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Arts Calendar / February 9 / 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 
Avant-Garde: On a Cart to the 21st Century
The Museum of Russian Impressionism, together with the Yeltsin Center and The Encyclopaedia of the Russian Avant-Garde, presents the exhibition ‘Avant-Garde: On a Cart to the 21st Century’ — a reconstruction of a large-scale avant-garde art exhibition left forgotten in the Vyatka Province a hundred years ago. From February to May 2022 the museum will showcase more than 100 works by prominent representatives of the Russian avant-garde from the collections of the Vyatka Art Museum, the State Museum of Fine Arts of the Republic of Tatarstan, and the Slobodskoy and Yaransk Museums of Local Lore. This project has already been successfully presented at the Yeltsin Center in Yekaterinburg and the Vyatka Art Museum in Kirov. It harks back to the events of the turbulent post-revolutionary period, when the Soviet government actively collaborated with avant-garde artists, seeing them as a driving force for the promotion of communist ideas and acquiring their works for metropolitan and regional museums. In October 1921 more than 300 items from Vyatka, Moscow, Petrograd and Kazan were brought to the 3rd Travelling Art Exhibition in the city of Sovetsk, Vyatka Province (Kirov Region). This public showing, unprecedented in the number and composition of works, was to continue in other cities of the province. A month later the masterpieces were sent on carts to the neighbouring city of Yaransk, but due to problems with financing and bad roads at the onset of autumn they were left in the local museum and forgotten for almost 100 years. The combined efforts of our team from the Yeltsin Center and The Encyclopaedia of the Russian Avant-Garde have made it possible to partially recreate the third, and the first two art exhibitions in Sovetsk by showing rare works from the collections of regional museums. This project reveals the artistic policy of the Soviet government in the early post-revolutionary years, and the activities of enthusiastic curators who organized exhibitions of avant-garde art during a difficult time for the country. Visitors can see newly rediscovered masterpieces by Wassily Kandinsky, Alexander Rodchenko, Nikolai Feсhin, Ivan Kliun, Alexandra Exter, and other masters.
Museum of Russian Impressionism 
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 
French Impressionism
Renoir, Degas, Monet, Toulouse-Lautrec, Rousseau, Signac, Gauguin, Modigliani, Klimt and van Gogh are presented in the smallest details and in the most unexpected angles thanks to Cinema360 technology. Portraits and landscapes in the format of an immersive show. Visitors of the exhibition will be transported through time and space from Moscow of the XXI century to Paris of the XIX century –called the City of Light, where was born the Bohemia, that totally changed the value of the European art. The manner of the Impressionists to depict on canvas the amazing state of rest and movement, light and shadow are admired in our days, and imitated by a large generations of artists. In nowadays, modern technology allows you to plunge inside the famous paintings. Dozens of projectors broadcast paintings on huge screens and the floor, close-up showing the unique brushstrokes of great artists. In front of the astonished spectators, the sunny fields of the Ile-de-France and the magical streets of the old Paris will come alive, and the exhibition space will be filled with flying dancers and blooming irises.
Artplay na Yauze 
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 
Hieronymus Bosch. Professor of Nightmares
Strange, weird, frightening – the most frequent epithets mentioned to describe the works of Bosch. All the superstitions and fears that tortured the medieval man, are reported in his works. It is no coincidence that his world known painting "Garden of earthly delights", represents the human kind trapped in its own sins and absorbed all the atmosphere of the epoch, has become a symbol of the Middle Age. Bosch is considered as the author of around 30 works, but only seven of them are signed by the author. None of the paintings has a name given by Bosch himself. All of them were attributed later by researchers of his work. His life is known even less — he came from a family of hereditary artists, married profitably, had no children, was a member of a religious organization called the “Brotherhood of the virgin Mary”. Who is Hieronymus Bosch? Some consider him as a surrealist, calling him "Honorary Professor of nightmares." Others argue that in his work encrypted secrets of alchemists, astrologers and sorcerers of the time. Still others classify the artist as a heretic, calling an adept of forbidden sects, although it is known that Bosch was an extremely religious man. At the exhibition "BOSCH. Professor of nightmares" you will see a real carnival of terrible and at the same time attractive works of the painter. The Cinema360 technology will allow you to merge inside the famous triptych Bosch "Garden of earthly delights."
Artplay na Yauze 
In the Language of Art
The exhibition "In the Language of Art" presents to visitors works from the Fine Arts collection, reflecting the richness of the Russian painting trends in the second half of the XX century. In recent decades, classical pictorial art has become, in a sense, the elitist phenomenon: due to the increasing intrusion of computer technology into the culture, the figure of the artist with the brush in his hand is becoming more exotic every year. Nevertheless, modern artists who have chosen the path of the painter do not just follow the canons of the bygone century, but also modify them, enriching them with individual skill. This is how genuine masterpieces are born, in which the familiar world opening from the window appears as the symbol of the Motherland. Already in the early 1960s, the new generation of artists was formed. With the advent of the Khrushchev thaw, the active search for new artistic forms capable of adequately expressing the essence of the rapidly changing time began. Within the framework of the single realistic direction, new styles began to emerge; long-forgotten methods and traditions were tested. At the same time, the academic school of Russian realism was not forgotten. Enriched with deep psychologism of images and comprehension of the recent past epochal events, it found the new embodiment in the works of such masters as V. Bakshaev ("Taiga Landing", "Students") and Y. Raksha ("Builders. Our Drilling Rig").
Museum of Contemporary History of Russia 
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 
Kwan Young Chu. Aggregations
The Moscow Museum of Modern Art in collaboration with ASKERI GALLERY presents an exhibition of Kwan Young Chun, an internationally renowned South Korean artist. The exhibition will include key works by the artist created between 1990 and 2021. Arranged chronologically on two floors of the vast exhibition space, the works will present the history of the formation and development of the master, who skilfully combines European and Asian culture. Initially, his style was influenced by American modernism of the mid-twentieth century, which Kwan Young Chun studied closely during his training in Philadelphia. However, he later decided to abandon the American artistic tradition, return to South Korea and create his own style, a unique synthesis of Western and Asian values. The tragic history of his native country, childhood memories, Confucianism and Western pragmatism gave birth to the series Aggregations, which has become Chun’s trademark. Original art objects styled as wall panels are created from hanji, a traditional Korean paper that is made by hand from the bark of the mulberry tree. It has been widely used throughout Korea for centuries and is employed in various fields, from making all kinds of household items to works of art and author’s design. For his compositions, Kwan Young Chun uses old accounting records, love letters and fragments of philosophical treatises, which he folds into small triangles in a special way, where the text serves as both an ornament and a message. Thus, in the hands of the artist, the hanji sheets get a second life and his works are filled with new meanings. Visitors must present a QR code and an identity document.
Moscow Museum of Modern Art on Gogolevsky bulv 
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  
Rejected Masterpieces. Pavel Tretyakov’s Challenge
Twenty most “highly acclaimed” works in the history of Russian art were selected for the project “Rejected Masterpieces. Pavel Tretyakov’s Challenge”. The project is to show how these canvases were received by their contemporaries and how aesthetic ideas and preferences have changed over the years. When these paintings first appeared in public and became the focus of discussions of the professional community, they caused not only debate and disputes, but also antagonism, rejection, and even smear campaigns (up to censorship banning exhibiting, and removal from exhibitions and from catalogs). But today the permanent exposition of a major Russian museum is unthinkable without them. It is not easy for us to imagine why their contemporaries found these canvases that now have pride of place in the collection, so unacceptable. What could be annoying in Surikov’s “Boyar Morozova” or Kuindzhi’s “Birch Grove”? What could outrage in Vasnetsov’s “After the Battle ...”, why was Perov’s “Rural Religious Procession at Easter” removed from the exhibition and why was Repin’s painting “Ivan the Terrible and his Son Ivan….” banned from exhibition? The project is aimed at finding answers to these questions. Throughout his journey as a collector, Tretyakov acquired controversial items that shocked the public and provoked discussions in the art world. He fearlessly purchased works that were not approved of by the art authorities. Tretyakov’s contemporaries criticized him for not making “right choices” and disapproved of many of his acquisitions. By modern standards, their attacks do not stand up to criticism, as the collector’s views and tactics have proven so far-sighted. Tretyakov wrote on many occasions that only later generations would be able to give an unbiased assessment of his collection, because time would be the true judge. Three paintings out of twenty in the project were created during the collector’s lifetime,...
Tretyakov Gallery at Lavrushinsky Lane 
The Funnies
Triumph Gallery presents "The Funnies", a solo exhibition of Yulia Krivozubova, which includes paintings and graphics, sculptures and installations. Yulia’s concept for the exposition space is to include the viewer into a colourful and festive celebration with the cheerful ‘girls’. They are vigorous and carefree creatures that are totally free to do what they wish. Living outside the moral, social and cultural framework, they are far from lonely and, conversely, they are quite happy. As humans we are well versed in such inhibitions, instilled into us from early childhood — the ‘girls’ know no such limitations. They represent the highest degree of will and audacity to live. Even in calling them the ‘girls’, Yulia avoids any deliberate gender-oriented or feminist undertones. Gender is yet another social construct that the characters defy. Most prominent in the personality and worldview of Yulia’s characters are the love of freedom and lightness, on the one hand, and, on the other, egocentricity, radical individualism, hedonism. They are not concerned with the earthly worries, the need of biological survival, or issues of socialisation. They are literally free to do anything they wish and engage harmoniously with the world, which they use merely as a resource and means for their mischief. The exhibition shows scenes from the routine leisure of these creatures: here are two of them laughing and playing around amid colourful balloons, here is someone five-headed coming out of a river, someone monstrously huge peeks from around a wall, and one of the ‘girls’ savagely bites off the neck of a two-headed heron.
Triumph Gallery 
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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