The Moscow Museum of Modern Art (MMoMA) is Russia’s first state-sponsored museum focusing on Russian and foreign art from the 20th and 21st centuries. Founded in 1999 with support from the Moscow City Government and the Moscow City Department of Culture, MMoMA has been among the leading cultural venues of the Russian capital for over 15 years.
The Moscow Museum of Modern Art was born out of Zurab Tsereteli’s private collection, who was a famous sculptor and president of the Russian Academy of Arts. The collection was structured in a way that made it possible to trace all the stages in the evolution of Russian and foreign modern art. The Museum’s policy is to gradually reveal its collection to the public through themed exhibitions and special events, thus making various forms of modern art easier to grasp for people at every interest level.
The Museum has four locations spread along the Boulevard Ring in downtown Moscow.
- The main building is situated at 25 Petrovka Street (Russian: Петровка). This building houses part of the Museum’s permanent display and also hosts temporary exhibitions. The building is disability-friendly, and has been undergoing major renovation over the last few years.
- Five floors have been allocated to the Museum in an early 20th century building at 17 Ermolayevsky side street (Russian: Ермолаевский переулок) (MMoMA at Ermolayevsky). This building currently functions as MMoMA’s primary display area.
- The gallery at 9 Tverskoy Boulevard is located inside what used to be Zurab Tsereteli’s creative studio. It holds memories of Tsereteli, the guests who visited the studio and the atmosphere is filled with creativity. This venue is frequently used for various cultural events in Moscow.
- The old building of the Russian Academy of Arts at 10 Gogolevsky Boulevard was designed by Matvey Kazakov. The building holds numerous international exhibitions, symposiums and conferences.
25 PETROVKA STREET
At 25 Petrovka Street, exhibitions are held on a regular basis. This house is the former residence of merchants and was built in the late 18th century. Many prominent cultural figures visited it in the early 20th century, and it still holds these memories within its walls. The Museum’s rich collection includes works by Kazimir Malevich and Marc Chagall, Natalia Goncharova and Mikhail Larionov, Pavel Filonov, Vladimir Tatlin and many others, whose masterpieces were purchased at auctions and in galleries across Europe and the United States – they have now returned home.
At MMoMA on Petrovka, visitors can see works by Russian avant-garde artists as well as their contemporaries from other countries. For instance, the collection features brilliant graphic works by Fernand Léger, Giorgio de Chirico and Pablo Picasso, sculptures by Salvador Dali and Arman. Among other works housed in this Museum are those created by painter Niko Pirosmani and some by non-conformist artists from the 1960s-1980s (Ilya Kabakov, Oskar Rabin, Anatoly Zverev and others). The Museum aims to display every facet of the modern cultural scene, which is why it keeps up with emerging art trends and consistently expands its collection with the works of modern artists, including Viktor Pivovarov, Konstantin Zvezdochotov, Dmitri Prigov and others.
Exhibitions at 25 Petrovka street change all the time. One of the displays contains works by Antonio Gaudi (the man behind many of the famous buildings adorning Barcelona) and another features interactive installations by contemporary artist Alexandra Dementieva, who creates images in a really interesting, hi-tech way.
ERMOLAYEVSKY, GOGOLEVSKY, TVERSKOY
The MMoMA site in Ermolayevsky side street hosts no less sophisticated and significant exhibitions. The museum takes up 5 floors in this building and therefore, it is MMoMA’s main exhibition space. In 2017, visitors saw Valery Eisenberg’s retrospective project MIGRATIO. This exhibition displayed modern Russian art from this outstanding artist of the 80s, as well as the anniversary exhibition of prominent art photographer Sergei Borisov called ‘Zeitgeist’ in black and white, an extensive video installation by Alexandra Mitlyanskaya called ‘Between Past and Present’, and much more.
The old building of the Russian Academy of Arts at 10 Gogolevsky boulevard is a venue for numerous international exhibitions, symposiums, and conferences.
The gallery at 9 Tverskoy boulevard occupying the space of Zurab Tsereteli’s former workshop has a particularly creative air. For this reason, today this venue hosts significant events in Moscow’s cultural life.
THE MUSEUM’S MISSION STATEMENT
One of MMoMA’s objectives is organizing an extensive program of exhibitions where visitors can enjoy retrospective pieces by famous 20th century artists as well as works by amateur artists. There are also events featured as part of various festivals which vary in their scale and scope. The Museum works closely with young painters, supporting their endeavours with a two-year training course offered by the ‘Free Studios’ School of Modern Art at 25 Petrovka Street. You can attend a series of lectures on Russian and foreign art of the 20th and 21st centuries, get to know the art market and new technologies in visual art and get a solid understanding of current issues in contemporary culture. Among other things, the Museum offers numerous activities for children. These include workshops, guided tours and training courses, available at the ‘Fantasy’ Art Studio for children aged 5 to 12.
For adults interested in art, MMoMA holds lectures and workshops with renowned artists, curators and art experts, and also runs guided tours of permanent and temporary exhibitions. The main building also has a bookstall selling books and other printed materials about art, including those produced by the Museum.© 2016-2018 moscovery.com