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Exhibitions and Performances

From Raphael to Goya

wo museums are collaborating to bring you some fantastic art in June. The Museum of Fine Arts from Budapest is displaying paintings at the Moscow Museum of Fine Arts. The two museums themselves are almost twins: look at the eclectic-neoclassical style of their design, their dates of construction—both in the first decade of the 20th century— and their cultural interaction for years.

Irina Aleksandrovna Antonova, the director of the Moscow Museum of Fine Arts, manages to arrange new exhibitions in a way that enable one to learn more about the visual arts not only from Russian artefacts but also from those of museum’s counterparts. Thus, coming up in June, we have the chance to view, right here in Moscow, sixty classical paintings from the Esterhazy collection of the Budapest Museum, including masterpieces by Raphael, Giorgione, Titian, Veronese, Tintoretto, Dürer, Hals, Velázquez, José de Ribera, El Greco, Goya and others.

The Spanish painters are a special object of pride at the Budapest Museum. Its collection is comparable to that of the Prado in Madrid. The title of the exhibition, From Raphael to Goya, promises to provoke new queues around the building in Volkhonka Street after the successful Picasso show.

From June 8
Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts
Open: 10:00-19:00

When the Trees Were Tall

t the Lumiere Brothers’ Centre for Photography they have adopted a safe strategy for displaying reportage photographs: by decades, as part of an anthology of the 20th century. Some people have asked: “What exactly does the curator do in such a show?” But the very first show, The 60s, which was held two years ago at the Central House of Artists, turned out to be very competent, even when compared to the simultaneous PhotoBiennale, for example.

Choosing pictures for a show to be arranged by decades does produce curious results. Those buildings, fashion, ways of life captured in the photographs evoke scents, tastes and music from deep down in our memories, and this is all in a time when today’s ten year olds think that sms and emails are the only way to write messages, and that photographs are printed only from flash cards. This summer, the Lumiere Brothers Gallery is presenting new exhibitions in a larger space at the Red October Gallery, with pictures by best Soviet reporters: Dubinsky, Abaza, Gnevashev, all of whom worked for the Soviet news agencies: Rian, Itar Tass.

May 28 – August 1
Lumiere Brothers Gallery
3, Bolotnaya embankment, building 1
Open: 11:00-20:00, every day except Monday

Ottoman Sultans’ Treasures

he Topkapi Palace is a fantastic example of a rambling ensemble of buildings making up an Ottoman palace. Those who have visited Istanbul will know that it is also home to numerous exhibits and relics such as the prophet Muhammed’s cloak and sword. This palace was the major residence of the Sultans from the 15th to the 19th centuries and maintains under one roof the best examples of what Turkish artisans, sculptors created during those four hundred years.

It may be rather difficult to define a specifically ‘Ottoman’ culture, so large and diverse was the Ottoman empire, yet in such centres as the Topkapi Palace, one can certainly speak about the national peculiarities of that culture.

This is the first time that treasures from the Palace are being displayed in Moscow. More than a hundred exhibits illustrate the every-day life of the Ottoman Sultans. There are gorgeous weapons including parade helmets, swords, some of which belonged to Suleiman the Magnificent. He was the longestreigning Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, ruling from 1520 till his death in 1566. Here you can find costumes, jewelry and certainly manuscripts of the Koran created in the 16th and 17th centuries, miniatures never shown in Russia before.

May 25-August 15
Moscow Kremlin, Cross Chamber of the
Patriarchal Palace
Open: 10:00-17:00, open every day
except Thursdays

Alexandra Exter

Goddess from the avant-garde

t is impossible to imagine the Russian art of the early 20th century without Alexandra Exter. This Byelorussian-born artist who lived in Kiev, Moscow, Toscana and Paris, an apprentice of Malevitch and a great admirer of Etruscan art, was a bright star of the Russian avantgarde. He took part in all that group’s major exhibitions, including those organised by the ‘Jack of Diamonds’ and: ‘Union of Youth’, ‘№ 4’, ‘Tram B’, ‘Shop’, ‘5×5=25’, also exhibitions in Berlin, Venice, Vienna, Paris and Prague in the late 1920s. After that decade and her death in 1949 she was largely forgotten, and only exhibitions held in the 1970s, held in Europe and in the USA (Lincoln Center, New York) reminded the world that Exter was actually one of the leading lights in the avant-garde movement.

She created Cubo-Futurism, andplayed a vital role in familiarizing Russian viewers with the latest developments of the Parisian avant-garde. Being friends with Pablo Picasso, Fernand Léger, Robert and Sonia Delaunay, Guillaume Apollinaire and many other brilliant figures of the time, she promoted their work in Russia.

May 29-August 22, 2010
Moscow Museum of Modern Art, 25,
Petrovka Street
10:00-20:00, open every day
except Monday

In her own work, she demonstrated ways for Russian artists to adapt their discoveries. The current exhibition at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art is actually Exter’s first retrospective and presents collections of several museums at once: Bakhrushin State Theatre Museum, Moscow Museum of Modern Art, National Art Museum of Ukraine, Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts and State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg.

Tonino Guerra’s Rainbow

om Nashchokina Gallery presents an exhibition celebrating Tonino Guerra’s 90th birthday. He was a brilliant playwright, author and co-author of numerous films by Fellini, Antonioni, Bertolucci and Tarkovsky, architect, designer, sculptor and author of pictures, mosaics, and interiors. The latter will be on display. He is thought of as a Renaissance artist because he is so broadminded and multi-talented, and constantly manages the most surprising things. For example, he laid out a garden of forgotten fruits as described in Catherine De Medici’s medicine books near the small medieval Pennabilli in the mountains where the maestro usually spends the winter. Guerra’s paintings are like poems, and radiate happiness. He believed that a drop of water is a miracle of creation, something that is expressed in his art and is constantly revealed to other people.

Dom Nashchokina Gallery
From May 27, open: 12.00-21.00 daily

Watermark: Commemorating Brodsky

It would have been the 70th birthday of Joseph Brodsky on 24 May. The Nobel Prize laureate’s poetry, prose, essays, lectures, views and personal story attract more and more attention. Joseph Brodsky threw a bridge between Russian and world literature. After emigrating from the USSR he lived mainly in the USA, but his favourite city remained Venice, which he always visited in winter. His essay, Watermark, essay declared his love for the city. According to his will, Brodsky was buried in San Michele where thousands of his fans come to pay tribute. Konstantin Leyfer and Galina Bystritskaya are authors of the exhibition at the Vspolny Gallery.

In photographs and paintings,

Gallery at Vspolny, 3 Vspolny Pereulok
Until June 14
Open: 12:00-20:00,
open every day except Monday

they illuminate Brodsky’s favourite corners of the city. Bystritskaya created landscapes in an expressive manner, whereas Leyfer was the author of the winter mood works dedicated to Brodsky. The photographs and paintings follow the text of the Watermark essay, not illustrating it but recreating the ties between Venice, the city on the water, and Saint-Petersburg, another city on the water which is often called the Venice of the North, and was where Brodsky was born.

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