Here are some of the best shows in private museums and galleries for a weekend of gallery hopping. Special treat: stop in the cafes for a snack and drop in the gift shops for a bit of holiday shopping.
See Kandinsky Prize winners at MMOMA
The Moscow Museum of Contemporary Art (at 25 Ulitsa Petrovka) has been holding an exhibition of works in competition for Russia’s oldest contemporary art prize, the Kandinsky Prize. The competition was founded in 2007 by Shalva Breus, the president of the Breus Foundation. This year the Foundation received more than 700 submissions, which were whittled down to a long list of 34 works of art and art history: 16 “projects of the year”; 11 projects in the “young artists” category; and seven books, two of which were in manuscript. The winners were announced this week: Andrei Kuzkin’s “Models and Heroes” was awarded best project of the year; Albina Mokhryakova was awarded the prize for best project by a young artist for “Dig,” and Roman Osminkin won the prize for the best academic work for “Collective Forms of Artistic Performance in Russia in the early 21 st century,” which is as yet unpublished. You can learn more about the award here and see the nominees and winners here until Nov. 21.
Wander through Winzavod to see the Anatoly Zverev Prize artists
This year the AZ Museum is celebrating what would be the 90th birthday of the brilliant nonconformist painter that gave the museum its name: Anatoly Zverev. To celebrate this milestone, the museum held a competition for the first Anatoly Zverev Prize. Their jury consisted of museum director Natalia Opaleva and art director and curator Polina Lobachevskaya along with six of the best contemporary artists from Russia: Grigory Bruskin, Vladimir Nasedkin, Francisco Infante, Sergei Shutov, Aristarkh Chernyshev, and Sergei Bratkov. They received more than 2,000 applications from 169 cities of Russia and 32 countries. The jury managed to bring this down to a short list of 50 works in every imaginable in unimaginable medium. These works make up the show at Winzavod, a vivid display of the Russian contemporary art scene. In the end, there were so many fine works that the jury doubled the number of prizes. See the winners and all the runners-up until Nov. 28.
Glory in Russian art in Moscow from New York
The ABA Gallery in New York, one of the most respected galleries promoting Russian art in the West, has brought some of that glorious Russian art back to Moscow. Together with the Russian Academy of Arts and the Moscow Museum of Modern Art, ABA has curated a show called Masterpieces of Russian Art from American Collections at the Academy of Arts showrooms (at 21 Ulitsa Prechistenka). The show includes about 70 works from over two centuries of Russian art, from Ivan Aivazovsky to Oleg Tselkov. Works by Konstantin Korovin, Nikolai Roerich, Mikhail Larionov, Alexander Yakovlev, Boris Grigoriev, David Burlyuk, Ivan Puni, Robert Falk, and Alexandra Exter are just a few of the artists on display. Prepare to be overwhelmed by Abram Arkhipov’s enormous, jump-off-the-canvas bright painting “Women on the Shore” from his “Tradeswomen” series. The show runs until Dec. 12. More information about the exhibition can be found here.
Laugh with Peter’s Creatures
Peter Opheim, who was born in Germany and works in the U.S., has created an imaginary world populated by curious little creatures. These creatures — who have names, personal histories, and very strong personalities — are brightly colored and unusually shaped, perhaps suggesting the fears of most children (and adults) that there is something not quite right about themselves. But Peter’s Creatures are perfect the way they are and a bit vain. So when Opheim is more or less satisfied that his creature is ready to go out into the world, like the Old Masters he creates a clay model and paints a large ceremonial portrait. These portraits are so vivid that his creatures seem three-dimensional. You can be charmed by Peter’s Creatures until Dec. 11 at the Askeri Gallery. More information here.
Celebrate young geniuses
The Niko Gallery is holding an extraordinary exhibition of 47 paintings created by amateur artists aged nine to 33. All of them love and are inspired by the Russian avant-garde. And all of them have some kind of disability. But in the League of Dreams program run by Sergei and Natalia Belogolovtsev, they have all discovered their inner artist and begun to create their own masterpieces. The Belogolovtsevs’ form of art therapy is based on the traditions of VKHUTEMAS (a school of art that appeared in the 1920s in the Soviet Union), Kandinsky and the Bauhaus. Spend some time with the brilliant young artists until Nov. 21. For more information about the show, the Belogolvtsevs’ program and the gallery, see the site here.