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Eclectic Six: Exciting Exhibitions to Catch in Moscow This Spring

Pavel Leonov is one of the artists featured in the ‘NAÏVE... NO” exhibit at MMOMA. MMOMA

NAÏVE... NO (Naïve, But) 

Naïve and professional art in one exhibition 

In the last few years, there have been several exhibitions of Russian naïve art, but NAÏVE... NO (Naïve, But) at MMOMA takes a different approach. It juxtaposes art by professional artists from the 20th and 21st centuries — like Mikhail Larionov, Ilya Mashkov, Konstantin Zvyozdochetov and even Kazimir Malevich — with works by genuine naïve artists, who had no formal training. The latter group features artists such as Niko Pirosmani, Katya Medvedeva and Yelena Volkova. 

At ‘BRAT FILM FEST,’ viewers sit in a small movie theater to watch 16 short films by Sergey Bratkov. Regina Gallery

BRAT FILM FEST 

Quirky videos from a prominent photographer 

BRAT FILM FEST is a new project by Sergey Bratkov, a Ukrainian-born photographer known for his provocative art. The festival has converted Regina, one of Moscow’s oldest galleries, into a small movie theater with a proper screen and rows of chairs. The gallery is showing 19 short films shot by Bratkov and his brother Yury from 2008 to 2016 during visits to their parents’ house in a village near Kharkiv, Ukraine. Films with titles like “Gagarin” and “Exchange Beauty for Kerosene” present a humorous commentary on the events of those years. 

Fall by Isaac Levitan Nashi Khudozhniki

Geltser: Collection 

Ballerina’s masterpieces reunited 

The Nashi Khudozhniki gallery presents highlights from the famous collection of Yekaterina Geltser (1876–1962), a prima ballerina at the Bolshoi Theater and an avid art collector. Contemporaries used to call her collection “a little branch of the Tretyakov Gallery.” The collection has been long lost, but Nashi Khudozhniki has managed to reunite 40 masterpieces, including works by greats such as Isaac Levitan, Mikhail Vrubel, Konstantin Korovin and Valentin Serov. Some of the works are on loan from the Tretyakov Gallery or Bakhrushin Theater Museum, others are from private collections. Nashi Khudozhniki has also published a catalogue, which includes 80 artworks that used to belong to the famous ballet dancer. 

Ilya Dolgov: Reef XL Gallery

Ilya Dolgov: Reef 

Investigating man’s relationship to nature 

Voronezh-born Dolgov is one of the brightest stars on Russia’s contemporary art scene. Twice nominated for the Kandinsky Prize, he also obtained a grant from the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in 2013. One of the key concerns that Dolgov’s work addresses is nature and how we interact with it. His “Reef” installation continues his exploration of the relationship between man and nature: The work features canvases hanging over tidal lines of reed flotsam, rivers of sand, and wire sculptures suspended over rocks. 

Wool & Potatoes 

Dramatic art piece and quest combined 

Part of the Irish Week festival, this unusual show is part exhibit, part detective story. Artist Valery Korchagin has created a series of works based on the life of a mythical Soviet peasant named Ivan Skotinin, whose decaying archive was supposedly discovered in the attic of a house in the Volga region. But doubts gradually emerge about the true nature of Skotinin’s identity and the secrets held by his old cottage.

Giovanni Gastel experiments with various techniques to give his photographs a poetic feel. Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography

Giovanni Gastel: Canons of Beauty 

Retrospective of top Italian photographer Internationally acclaimed fashion photographer 

Giovanni Gastel has created a distinctive signature style in over 40 years exploring the nature of beauty. Gastel has never shied away from experimentation: His black and white and sepia-toned pictures often stray into an ethereal realm of poetry and lyricism. His pictures have appeared on the covers and inside magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, Elle, Donna and Mondo, and have been exhibited all over the world. Until May 5 lumiere brothers Center for Photography 3 bolotnaya naberezhnaya, bldg. 1 Metro Kropotkinskaya

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