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Not just football and beer. A cultural guide for visitors to Moscow

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To miss the chance of visiting the unique exhibitions of the capital hosting the World Cup 2018, is like to score an own goal. Football will not forgive this to you! The mystical Vermeer, demonic Vrubel, uncompromising Malevich, philosophical Roerich, succulent Konchalovsky, appetizing Deineka, romantic Zverev, admirable Picasso — they all make up just a part of the artistic team that is fighting successfully for the fans' attention.

"Masterpieces of the Leiden Collection" in the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts

The Leiden Collection of Thomas and Daphne Kaplan was broadly presented to the public only in 2017, and in just a year, it is on show in Russia. The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts hosts the magnificent collection of 17th-century Dutch paintings.

The exhibition features 80 paintings and two drawings, including the only privately owned work of Vermeer, twelve Rembrandts, two portraits by Hals, nine works by Gerrit Dou, a drawing of Leonardo da Vinci along with the other masterpieces.

"The age of Rembrandt and Vermeer. Masterpieces of the Leiden Collection" exhibition will run at The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts through 22 July 2018.

"Banksy. A genius or a vandal? You decide!"

The intrigue of this summer season is the exhibition of the legendary Britisher Banksy, now held in Moscow House of Artist (Tsentralny Dom Khudozhnika). Art objects, rare prints, photographs — the exhibition presents about 100 works of Banksy, 26 of which are unique (with the artist’s serial works also on view). The exposition features the collections of the Lilley Fine Art Gallery, several contemporary art museums, as well as private collections from all around the world. Among the exhibits, there are unique gifts presented by Banksy to his friends, as well as the works created by the artist for the Bristol exhibition. Specially designed multimedia zone introduces visitors to the ouevre of the legendary graffiti artist.

"Banksy. A genius or a vandal? You decide!" exhibition is on view at Moscow House of Artist (Tsentralny Dom Khudozhnika) until September 2, 2018.

Photograph: Maxim Shemetov, Reuters. Photo source:

"Street stories" in the same House

The contemporary artists’s attention to the urban environment is not accidental. A city is not just a giant treasury of historical and architectural artifacts, symbols, opportunities and problems. Further unfolding the theme of modern urban culture set up by the exposition of Banksy’s artwork, The Moscow House of Artist (Tsentralny Dom Khudozhnika) together with the Artcultivator project, present the "Street stories" exhibition, the stories of Russian artists about the matter and spirit of the city. In the format of "urban stories", the artists contemplate on its various hypostases: whether it is an anthill city, a battlefield, a refuge, a jungle or a den. The exposition presents more than 50 works of painting, graphics, sculpture, as well as installation and video art.

The "Street stories" exhibition in Moscow House of Artist runs until July 1, 2018.

"Football and more" in the Tretyakov Gallery

The State Tretyakov Gallery dedicated its "Football and more" exhibition to the World Cup 2018. The sculptures and paintings of 1920-s — 1990-s from the Gallery’s own collection are on display. The selection will attract even not that zealous sports fans, as instead of the pathos of a must-see event, the museum offers the fascinating thematic retrospective spiced up with a bit of healthy humour. The figures of the athletes are quite a sight, and the tense moments captured by the artists remain sharp today, be that Grigoryev’s 'Goalkeeper' of 1949, or Deineka’s nudes in "The Ball Game."
The "Football and more" exhibition in the State Tretyakov Gallery will run through September 11, 2018.

Vasily Vereshchagin in The New Tretyakov Gallery

The season’s large exhibition in The State Tretyakov Gallery is a grandiose retrospective of an artist, historian, writer, ethnographer and traveler Vasily Vereshchagin. More than 500 exhibits including 180 paintings, 120 graphic works, 97 works of decorative and applied art, as well as rare archival documents and photographs are on loan from the best Russian museums and private collections.
The main goal of the exhibition is to reveal to the public the unique personality of the genius artist, warrior and pacifist, passionate researcher of new geographical landscapes, countries and people, the painter who managed to transform radically the genre of the battle painting in fine arts.

The "Vasily Vereshchagin" exhibition in the New Tretyakov Gallery on the Crymsky Val
will run through July 15, 2018.

"Impressionism in the Avant-garde" in the Museum of Russian Impressionism

Moscow without Malevich is like throwing money away! What is there in common between Impressionism and Russian Avant-garde of the early 20th century? The answers to this questions is akin to a successful series of penalties. The Museum of Russian Impressionism invites you to a large-scale exhibition "Impressionism in the Avant-garde".

The exposition features more than 60 Impressionist works of Russian avant-gardists from 14 state museums and 17 private collections. The exquisite selection on display is aimed to show the connection between Impressionism and the Russian avant-garde of the early 20th century, as well as to reveal the little-known creative aspects of the masters of the art movement that glorified Russian art throughout the world.
The visitors will trace the influence of the French Impressionist and post-Impressionist artists on the bright revolutionary discoveries of Mikhail Larionov, Natalia Goncharova, Kazimir Malevich, Piotr Konchalovsky, Robert Falk and other famous artists.
"Impressionism in Avant-garde" exhibition at The Museum of Russian Impressionism
will be open to visitors until September 19, 2018.

Vik Muniz exhibition in Gary Tatintsian Gallery

Gary Tatintsian Gallery can boast of the exhibition of the world-famous artist and photographer Vik Muniz. Starting his artistic career as a sculptor, later on Muniz focused on graphics and photography. Inspired by the creativity of postmodernist artists Cindy Sherman and Jeff Koons, Vik Muniz uses popular images representing them in a brand new way, thereby demonstrating one of the main ideas of contemporary art — the primacy of the concept over the uniqueness of the visual context.
Experimenting with a wide range of non-traditional materials (dry pigment, dust, sugar, chocolate, diamonds, caviar, children’s toys, garbage, scraps of magazines), Muniz reproduces works of the renowned artists, creating short-lived copies of the famous works of art. Capturing the results of his work as high-resolution photographs, Muniz creates a series of photographs, rediscovering the masterpieces of world-famous artists.

Vik Muniz exhibition in Gary Tatintsian Gallery runs through September 8, 2018.
Vik Muniz’s work after Mikhail Vrubel’s "Sitting Demon", 1890. Photograph:

"Ouevre of Nicholas and Svyatoslav Roerich"

The Roerich Museum in Moscow (The State Museum of the East) hosts the unique exhibition "Ouevre of Nicholas and Svyatoslav Roerich". It represents almost all periods of Nicholas Roerich's creativity, ranging from his early "Russian architectural series" to the philosophical paintings executed during the last years of the artist’s life.
In addition to more than 200 paintings, the visitors will have an opportunity to see the art objects collected by the Roerich family. A separate room is dedictated to the artwork of Svyatoslav Roerich, who had lived and worked in India since 1931. The highlight of the exhibition is the memorial room, recreated by the museum workers. The objects on display — paintings, photographs, personal belongings of the family members, among which the famous Tibetan cap Nikolai loved to wear, old table — all this reminds of the great Roerich family.

The exhibition "Ouevre of Nicholas and Svyatoslav Roerich" is on view until December 31, 2019

"Zverev-GALA" in AZ Museum

The Museum of Anatoly Zverev offers "Zverev-GALA" exhibition, which is the unique opportunity to get acquainted with the ouevre of this exceptional avant-garde artist from Moscow. Pablo Picasso considered this representative of the subculture of the sixties the best Russian draftsman, and not in vain.
Occupying three floors, the exposition holds more than 250 works executed in various genres: portraits, landscapes, abstractions, cycles of suprematics and illustrations. For the first time, the exhibition space features unique materials — a cycle of the illustrations to the story of Nikolai Gogol’s "Notes of a Madman", which Anatoly Zverev created in 1955. Especially for this section of the exhibition, the famous Russian animation director Mikhail Aldashin created an animated film.

The exhibition "Zverev-GALA" in AZ Museum runs until January 20, 2019.

"General rehearsal" in Moscow Museum of Modern Art

The "General rehearsal" project combines works from three international art collections: V-A-C Foundation, KADIST and Moscow Museum of Modern Art (MMOMA). The project introduces new approach to exhibition making and interacting with the audience. Designed to evolve and change like a living organism that adapts and responds to its environment, it adopts the structure of a theatrical play developing over three acts to be staged over a five-month period. In this framework, the project proposes considering artworks as actors in the play, having a potential agency similar to human beings.
The curators of the "General Rehearsal" project suggested that the three authors write their scripts, selecting as characters any of the 200 works from the collections of V-A-C, MMOMA and the KADIST Foundation. The key to the scenes played in the halls of the second floor of the Moscow Museum of Modern Art is a libretto, as is customary in the theatre, and an open storage facility operates on the third floor, where you can see all the works that are not involved in the productions. Five months of the "General Rehearsal" will be full of the public events. The exposition features the works of Dmitry Prigov, Mikhail Tolmachev, Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe, Jeff Koons, Аmedeo Modigliani, Andy Warhol, Gerhardt Richter and other artists.

The "General rehearsal" project in MOMMA runs through September 16, 2018.
Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe, photograph by Sergei Borisov.
"Anna Akhmatova", from the series "Tales of the Lost Time", 2001. The MMOMA collection.

These are not football gates! The Vrubel's fireplace and "Abramtsevo estate" museum

In the intervals between the football battles, it is worth to find a few hours to visit the "Abramtsevo estate" museum. It is located near the town of Sergiev Posad, on the bank of the river Vori. In 1870, the Abramtsevo estate was purchased by a railway industrialist, art and theater figure Savva Mamontov. In Abramtsevo, the guests of Mamontov were Viktor Vasnetsov, Valentin Serov, Ilya Repin, Konstantin Korovin, Mikhail Vrubel and other famous Russian artists, musicians and actors. The creative community of these masters entered the history of art as the Abramtsevo art circle. Its participants created works of architecture, fine and decorative art, collected objects of peasant life, staged and decorated amateur performances. Let’s just mention that at the World Exhibition in Paris, Savva Morozov was awarded a gold medal as an "exhibitor" of majolica products. Mikhail Vrubel received a gold medal for his majolica works: the fireplace "Mikula Selyaninovich and Volga" and the sculptures on the opera plots.

By the way, those foreign guests of the World Cup who do not want to leave the capital even for a day, will surely be interested to see the new exposition of the All-Russian Museum of Decorative, Applied and Folk Art "Russian Style: from Historicism to Modernity". Among the unique exhibits is one of the variants of this fireplace.

These are not football gates! This is the fireplace entitled "Mikula Selyaninovich and Volga", which is kept in the Tretyakov Gallery. This fireplace, the brainchild of Vrubel, unlike his five purely decorative "brethren," was used for its intended purpose.
The review was prepared on the materials of the official press-releases of the museums mentioned in the publication, as well as Arthive’s own publications.

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