The 30x30 cm pieces of cardboard used as envelopes for vinyl discs became popular in the middle of the 20th century. These works of art fused sound and image. In November, the Garage Centre for Contemporary Culture is putting on a unique exhibition of record album and CD covers asembled by the British collector, publisher and curator Guy Shraenen. The full collection has thousands of covers, of which about 700 are here. This selection gives an idea of the evolution of album illustration in the 20th century. Here are avant-garde sound recordings from the 1920s, with Dadaist works serving as covers, colourful music of the 60s, surreal patterns of the 70s, there are the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, Kraftwerk and Sonic Youth. The aim of the exhibition is to explore the connection between the outer image and the music within. The exhibition will fascinate both music lovers and fans of the world’s celebrity artists and photographers: from Andy Warhol and Annie Leibovitz to Robert Crumb and David LaChapelle.
Napoleon, Moscow and the Louvre
This exhibition to mark the bicentenary of the 1812 War between Russia and France is presented by the State Historical Museum and the Louvre, France’s oldest museum. The French Emperor was always surrounded with military glories. To his contemporaries and descendants he always was a genius of war, and his time has since been called the “epoch of the Napoleonic wars.” The Louvre was started soon after the French Revolution and commenced with royal collections of paintings, sculptures, graphics and applied arts. It was thanks to the Emperor’s own intelligence, energy and administrative skills that the best painters and sculptors started working for the new creation which therefore soon attained fame and influence throughout Europe. The Louvre remembers Napoleon not just as a master of war, but as an integral part of the world’s cultural heritage, and art played a special role. Granted, its role was mostly to glorify the empire, not unusual in those days. Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, Emile Jean Horace Vernet, Jean-Louis-André- Théodore Géricault and other icons of the first decades of the 19th century are on display are in this exhibition.
November to January 2011
Open 10:00–18:00, daily except Monday
State Historical Museum; 2/3 Ploschad
Pyotr Konchalovsky at Tretyakov gallery
For the State Tretyakov Gallery to present this Russian European’s exhibition is a major achievement. Pyotr Konchalovsky was a leader of the Russian avant-garde and a member of the Jack of Diamonds group. He was a bridge between European and Russian art at the cusp of the 20th century. He lived in Paris, studied at local arts academies, participated in the Salon des Indépendants, was thoroughly familiar with impressionism and post-impressionism and knew how to emplant those in Russia. Konchalovsky was influenced by Cezanne and translated a book about him from French, which became a source for many Russian artists about the ‘father of the new arts.” Konchalovsky’s works meanwhile were christened ‘Russian Cezannisme’ by local critics.” He and his colleagues, including Mashkov, Lentulov, Kuprin and Rozhdestvensky created the Jack of Diamonds group, which had its first exhibition exactly a century ago in December 1910. Konchalovsky led this group, as by then he was already a mature painter who has mastered the new art of impressionism. French culture merged in his paintings with national themes, images and his own artistic language.
Until 15 November
Open 10:00–19:00 daily except Monday
State Tretyakov Gallery, 12, Lavrushinsky
Maria’s Children Annual Charity Evening
Clown-Doctor Patch Adams will be hosting Maria’s Children 13th Annual Charity Evening; an Art Auction on November 11th at the Katrina-City Hotel (6, Shlyuzovaga embankment) at 18:30. Grab your red nose, and join the artists, clowns and friends for an inspiring night of hilarity and charity.
Maria’s Children was founded in 1993, after local Moscow artist Maria Yeliseyeva and volunteers visited with orphans and, on weekends, painted with them. Today, 200 children from 8 orphanages and boarding schools come to the studio to paint, do ceramics, sew, play instruments, learn foreign languages, make handicrafts, learn life skills and share in a community.
Projects include summer art camps (living in “family groups” for two weeks, studying, clowning, swimming, and building self confidence), spring adaptation camps (teaching cooking, housekeeping and art classes), clowning and murals (helping build a sense of community and compassion), educational trainings and trips. One of last year’s projects was a trip to Beslan (North Ossetia), and working with orphanage leadership, offering psychological and professional support, hoping to induce positive changes.
The art is amazingly inventive, bursting with color and imagination- made individually and collectively by students and graduates of the studio.
November 11 at 18:30, Katrina City hotel
1500 rubles ($50).
Children – free.
Telephone number (495) 692-4870 (studio)
8-916-164-4996 (Natasha, cell)
The Russian Avant-Garde in music and 3D
Concert halls like the Moscow International House of Music are not normally associated with 3D technology or cinema, but these components plus Russian avant-garde pictures of the 1890s-1930s and musical compositions by Prokofiev and Shostakovitch will all come together to produce an unforgettable effect on the audience. The artistic background to describe the avant-garde movement was yet in its infancy, it gave the world Kazimir Malevich and
Vassily Kandinsky. Their musical contemporaries Sergey Prokofiev and Dmitry Shostakovich created equally significant masterpieces. The State Symphonic Orchestra’s “New Russia” conducted by Yury Bashmet will be responsible for the performing part of the evening accompanied by Alena Baeva, a young talented violinist, laureate of prestigious international contests.
17 November at 19:00
International House of Music, Svetlanovsky Hall
Bi-2 at Estrada Theatre
This autumn, Moscow musicians seem to be slightly lightheaded. While Yury Bashmet introduces a third visual dimension to his Shostakovich, the two leaders of Bi-2 are inviting a symphony orchestra conducted by Felix Aranovsky to perform their classic rock compositions. The first scoring of Bi-2’s guitar music in traditional style took place in 2003. It started as a one off, but the musicians themselves enjoyed it so much that since then it has grown into an ever grander event comprising drums, guitars and classics. Geographically, the project has also extended to encompass Russia, Latvia and Ukraine. Bi-2 was formed in 1985 in Minsk by Aleksandr “Shura” Uman and Yegor “Lyova” Bortnik. Their original name was as translated “Brothers in Arms”, later “Bereg Istiny” (Shore of Truth), itself abbreviated to Bi- 2. They gained tremendous fame all over Russia with their title song in the soundtrack to Brother 2, a film by Aleksei Balabanov, and since 2000 have released a dozen albums in Russian and English, sometimes teaming up for joint recordings with other Russian rockers including Nochnye Snaipery, Agata Kristi, Brainstorm and Splean.
12 November 12 at 19:00
“Russian Seasons” is a Russian ballet festival revived in Russia by Andries Liepa, the talented and driven ballet star. He and his foundation have worked for more than six years to resurrect the famous “The Blue God”, “Tamar”, “Tsar-Ptitsa” (“Fire-Bird”), “Bolero” and “Le Pavillon d’Armide.” These ballets were the heart of the repertoire of the original Ballets Russes founded by Sergey Diaghilev, who in 1907 decided to introduce Russian art to the world. He arranged a series of performances united as the “Russian Seasons.”
The concerts were a huge success in London, Rome, and the United States for many years. The original performers included Rimsky- Korsakov, Rachmaninoff, Chaliapin, Fokine, Pavlova, and Nijinsky. Nowadays Andries Liepa’s professional team include dance stars Ilze Liepa, Nikolay Tsiskaridze, Maria Alexandrova, Tatyana Chernobrovkina and Mikhail Lobukhin.
22 November at 19:00
Stanislavsky and Nimerovich Danchenko
Moscow Academic Music Theatre
Moscow House of Photography becomes a Multimedia Art Museum
The Moscow House of Photography celebrated its housewarming party in their revamped home in Ostozhenka street. For five years they had to organise exhibitions in other people’s halls, but now they have a new complex with a constructivist interior: 9,000 m2 of space that will also contain photo archives, a restoration workshop, a modern art and photo library, photo laboratory, educational studio for children and teenagers, cafeteria, bookshop and a beautiful terrace with a view over Ostozhenhka and Volkhonka streets. The new premises will house more than eighty thousand prints, negatives, video art works and multimedia art installations: part of the visual archive of the Russian Empire, Soviet Union and modern Russia. This ambitious project was started by the present director of the Moscow House of Photography, Olga Sviblova.
In 1991 during a trip to France where she was researching documentaries for her current project dedicated to Matisse, she came across some exhibitions of Soviet photographers full of pictures she could not imagine seeing at home. She realised instantly that Russia was reinventing herself, and that “to know your future, you must know your past.” The idea of collecting a visual archive was born. Still in France, she met a delegation from the Russian Ministry for Culture who developed the idea of a photographic festival in Moscow. Once back in Moscow, a House of Photography uniting two aims of an archive and a place to hold a festival took form. The city provided her with a small mansion in Ostozhenka Street and she went tracking the families of photographers for negatives, state archives and memories. Alexander Rodchenko, El Lissitsky, Boris Ignatovich, Alexander Grinberg, Yury Yeremin Nikolai Andreev and many others whom Sviblova describes as “every bit as good as Cartier-Bresson”, even though their subjects are different. These are iconic names in the Russian photography. Their works are central in understanding the history of Russian photography and the opening of the new exposition in Ostozhenka shows them together for the first time.
“Selected” is the exhibition featuring the brightest works of some of those pioneers. The first of two further projects inaugurating the new edifice space is “Time Will Tell”, part of the 2010 Russia-France year, displaying one of
the most recognised art streams of the 60s-70s: Fluxus, represented by such stars as Ben Vautier, Yoko Ono, Joseph Beyus, Nam June Paik and Jonas Mekas. The final work is Sergey Bermenyev’s exhibition “Joseph Brodsky,” coinciding with the seventieth anniversary of the poet and with a Brodsky Year being announced by UNESCO.
Open 12:00-21:00, daily except Mondays
Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow, 16, Ostozhenka street
European graphics masterpieces
Particular attention has always been paid to private collections at the Pushkin museum of Fine Arts. It was the initiative of the Moscow University professor Ivan Tsvetaev that started and gradually built up the collection of sculpture, casts and replicas. After 1918, large contributions were made from Moscow’s private collections and the Hermitage. “Collectors’ Portraits” is a series of exhibitions at the museum which showcases the traditions of creating an art collection. Collecting the arts emerged and bloomed in Russia in the 18th century and 19th centuries when both noblemen and merchants started to acquire collections. Vassily Basnin was an Irkutsk-born tea dealer with an interest in rare books and foreign arts. He started a collection at home with prints by Schongauer, Durer, Goltzius, Rembrandt, Callot, Tiepolo, Watteau, Bouché, Fragonard and Hogarth. His son Nikolay dedicated his career to law, but like his father was a devoted fan of the graphic arts, and being well travelled brought rate prints from the best engravers from all over the world, thus tripling his father’s collection. Serious collectors often turn into respected experts. Nikolay Basnin became a print-guru whose advice was sought by specialists from major museums.
Open 10:00–19:00, daily except Monday
Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts,
Department of Private Collections