Art Moscow

Moscow, Russia

11 places

Katya Trofimova

If you are an art lover or pretend to be one, this feature will guide you around the locations to see the works of both contemporary Russian artists and European masters of the past.

Garage Centre for Contemporary Culture

Garage Center for Contemporary Culture is the place that evidences that Moscow has finally become a noticable part of the international art scene. The Center actively cooperates with renowned artists and designers from around the world, aiming to operate as an independent cultural platform and to introduce new ideas to the Moscow public. Apart from the interesting art shows, which Garage is famous for, there are at least three more good reasons to spend several hours at the Center. First of all, to check out the architectural concept and to become familiar with the names of some internationally acclaimed architects. Shigeru Ban designed the temporary building of the Center, using light paper pipes for its construction. Rem Koolhaas and his OMA office are leading the project for reconstruction of the semi-ruined Soviet era building, which is to become the main building of the Center in the future. There is also an exciting pop-up summer pavilion designed by Russian young architects. The second reason for your visit is definitely the Centre’s educational program. The third reason is the bookshop: here you can buy unique souvenirs and books on Russian art of the 20th century. Taking a picture between the birch trees on the terrace of the Garage cafe tops the list.


In post-perestroika Moscow the Central Manege has always been one of the main exhibition halls of the city. However, instead of art it used to exhibit mostly fur and honey. A couple of years ago Manege went through a rebranding process, kicked out all its "house-mates" which interfered with its cultural agenda and announced a new global development plan. Today Manege is an association of multiple exhibition venues, and the core ones among them are the Central Manege, the New Manege and the exhibition center inside the 'Worker and Kolkhoz Woman' sculpture at VDNKH. Exhibitions, lectures, discussions and workshops on contemporary culture, art history and media art take place regularly now on the grounds of Manege. The MediaArtLab, an open school and innovative center for young artists also operates here. One of the most recent and city-friendly projects of Manege is TurKultur — an inter-museum project, a selection of kick scooter routes around downtown Moscow linking major museums and galleries. A kick scooter is probably the best way to explore the city nowadays, as Moscow isn’t the greatest city to cycle around and walking makes you tired way too quickly. TurKultur is closed during winter but this only makes anticipation of spring more pleasant.

Stella Art Foundation

The Stella Art Foundation is the largest Russian foundation supporting contemporary art and for the past three years it has been the national commissioner of the Russian pavilion at the Venice Art Biennale. The gallery was launched in the early 2000s, when the art market as such did not exist in Russia. The first exhibition exhibited the group show of pop-art icons of the XX century: Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Tom Wesselmann. Afterwards, Stella Kesaeva, the president of the Foundation and the creative director of the gallery, decided to start promoting Russian artists. One should go to the gallery to get acquainted with the work of both influential well-known and emerging contemporary artists. The space of the gallery regularly holds art exhibitions, and every two months hosts meetings called "Evenings on Skaryatinsky", inviting critics, writers and musicians to debate about the problems of contemporary art in Russia. Also, one of the main projects of the Foundation today is the formation of a collection which is to be the base for the future Museum of Contemporary Art.

Triumph Gallery

Set in the 19th century maison this gallery is currently the top seller of international contemporary art in Russia. This stylish gallery with a slight bourgeois hint not only sells art to oligarchs, but also supports emerging artists within the Launchpad project. The owner Dmitriy Khankin has been known as one of the most influential people in Russian art community for years. When it comes to the contemporary art, Mr Khankin is unpredictable: the shows change every two weeks, varying from photography to visual and media art. According to Mr Khankin the world's art community and public knows very little about Russian contemporary art, so it is crucial to keep on presenting new pieces and introduce new names. The entrance is free of charge and the curators of the gallery are extremely welcoming: they can give you a short tour around the space.

Museum of Moscow

The Provision warehouses were built in the 19th century to store military provisions. Today the territory of warehouses aims to become one of the centers of cultural life in the city. In 2012 the renewed Museum of Moscow was moved here from Novaya Ploschad. The museum welcomes everyone to attend permanent exhibitions on ancient and medieval Moscow and several temporary exhibitions on the history of Russian capital. The exhibition program expands gradually, the managers collaborate with international designers and experts in museology and cultural management. Among the latest projects of the museum is the summer cultural terrace in the courtyard which offers a vast program of concerts, lectures and festivals. In conjunction with the Documentary Film Center the Museum opened the Documentary Film Centre.

Gallery of Classic Photography

The main distinctive feature of this gallery is that it is a nonprofit organization created exclusively for the development and support of photographic art. The main goal here is to raise interest in traditional photography and to create a basis for young photographers. The photographers here are being acquainted with both modern practices and technologies as well as the best traditions of Russian photographic school. In other words, rather than simply selling art objects, the gallery pursues the aim of educating the public. А special space is set aside for photo labs here some of which are open to visitors. There is also a broad educational program for students and children, master classes and workshops of famous photographers and curators.The exhibition activities often involve displaying not only photography but also photographic equipment and materials.

The Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography

The Lumiere Brothers Gallery in the Central House of Artists is the oldest commercial gallery of photography in Russia. The gallery specializes in Soviet and contemporary Russian photography. In 2010, the owners of the gallery also founded the Lumiere brothers Center in the Red October. The exhibition program of the new Center is focused primarily on international photographers. The Center also publishes albums that are sold at the local store; they can be really good gifts from Russia to your friends, a better alternative to fluffy hats and matryoshka dolls from Arbat. In addition to exhibitions, there is also a library with a wide selection of literature on photography of the past 80 years. Grab the "Golden Kolyma" album or maybe "From the Urals to the Ob’ river” and study Russia through prints, thoughtfully and dreamily. Books can be taken to the cafe adjacent to the library, so that one can fantasize about Kolyma over lunch.


Artplay is a former industrial zone, which today occupies the territory of the whole city block. Once it used to be the oldest Russian factory "Monometr" which produced precision instruments. Nowadays Artplay is both a business and a cultural centre sheltering young designers and architects under its roofs. British Higher School of Art and Design and lots of architect bureaus are located here. All inhabitants of the block have a right to set up their own art-experiments within the territory of the factory so the space is changing constantly. You can also find here a couple of boutiques, an amazing book shop Kaspar Hauser with a small coffee bar, a pub with famous peer cider but most importantly — art galleries. Exhibitions are regularly held here as a part of various festivals and biennales.

Multimedia Art Museum

Olga Sviblova is among the most influential people in the Russian art community. She has established the Moscow House of Photography which gave a fresh start for photography exhibitions and lectures. She has also initiated the first school for documentary photography in Russia — Rodchenko school for photography and multimedia. The House of Photography was later reconstructed and reopened as the Multimedia Art Museum (MAMM). Apart from the exhibitions, a great library and an educational program of Rodchenko school the museum becomes one of the main venues during the Moscow International Biennale and organizes an annual award for contemporary photography “Silver Camera”. MAMM also runs workshops on photography and printing techniques for children. Last summer the rooftop of the museum has become a hit among Muscovites. It was transformed into a public space where guests can chill, drink some tea and look over downtown Moscow from high above.

The State Museum of Oriental Art

It is easy to spend many hours wandering around the cramped rooms of the Lunins' mansion which houses the museum. Here one can find a shadow theatre from Indonesia, Korean traditional costumes, samurai swords, multi-level ligature and cucumber textile patterns from Iran, meters of carpets from the Caucasus and many other mysterious antique treasures from the East. Several exhibition rooms are reserved for the works of artists Nicholas Roerich and his son Svetoslav Roerich. Nicholas Roerich conducted several big expeditions to the East, brought occult culture to Russia and is known throughout the world as the author and initiator of the Roerich Pact or Washington Pact, the world's first cultural heritage protection bill. We advice to continue the visit to the museum with lunch or dinner in a nearby Sinbad cafe. For a long time it kept the title of the best falafel and hummus place in town.

All-Russian Decorative Art Museum

The museum is situated in a set of buildings, monuments to the architecture of the 18-20th centuries. The mansion is often called Osterman house by the name of the previous proprietors. The complex has survived different owners and only in 1981 it was assigned to the Russian popular arts and crafts museum. Nowadays its collection counts 238 000 articles divided in departments: metal and stone, glass, ceramics, tissues, polished miniatures, wood and ivory. The vast archived materials collection is concentrated in the museum's science archive. The fine arts department founded in 1994 is proud of its authentic graphics and paintings collection composed from the works of painters working in different decorative styles. The rare book department is the museum's special pride.


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