Moscow Exhibitions: Catch Them While You Can

Laundry Day, Performance in Three Parts (1996)/The New Blockheads Alexander Lyashko

New Blockheads

Novie Tupie (New Blockheads) is one of the most original art groups to have emerged from St. Petersburg during the 1990s. In the six years of the group’s existence artist members produced around 70 performances. This unique retrospective exhibition at MMOMA celebrates the group's legacy through archival footage and reconstructions of their work. Visitors can discover or rediscover some of their performances, such as when they installed a monument to a mosquito and another in which they called for Jews to come back to Russia. In the “Movement of Tea Table Towards Sunset,” performance artists drank tea in different places around St. Petersburg for seven days, moving the table with them.  As they refused to monetize their art little trace of the group's legacy remains, making this exhibition an important connection to their unique brand of collaborative art.

Moscow Museum of Modern Art (MMOMA). 10 Gogolevsky Bulvar. Metro Kropotkinskaya. mmoma.ruThrough August 28.

VII Permanent Collection

MMOMA has invited artists to play the role of the curators by creating either a display or a total installation with works from the museum's permanent collection. Arseny Zhilyaev has imagined a museum of the future, where abstract paintings bear cryptic currency signs on them. He was inspired by the misinterpretation of the famous performance by Alexander Brener in Amsterdam, where the artist drew a dollar sign on Malevich’s painting “Suprematisme.” Meanwhile Alexander Povzner introduces new paintings by his father, Lev Povzner, while Taus Makhacheva becomes Super Taus, an imaginary female super hero from Dagestan who carries a statue of two women all the way from Makhachkala to Moscow. The project aims to explore the role of museums in the contemporary world. 

Moscow Museum of Modern Art (MMOMA). 10 Ulitsa Petrovka. Metro Pushkinskaya, Chekhovskaya .mmoma.ruThrough September 27.

You Better Call Saul

The Tatintsian Gallery in the up-and-coming art quarter on the embankment of the Moscow river brings to mind a Chelsea gallery in New York. Not just because of its contemporary design, but also because of the caliber of its exhibitions. Right now Muscovites are treated to a retrospective of Peter Saul, a living legend and one of the most prominent figures in the pop art movement. Saul is the founder of the Bad Painting style, which involves him mixing up genres, distorted images and exaggerated perspectives. His works are instantly recognisable by their vivid colors — an effect sometime achieved through the use of DayGlo paint. The subjects of his works can be anything from the cartoon characters to real life politicians, interpretations of old masters’ paintings or strange alien-like creatures.

Gary Tatintsian Gallery. 19 Serebryanicheskaya  Naberezhnaya. Metro Taganskaya, Kitai-Gorod. tatintsian.comThrough August 31.

One Man Show/Paul Saul tatinsian.com

Nominibus Trivialibus, Synonimis Selectis 

One of the last remaining exhibitions of the parallel program of this year's V Biennale of Young Art has been organized by the Triumph Gallery at Moscow's Aptekarsky Ogorod (The Apothecaries' Garden). Visitors will need to do some exploring to discover all of the artworks — they are spread all over the historical botanical garden. Sasha Frolova, one of Andrei Bartenev’s students, installed a bubble sculpture that looks like something from space in the middle of the pond as part of the project. There are also sculptures hidden between the trees, below the roof of the greenhouse and just under your feet, so stay alert!

Aptekarsky Ogorod. 26/1 Prospect Mira. Metro Prospect Mira. youngart.ruThrough September 11.

Alexei Vasiliev and Lorenza Diaz 

Triumph gallery showcases two talented artists from different countries in its venue on Ulitsa Ilyinka. In the lower hall of the venue you can see the works of Russian Alexei Vasiliev, while paintings from Swiss Lorenza Diaz are exhibited on the ground floor. Both artists have one thing in common — they work with wall paintings. The central works from both exhibitions are displayed on the walls, while the rest are spread evenly throughout the gallery. Diaz’s works are abstract, while Vasiliev presents familiar Russian reality in a cartoonish way.

Triumph Gallery. 3/8 Ulitsa Ilyinka, Bldg. 5. Metro Teatralnaya, Lubyanka, Kitai-Gorod. triumph-gallery.ru.Through August 31

Alexei Vasiliev triumph-gallery.ru

Samizdat and Zines 

GROUND Peschanaya, a gallery in a residential neighborhood of Sokol, has just launched “GROUND-ZINE. The book that isn’t.” The exhibition is a retrospective of samizdat, a form of dissident activity in the Soviet Union where individuals reproduced and distributed censored and underground publications by hand. The exhibit covers the handmade magazines and books made in clandestine conditions as well as rock and football zines of perestroika years. There are also some contemporary zines on display. Don't miss the pop-up store, where you can buy zines and small press books. The exhibition will be updated regularly with new items over the course of the next couple of months.

GROUND Peschanaya. 23/7 Novopeschanaya Ulitsa. Metro Sokol. groundmoscow.comThrough October 9

Common Place 

Common place is an interesting exhibition from a group of young artists based in St. Petersburg. In the exhibition students were asked to depict something typical or everyday in the life of the city. The result is a diverse collection of scenes, with everything from a dormitory room to a metro station. There’s plenty of loneliness and heartache, but the overriding feeling of love for the city permeates the canvasses. While you won’t see any recognizable names here, you will definitely get a feel for life in the northern capital.

Peresvetov Pereulok Gallery. 4/1 Peresvetov Pereulok. Metro Avtozavodskaya. peresvetov-gallery.com. Through September 17.

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