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Exhibition, Performance and Theatre Previews

Hand-made going self-made

Photos by Alina Kalinina

Drugie Veshi (‘other things’) is the label for an artistic project that originally appeared four years ago in Moscow to unite independent clothes and interior designers and actually introduce hand-made accessories to Muscovite fashionistas.

The project started very humbly from knitting needles, when friends of friends knitted mittens and other essential items. It was easy to get other designers together and make the first show in a club. There had never been a show like this, where you could come, touch and try on whimsically ornamented shawls and scarves, mosaic vases, silk postcards, bear-shaped pillows, coffee-scented candles, felt earrings and beads, all hand-made. Soon an internet gallery was set up, inviting designers and presenting their works on-line.

Since then Drugie Veshi have held about

May 22 11:00 – 21:00
More information at
5, Savelieva street
Trubetskie’s mansion park

one hundred thematic shows in Moscow and also held workshops for anyone who wants to find relaxation and self-expression in making something for themselves or their homes with their own hands. This May, Drugie Veshi goes open-air and invites you to the Trubetskie’s Mansion in Khamovniki. There will be over one hundred designers with their original handicrafts, theatre performances for children, lounge music area, workshops and inspiration!

Art to the People of the Night!

While Museum Day (May 18) has been observed in Russia for several decades, Museum Night (May 15), is rather new, but already a tradition. Moscow museums and galleries are preparing art programmes for those who are curious what happens at museums when night falls. This year, for example, federal museums will offer special open air programmes such as an international video art festival with venues spread across the city.

Right across the courtyards and parks opposite the Tretyakov Gallery, the Pushkin Theater, NCCA and the Bakhrushin Theatre Museum, masterpieces of European video art will be displayed on big colour screens,

along with poetry readings, master classes, a performance entitled Drawings in the Sand, and even a concert of classical music performed by a symphonic orchestra.

The Tretyakov Gallery presents an exhibition of Alexander Shevchenko’s works

lexander Shevchenko was a Russian-Soviet painter, he also worked in graphics and was one of the best teachers for many eminent painters of the Soviet epoch. His art is deservedly part of what is considered to be the best of the 1910–1930s Russian and Soviet art. Be that as it may, in 1933 his works were presented to Stalin as examples of Formalism, meaning that he paid too much attention to colour and shape rather than realism and context. His jubilee exhibition held in the Museum of Fine Arts was immediately closed ten days after opening without any explanations. These were not the best of times for an artist and for the whole country.

The Tretyakov presents a retrospective of Shevchenko’s works in which it is possible to trace the evolution of his own taste and style galloping along against the background of the first three decades of the 20th century with its Futurism, Art Nouveau, Cubism and Art Deco. He never declared himself to be a leader of any artistic movement. Adoring Cezanne, he created sunlit passages with the same ochre and lazurite colours. Being in Mikhail Larionov’s circle, he fell under the spell of his oriental moods. Applying and developing new trends from his colleagues, he yet remained faithful to his own perception and expression.

State Tretyakov gallery 
10, Krymsky Val street
Open: 10:00 – 19:00
except Monday

What do you think of Brand Realism?

Photo by Maria Barleben

ince Andy Warhol we have become accustomed to seeing labels and logotypes on pieces of modern art. Already a part of everyday life, they are a natural part of our visual input whenever we watch a film or go to an exhibition of one or other of our contemporaries. To come to an opening night and say that this is all no good would be inappropriate, as you are probably already standing in front of those art works with a glass of champagne and the invitation envelope in your pocket. To take it all in an ironic way would be the best, which is what the curators of the Fine Art gallery also think.

They present an exhibition of Sergey Shnurov’s artwork premiering it on the 15th of May ‑ Museum Night. Sergey Shnurov ‑ a would-be architect, restorer and theologist became much more famous thanks to his leadership of the ‘Leningrad’ rock group, whose concerts were forbidden in Moscow by its mayor in early 2000.

Yet the band’s wild instrumentals have found their way to the hearts of a huge number of people, from students to oligarchs. Willingly or not, the leader of ‘Leningrad’ became much more than that ‑ he himself became a brand for modern popular culture. Apart from his musical career, he was a columnist for the Russian version of ‘Rolling Stone’, launched his own TV channel on the internet, won a Nika ‑ a movie award for the best soundtrack and also tried his hand at acting and directing.

A logical continuation in the career of his brand “Wild Man” would be his paintings on display at Fine Art. “Following Aristotle, we are observing the conflict of trademarks as if from a distance,” Sergey says. From what distance? Aristotle would visit the exhibition, for sure.

 May 16 – June 20
Fine Art Gallery
Bolshaya Sadovaya Ulitsa,
Dom 3, Str. 10 

Victory! in contemporary photography

ilitary photography has been a vital part of photo-journalism since it started. From the first pictures taken by the English photographer Roger Fenton, who took over 300 pictures of the Crimean War in 1855, to the present, when photographs from Iraq or Afghanistan are an inseparable part of the World Press Photo Contest, we are, through photography, time and time again taken over by the bitterness and injustice of war.

For May 9, Victory Day, the Lumiere Brothers’ Gallery presents an exhibition of Soviet photographers who worked during WW II, and not just as observers, but as soldiers and officers equipped with Leicas along with Kalashnikovs. There is little detachment from reality here.

Lumiere Brothers’ Gallery
Open: 12:00 – 20:00 except Monday
Building 1, 3 Bolotnaya Embankment

The bitterness and ashes of the war as they were seen from the trenches, views that thousands of soldiers had seen, comes across. Alexander Ustinov, Boris Ignatovich, Iakov Khalip, Mikhail Trakhman are well-known to photography- lovers the world over. Their other works are more often on display, but this month their military photo journalism will narrate the nightmares and the final victory that they experienced themselves.

Watercolours from the home front

hen the WW II began, Soviet Middle Asia became home for thousands of families who left central Russia under the pressure of the Nazi invasion. Among them were painters and poets who expressed their gratitude to the country that became home for them for more than four years before they could return. The exhibition held at the Oriental Arts museum is named “Rakhat, Tashkent!” which translated from Uzbek as “Thank you, Tashkent!” - a line from a poem by Anna Akhmatova, somebody who spent a long time in ‘evacuation’. Some exhibits for the show were provided by the Museum of New Jerusalem (Istra, Moscow region) and also private owners. Among the pictures are works by Vladimir Favorsky, A. Nyurenberg, Sergey Gerasimov, L. Kramarenko, I. Zhdanko, A. Axelrod, A. Labas, M. Nikiforov, V. Kedrin.

Museum of Oriental Art
12a, Nikitsky boulevard
Open: 11:00 – 19:00 except Monday

Festival of symphony orchestras

or five years the twelfth of June – Russia Day – has been celebrated in Moscow to the sounds of classical music. Famous symphony orchestras are invited to participate in the Festival traditionally held in the Column Hall of the House of Union on Bolshaya Dmitrovka street. The festival has particular themes every year but on the whole the concept is simple: the best orchestras, conductors and music is performed in the white marble hall at the beginning of summer. This year’s programme, for example, is closely interwoven with Asia. Thus, we will hear the Tatarstan Symphony Orchestra conducted by Fuat Mansurov, the Presidential Symphony Orchestra of Turkey conducted by Cem Mansur, the China National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Michel Plasson, the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Myung-whun Chung and the Symphony Orchestra of India conducted by Alexander Anisimov. Compositions of Russian, European and Asian composers will be performed.



More information at  
House of Unions
Bolshaya Dmitrovka Street 1-8

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