on a single platform the art of Romanticism in Russia and Germany. The exposition, developed by experts from the State Tretyakov Gallery and Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (Dresden State Art Collections), presents in a single venue the works by the greatest artists of the first quarter of the 19th century: Caspar David Friedrich, Philipp Otto Runge, Johann Overbeck, Alexander Ivanov, Alexei Venetsianov, Orest Kiprensky, Karl Bryullov and others. V. A. Zhukovsky, a Russian poet, and the German painter C. D. Friedrich (whose paintings adorned the Imperial family’s private chambers) were connected through their years of friendship. The artist became recognized primarily for his philosophical landscapes (“landscapes as reflections of the soul” that embodied his philosophical comprehension of the world). Alexander Ivanov, another hero of the exhibition and a brilliant Russian painter, throughout his life attempted to create a new language for religious art. He sought to express through it a deep immersion and penetration into the essence of the Gospel story. More than 300 works of art, including approximately 200 paintings, supplemented by archival materials and unique exhibits from dozens of German and Russian collections, will develop this art movement in all its versatility, and mark points of convergence and difference.
New Tretyakov Gallery 
Harif Guzman. New York State of Mind
Today, New York City constitutes one of the most influential myths in the international cultural field. Over the past century, dozens of artists and authors have repeatedly referred to this image of the city of cities, seeking to capture and convey the spirit of the metropolis, modernity and personal experience of being there. New York is the main source of inspiration, motif and protagonist in the works of Harif Guzman, one of the outstanding figures of the street art scene in NY. The exhibition at MMOMA offers a large-scale panorama of different stages and facets in the evolution of his style, areas of work and spheres of interest. Iconic, straightforward pop imagery in Harif’s works is intertwined with the texture of private testimony, aggressive street poetry meets the intimacy of personal interactions, and the media aesthetic of New York in the 2000s intersects with the biography of the artist. Genealogically related to pop-art, street art always addresses the most urgent, visible images and problems existing in the common urban space, with a particular role played by the critique of mass culture, consumerist values, the worldview of the petit bourgeois. Guzman inherits this tradition, listing Jean-Michel Basquiat, Mike Kelly, Robert Rauschenberg as his teachers. Having started his artistic practice in the 1990s, by today he has evolved from an enthusiastic skateboarder who bombs the walls and streets of New York with the name of his fictional alter ego Haculla to a well-known artist who collaborates with fashion brands and makes friends with celebrities from the tabloids. In his ironic works, where chance is as significant as the author's intention, Guzman embodies the chaotic, fluid, unstable nature of the twenty-first century.
Moscow Museum of Modern Art  
I, Archpriest Avvakum, Have Faith
The Moscow Kremlin Museums take part in the exhibition project dedicated to the 400th Birth Anniversary of Avvakum Petrovich, archpriest, encourager and spiritual leader of the Old Believers. The Great Schism, which shook all Russian society strata, became one of the most tragic pages of 17th-century Russian history, still causing heated debates and diametrically opposite assessments. On display are rare artefacts, many of which are authentic relics of the era, providing the viewer with an insight into the complex and ambiguous events of the period and a sense of the tragedy and depth of the changes that took place back then. The exhibition presents three mid-17th century original charts from the collection of the Moscow Kremlin Museums sent to the Solovetsky monastery by Nikon during different periods of his life: first, as Metropolitan of Novgorod and Velikie Luki, and then as Patriarch. A unique example of Old Russian iconography, created before the Schism but used in the Old Believer circle, are two small icons from the second half of the 16th century, which initially were folding icon flaps. These exceptional images, recently restored, will be displayed for the first time.
Moscow Kremlin Museums 
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 
Laurent Chehere. The Sky over Paris
Laurent Chehere first made a name for himself in the field of artistic photography in 2012 with his Flying Houses series, which was exhibited at the Biennale des Créateurs d’Images in Paris. This photographic series was inspired by the architecture of the ‘non-touristy’ parts of Paris and its suburbs and succeeded in reflecting a poetic vision of the city. Chehere decides to depict houses floating in the sky, cut off from the ground, in order to demonstrate the uniqueness of each building outside the context of the urban environment. Each piece of work and each house has its own hidden cultural code, which the author invites the viewers to discover themselves—references to films, real and fictional urban characters and residents of Paris, and many inscriptions and graffiti taken from modern city walls. The large format of Laurent Chehere’s works displayed at the exhibition titled The Sky Over Paris emphasizes the realism of fantasy houses and allows viewers to see the hundreds of intricately put together minute details that shape the character of each ‘flying house’. Laurent Chehere’s The Sky Over Paris exhibition is his second in Russia curated by the Lumiere Gallery. The Gallery became acquainted with Chehere in 2013 at one of the main photography fairs ParisPhoto, and this was when the Gallery presented his works for the first time on the Russian art market. According to the founder of the Lumiere Gallery, Natalia Grigorieva-Litvinskaya, Laurent Chehere’s works were well received by Russian collectors: “He became one of the artists of the Gallery whom collectors come back to see, photography lovers eagerly await the continuation of his series”.
Lumiere Gallery 
Max Sher. Commentary on the Landscape
The Moscow Museum of Modern Art presents Commentary on the Landscape is a retrospective exhibition of Max Sher. The exhibition will be based on his three series: Palimpsests (2010–2017), Dictatorship of the Seven Seas (2018) and Archipelago (2019). In this project, however, they intermingle with each other, and are complemented by previously unpublished and unexhibited photographs. This project will be the first in the long-term Photography/Commentary Program. Max Sher is a Russian photographer and artist primarily interested in the representation of the post-Soviet cultural landscape and local histories. Sher works not only with archives and history of visual representation, but also uses photography to explore whether an image can capture manifestations of political and economic conditions in the formation of landscapes and infrastructures. His photographs typically depict everyday landscapes, they are uneventful and intentionally undramatic. This approach stems from the US conceptual and politically engaged photography and yet demonstrates the close connection between the artist and his fellow landscape photographers in Russia today. At the same time, Sher’s interest in the politics and economics of space, and the tangential, rather than direct, thematization inherent in his projects, render his work unique in Russia, where a combination of political engagement and openness to interpretation is not often found in photography. Sher’s research has key political objectives that determine the structures of his series, the content of his photographs, and their qualities as images.
Moscow Museum of Modern Art  
Present Continuous
Cancellations and “unrealized” ideas are probably more common in the lives of artists, architects, and institutions than finished projects. As the year 2020 has taught us, our attitude to them needs to change: we should develop a new, therapeutic approach to things that did not happen. Exploring the possibility of such an approach, Present Continuous brings to light incredible stories and names from the history of Russian art, carefully preserved in Garage Archive Collection. The exhibition will include documentary reconstructions of unrealized ideas of various kinds: a dance hall that architect Igor Pyatkin once proposed building in place of the Hexagon Pavilion in Gorky Park; Francisco Infante-Arana’s light and sound project for Red Square; an unpublished catalogue of the Museum of Desire—a collection of project ideas by women artists; and the project for the exhibition Melancholia that Peter Belyi created for the park near the Gaza House of Culture in St. Petersburg. These very different projects were cancelled for various reasons, and those reasons can tell us more about life twenty years ago—and about our new pandemic reality—than some completed projects. The nature of the various cancellations and their delayed consequences are the main focus of Present Continuous.
Garage Museum of Contemporary Art  
Rodney Graham. Phonokinetoscope
For Rodney Graham’s first showcase in Russia, Garage will present one of his key works, Phonokinetoscope (2001), which highlights the Canadian artist and musician’s idiosyncratic understanding of the relationship between moving images, sound, and narrative building. Phonokinetoscope is a complex symbiotic experiment where the traditional synchronization of sound with image and narrative is disrupted not only by the limitations imposed by the specially-built equipment but also by the random intervention of the audience. In the 16mm looped film we see a solitary Graham on a bicycle ride through Tiergarten in Berlin, evoking Albert Hofmann’s historic bike ride home from his laboratory in 1943 after making an interesting scientific discovery. Loop after loop, the artist takes us on a ride of our own through the carefully choreographed constellation of sonic correlations, poetic congruences, and cinematic and literary associations. Rodney Graham (b. 1949, Abbotsford, Canada) is an artist and musician. His most recent solo exhibitions include Artists and Models, Serlachius Museum Gösta, Mänttä, Finland (2020); Lightboxes, Museum Frieder Burda, Baden-Baden; and That’s Not Me, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, UK (both 2017). He has participated in numerous group exhibitions, including most recently Magical Soup. Media Art from the Collection of the Nationalgalerie, the Friedrich Christian Flick Collection and Loans, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2020); and KNOCK, KNOCK: Humour in Contemporary Art, South London Gallery, London (2018).
Garage Museum of Contemporary Art  
Space Motifs in the Graphic Works and Jewellery Designs of Nadia Léger
The exhibition is dedicated to the art of Nadia Léger (1904-1982), a famous artist of the 20th century, a bright representative of the Parisian art school. The oeuvre of this talented painter and graphic artist, who was also engaged in monumental art and design, was the amalgam and reinterpretation of the major artistic trends of the 20th century, such as Cubism, Suprematism, Purism and Socialist Realism. In the 1960s and 1970s, Nadia Léger turned to an early period of her creative career dating back to the early 1920s that of the "flight forms". It was inspired by the dawn of the Space Age. of Yuri Gagarin’s feat stunned Nadia: this miracle, which became a reality, was perceived by her as the ultimate fulfilment of her teacher, the founder of Suprematism, Kazimir Malevich’s vision and earlier dreams. In 1970, Nadia Léger created a series of suprematism jewellery pieces based on her paintings and graphic works in gold, platinum, and diamonds. She presented the Soviet Union with thirty-seven pieces of precious "cosmic" jewellery – brooches, rings and watches in 1976. They were transferred to the Moscow Kremlin Museums in 1980, where they are preserved to this day.
Moscow Kremlin Museums 
The Iron Age. Europe without Borders
The State Historical Museum opens an international exhibition in collaboration with the State Museums of Berlin. The large-scale scholarly project, dedicated to the culture of the Iron Age in Europe, represents the latest step in the sphere of cooperation between museums in Russia and Germany. The main aim of the international project Iron Age. Europe without Borders — to use the archaeological artefacts in order to show the elements of culture, economics, daily and ceremonial life of Europeans in the Iron Age — the term used in archaeology for the period in human history that came after the Bronze Age. It was marked by people mastering methods of obtaining iron and beginning to make artefacts from the metal that then entered into widespread use. This would be one of humanity’s most important achievements, leading to a rapid expansion of productive forces. The project features more than 1,300 artefacts from the archaeological collections of the State Historical Museum, the State Hermitage Museum, the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts and the Museum of Prehistory and Ancient History (State Museums of Berlin). The project is truly unique in its breadth of material: the Iron Age in Italy, the Hallstatt culture, the antiquities of the Celtic culture, the famous treasures of the Scythian steppe mounds, ancient monuments, famous treasures, the antiquities of the Koban culture of the North Caucasus and the cultures of the forest strip of Eastern Europe. Of particular importance are the artefacts those destinies were changed as a result of the tragic events of the Second World War. The exhibition includes a large number of exhibits related to the so-called displaced values, exported to the territory of the Soviet Union in 1945 as trophy art.
Historical Museum 
“Small” Art
Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center presents an exhibition “Small” Art with more than 130 works by Isaak Levitan, Vassily Polenov, Valentin Serov, Ilya Repin, Mikhail Vrubel, Konstantin Somov, Kazimir Malevitch, Antonina Sofronova, Lev Bakst, and other artists. This exhibition brings together pieces that usually stay in storerooms (in the folders and on the shelves) after the selection, when the most ‘convincing’, major works make their way into display. Most often, exhibitions do not include small-sized art works, especially when they are sketches or conceptual drafts. Sometimes, however, these small pieces constitute the major part of an artist’s heritage presenting the most characteristic features essential for the understanding of their art. Exhibition “Small” Art is divided into several sections according to the most common functions of the small-sized works. The first section is dedicated to the familiar, secondary function — sketch. Through the works of Levitan, Polenov, Repin, and other artists we will trace the development of ideas from small composition drafts into famous paintings. When the academic art gave way to modernism, artists developed new understanding of an unfinished work and a more easy-going attitude towards the absence of a narrative. This is a theme of the second section of the exhibition. During this period new density of paper was introduced, while small-formatted works present the most precious evidence — style and logic of an artist’s work. Rapid sketch carries movements of hand (Bakst has them sharp and precise), and Konstantin Somov’s aquarelles convey (no need to consult his diaries!) how meticulously the artist used to work at even the smallest of pieces.
Jewish Museum & Tolerance Center 
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