250 Russian works gathered by the Vladimir Potanin Foundation at the Centre Pompidou

More than 250 contemporary Soviet and Russian works will be on display at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, starting from 14 September. The French National Museum of Modern Art has gained the opportunity to show the works thanks to the generosity of the Vladimir Potanin Foundation, collectors, artists and their families, especially Ekaterina and Vladimir Semenikhin and the Tsukanov Family Foundation. This set of works by major artists offers a panorama — with no pretentions of exhaustiveness — of some forty years of contemporary art in the USSR, then Russia, crossing the main movements encountered. “Through its size, this donation is an exceptional event for the Centre Pompidou collection. It offers a unique supplement to the extraordinary set of Russian and Soviet artists, which the National Museum of Modern Art conserves. It is a reminder that at every moment of Russian history, art continued to metamorphose whatever the historical changes,” declared Serges Lasvignes, President of the Centre...

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Creation of a new triennial in Moscow

The Garage Museum in Moscow is launching a triennial, with the first edition scheduled for 10 March 2017 on the institution’s premises. This new triennial will be presenting the works of Russian artists created less than five years ago. The museum’s head curator, Kate Fowle, will be managing a team of curators including Katya Inozemtseva, Snejana Krasteva, Andrey Misiano and Sasha Obukhova. Artists will be selected to represented the nine federal districts making up the Russian federation: Central, South, North West, Far East, Siberia, Ural, Volga, Northern Caucasus, Crimea. The announcement coincides with the first birthday of the Garage Museum whose architecture was signed by Rem Koolhaas. The announcement also commemorates the 100th year since the Russian Revolution, as referred to by a press release from the institution: “Just as the Revolution encouraged Russia’s first avant-garde, Garage hopes to spur the...

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News about Pyotr Pavlensky

On 25 May, Russian performance artist Pyotr Pavlensky, recently interned in a psychiatric hospital for political reasons, donated the $42,000 that he received for winning the Vàclav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent, to a group of men imprisoned for attacks against Russian police forces. Pyotr Pavlensky was awarded the Vàclav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent, namely comprising a $42,000 endowment for the winner. But the artist has decided to donate the sum to the Primorye Guerrilas to support their actions against Russian police forces. The Primorye Guerrilas, a small group based in the east of Russia, recently attacked a police station and stabbed a policeman in response to police violence perpetrated on civilians. Their action is not dissimilar to that of Pyotr Pavlensky who was arrested for his performance Threat during which he set fire to the hall of the building of Russian security services, the FSB (equivalent of the KGB). Members of the Primorye Guerrilas were imprisoned and sentenced for life. The Vàclav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent was also awarded to Iranian illustrator Atena Farghadani, sentenced to 12 years of prison for a political drawing published on social networks, as well as photojournalist Umida Akhmedova, the first woman to make a documentary film in Uzbekistan. The latter was accused of libel in relation to a series of photographs on rural life in the...

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Winners of the Innovation Prize in Russia

On 18 May, the ceremony for the awarding of the Innovation Prize — Russia’s equivalent of the Turner Prize — supervised by the Russian State, took place in recognition of contemporary artistic creation. This year, the winners are: Viktor Misiano, winner of the prize for the Curatorial Projects category for his exhibition “The Human Condition”; Olga Shishko, winner of the prize for the Art Criticism and Theory category for the catalogue Projections of Avant-Garde; the Ural Industrial Biennial that held its third edition this year, winner of the prize for the Best Regional Contemporary Art Project. The Innovation Prizes are attributed to several categories, namely Curatorial Projects, Art Criticism and Theory, Regional Contemporary Art Project and New Generation. The prize is also awarded to two nominees every year in the Creative Contribution to the Development of Contemporary Art and Support of Russian Contemporary Art categories. The New Generation prize went to Aslan Gaisumov for his video Volga, in which he retraces the war-related departure of 21 members of his family from the city of Grozny, Chechnya, to a village where his grandmother still lives. This year’s winners of the Creative Contribution to the Development of Contemporary Art and Support of Russian Contemporary Art categories are Boris Orlov and Leonid Mikhelson. No Work of Visual Art prize was awarded this year due to the debate surrounding the ousting of artist Pyotr Pavlensky from the category despite his nomination. This highly political disqualification roused the indignation of the Russian art world and led to the withdrawal of seven members from the jury of the Innovation Prize. The decision was made by the National Centre for Contemporary Art, whose director Mikhail Mindlin explained the artist’s eviction as necessary as his performance “did not respect the law and caused material damage”. Since this...

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The Hermitage Museum commits to Syria

Via its director, Mikhail Piotrovsky, the Hermitage Museum has announced its support for the restoration of Palmyra. Controlled by the Islamic State for almost 10 months, the ancient city has been partially destroyed. Liberated in March, the city is set to be the site of a huge reconstruction project backed by the Hermitage Museum. The curator of Syrian antiquities, Maamoun Abdelkarim, has expressed relative relief regarding the extent of damage in Palmyra. Indeed, the agora, the Roman theatre and a few other ruins remain intact even if the Temple of Baalshamin, built 2000 years ago, and the Arch of Triumph have been destroyed. Maamoun Abdelkarim however is calling on the help of the international community, especially experts and archaeologists, to commit to the reconstruction of Palmyra that is part of world heritage. The Hermitage will be in charge of reconstructing the whole site, and its director announces that work has started on collecting archives to allow the city to be recreated “from every...

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