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od Design, one of the design mob’s favourite spots in Moscow (excuses for the tautology), by Karim Rashid opened this spring. It presents an exhibition of Italian masters or simply Maestri. Here you can see furniture, lighting, interior objects, technofuturism and many other exciting things that speak loud and clear about innovation in materials and production.

Silvana Annichiarico, the curator of the show, has selected the most important items from the collection of the Trienniale Design Museum, presented with the support of the AR.CH.IT association. In Italy, as in many other countries, design has become a discipline that combines thought and action and is actually a new means of communication necessary in production, sales and consumption. Gradually, design is less of an instrument, and more of a standard cognitive communication system.

Here are the names of some of the creators of this show: Franco Albini, Gae Aulenti, Mario Bellini and twenty-one others. The current exhibition is part of Design Act festival, and also presents a series of master classes, lectures and workshops.

The New Academy. St Petersburg

he current exhibition at the Ekaterina Foundation gallery is dedicated to the New Academy, founded by Timur Novikov, who was one of the leading underground artists in soviet Leningrad. The “academy” united very different artists with the unique phenomenon of St. Petersburg artistic life in the 1990s and 2000s. The Academy’s history begins in 1990, when Timur, who was already well known as head of the New Artists movement, suddenly changed course to “classicism and beauty,” proclaiming it to be far more relevant and contemporary than 20th century modernism. This culminated in the foundation of the New Academy, where Timur and his associates reproduced academic rituals in a manner not devoid of a certain ambiguity. The Academy’s core task became the creation of fully visual works to counterbalance modernist concepts. The task in itself is completely conceptual, if we take the original meaning of the word, conception that is: the presence of some guiding idea. At the time of an intended non-picturesque character in late modernism, the idea of “classicism and beauty” sounded highly radical and defined the New Academy’s activity. The result was an affirmation of Russian neo-academicism that became a noticeable and influential movement at the beginning of this century.

October 28-January 29
Open 11:00-20.00 except Monday
Ekaterina Cultural Foundation
21/5 Kuznetsky Most, porch 8,
entrance from Bolshaya Lubyanka street

Allegoria Sacra

AES+F is a group of Russian artists whose names are coded in its name: Tatyana Arzamasova, Lev Evzovich, Evgeny Svyatsky and Vladimir Fridkes. They gradually came together in the 1980s to explore what would come out of Hollywood cinema, fashion photography, popular culture joined with the aesthetics of old masters’ paintings through using modern technology. They make digital collages combining real life and animated landscapes which are a futuristic metaphor of today’s reality. In recent years the group have been exhibited practically worldwide, from the Netherlands to Australia. Allegoria Sacra is their latest video art project. The premiere took place at the

September 16-November 6
Open: 10:00-19:00,
every day except Monday
Multimedia Art Museum Moscow

Galleria Borghese, where the AES+F previewed some clips of their work. The video is the third part of a trilogy, which also comprises Last Riot (2007) and Unconditional Love (2006), presented at Biennalle di Venezia, which allude all to Inferno, Purgatory, and Heaven. Antonio Geusa, a well-known curator of video art comments that “the group have ‘arrived’ at the inferno now: you can clearly see an evolutionary process, but the images never become violent.”

Worker’s Club, by Alexander Rodchenko at 20th Century Art, Tretyakov Gallery

The Tretyakov Gallery’s department of the 20th century presents a new exhibition of Alexander Rodchenko’s Worker’s Club, recently reconstructed according to the original designs. When Rodchenko and other representatives from the Soviet Union participated in the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris in the summer of 1925, this construction was one of the exhibits at the Soviet pavilion designed by Konstantin Melnikov at the Grand Palais. Rodchenko and colleagues graphic design and architectural drawings made quite an impression on the development of design in Europe. At the exhibition, this was carried out in a literal sense, when Rodchenko, that hooligan in photography and graphics, decided to paint the floor in the Soviet pavilion with black paint so that the visitors took the paint with them on their shoes to the refined and gorgeous carpets in the “neighbouring and bourgeois” pavilions of other countries.

The original Worker’s Club in Paris was the essence of culture of economy and rationality. The Club combined revolutionary ideology with

From October 5,
State Tretyakov Gallery at Krymsky Val
Everyday from 10:00-19:00,
except Monday

leisure actives and with the collective. It was aimed at educating workers with the help of the most up-to-date information technologies available then. Alexander Rodchenko and his wife Lyubov Popova, even in the Soviet times, were called “the first Soviet designers”. This legendary duo in the 1910s and 1920 were at the forefront of the Constructivist movement, which more than any other movement embodied the idea of art for art’s sake.

Kandinsky and Blue Rider

Next May, the Pushkin Fine Arts Museums will celebrate its 100th anniversary, but as the museum will be closed for a thorough renovation after the celebration, Irina Antonova, the director, has tried her best to put on as many unique exhibitions as she can before then. Vassily Kandinsky is widely considered as the truest abstract painter, though his imagination went even further when he dreamt of his pictures to evoke sounds for his audience. His own favourite colour, if he had one, was blue. “The deeper the blue becomes, the more strongly it calls man towards the infinite, awakening in him a desire for the pure and, finally, for the supernatural... The brighter it becomes, the more it loses its sound, until it turns into silent stillness and becomes white.”

From this quotation from Kandinsky’s book on colour theory it is easy to grasp what a special attitude he had towards artistic creation and perception. By coincidence The Blue Rider was the name of a

October 4-November 15
Open: 10:00-19:00
Everyday except Monday
Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts

group of artists founded in Germany by a number of Russian emigrants, including Vassily Kandinsky, Alexei von Jawlensky, Marianne von Werefkin, and native German artists, such as Franz Marc, August Macke and Gabriele Münter. The exhibition is jointly organised with Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus which possesses a large collection of works by masters of the Blue Rider group, whose peak was between 1911 and 1914.

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