Moscow Museum of Modern Art

Moscow Museum of Modern Art is the first Russian State Museum, specialized entirely in the art of XX and XXI centuries. Since its opening, the Museum has become versatile in its activities and has received wide recognition. Today the Museum contributes greatly into the artistic life of the capital offering locations at four sites in the historical center of Moscow.

The collection of the Museum represents the main stages of the avant-garde development. Much of the collection consists of works by Russian artists, but it contains the works of international artists: graphic works by Pablo Picasso, Fernand Leger, Juan Miro, Giorgio de Chirico, sculpture by Salvador Dali, Arman and Arnaldo Pomodoro, paintins by Henri Rousseau and Francoise Gilot and also the installations of Yukinori Yanaga.

The core of the Museum’s collection consists of the Russian avant-garde works of the early ХХ century classics. Many of the works that were either purchased at auctions and in galleries in Europe and the United States, were thus returned to their homeland from abroad. Among them, there are paintings by Kazimir Malevich, Marc Shagall, Natalia Goncharova and Mikhail Larionov, Aristarkh Lentulov, Vladimir Tatlin, Pavel Filonov and Vasily Kandinsky, sculptures by Alexander Archipenko and Osip Tsadkin. That’s said, the pride of the Museum is a unique collection of works by Georgian primitivist artist Niko Pirosmani. An impressive section of the exhibition is devoted to the work of non-conformist artists of 1960-1980-ies i.e. Ilya Kabakov, Anatoly Zverev, Vladimir Yakovlev, Vladimir Nemukhin, Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid, Oscar Rabin, Dmitry Krasnopevtsev, Leonid Shvartsman, Oleg Tselkov and others. The Museum supports the development of contemporary art in Russia with always being in search for ways to enrich the collection. Now the section of contemporary art presents the works of Boris Orlov, Dmitry Alexandrovich Prigov, Valery Koshlyakov, Vladimir Dubosarsky and Alexander Vinogradov, Oleg Kulik, Viktor Pivovarov, Konstantin Zvezdochetov, Andrey Bartenev and other artists.

An extensive exhibition program of the Museum attempts to show broadly and diversely the visual culture of the XX and XXI centuries. Every year the Museum organizes many exhibitions in all scales — ranging from the debut presentations of beginners and conceptual exhibitions to international festivals and huge retrospectives of major artists.

1. The main building of Moscow Museum of Modern Art is a historical and cultural value. In Moscow history this architectural building of the XVIII century is known as the mansion of Gubin. It was really a main house of a wealthy Ural industrialist and merchant Mikhail Pavlovich Gubin. The house was built in 1793 by Matvey Kazakov, a famous Russian architect. After the change of many owners, the land went to the owner M. Gubin, who made his name immortal by building a wonderful estate, the main house of which came down to us almost as it originally looked.

The researchers studying the architectural heritage of Matvey Kazakov, have repeatedly suggested that the main house of the estate was rebuilt by the architect from the older building. The mansion together with the side wings (one of them has survived to our time) was a typical Moscow ensemble, which looked out on the red line of the street. There was a park with a small pond behind the mansion house. That’s the layout of the estate existed until the late XIX century.

Then it shared the fate of most old Moscow estates i.e. the ownership was divided. Its biggest part together with a garden and pond was sold out. In 1880 the main house was handed over to school. It is known that Valery Bryusov and the Bakhrushins brothers, famous poets-symbolists, studied there.

Museum visitors can enjoy the results of the restoration i.e. unique paintings on the ceilings of the mansion, designed in the classic spirit. Elements of the interior —a staircase, orchestral niche in the Grand Hall, ceramic stoves — still convey the atmosphere of old Moscow to us. 

2. The second building of the Moscow Museum of Modern Art is located at the: Ermolaevsky lane, 17.

The house, where the Museum is located, was built by D. Markov in 1915 for the Moscow architectural society, and on the contributions of the architects. The Society was housed in the building until 1932 to be dissolved. Its last Chairman was a Moscow architect A. Shusev from 1922 to 1932. In Soviet times, the house belonged to the Moscow Union of Artists and held youth exhibitions there while also arranging creative workshops. The style of the building is a popular Neoclassicism – the tendency that came to replace the Modern.

3. The third exhibition house is located on Tverskoy Boulevard, building 9. Since the late 1960s, this location served as the creative workshop of Zurab Tsereteli, the current President of the Russian Academy of Arts. At various times, the guests of the artist were famous poets and writers, singers and musicians, artists, scientists, journalists, public people.

4. The fourth exhibition facility is located on Gogol Boulevard, 10. This building is also a creation by architect Matvey Kazakov. It was built late in XVIII century and was owned by the Tsurikov-Naryshkin. Currently there are large-scale international exhibitions as well as,- scientific-practical conferences, symposiums.

5. On Bolshaya Gruzinskaya street, 15 there is a house, built by merchant Vasily Gorbunov in the late XIX century. At the turn of this century old mansion was completely transformed. Its solemn and eclectic look complemented a modern extension. The happy clowns greet you on the facade of the extension. These huge, brightly painted sculptures gave the usual building a fantastic character. The square in front of the mansion being, a part of the Georgian square, was turned into a Museum under the open sky. The exhibition includes a collection of works by Zurab Tsereteli and the collection of his monumental sculptures in the courtyard along with mosaic and stained glass compositions.
The exhibition, housed on three floors consists in 250 paintings, drawings, enamels and sculpture. It talks about the formation and career of the artist, of the deep connections of his work with ancient and contemporary art of Georgia, as well as with the European art of the XX century.

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