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Russian Art To Do in Moscow

Moscow Modern Art

Touristic routes in Moscow lead you to the classic places like the Kremlin, Saint Basil’s Cathedral, Red Square and Tretyakov gallery. Of course, those spots are must see and there’s no way you should avoid them. No doubt that nowadays tourists are also interested in the modern art: contemporary exhibitions, electronic music, graffiti, light performances. Luckily, Moscow has much to show. In recent years, plenty of contemporary art museums and clusters appeared in the capital. Let’s have a walk around them!

There are several spots in Moscow, which are oversaturated by modern art, but as the city is really big, they are unfortunately not accessible by feet, so feel free to use metro each time you wanna move from one spot to another.

1) Area of Gorky Park and Muzeon Park

Gorky and Muzeon Parks are the center of youth culture and leisure in Moscow (mostly in summer). Here, two huge modern art museums are situated. First is a new Tretyakov Gallery (more 20th century art) and the GARAGE museum in Gorky Park. Muzeon also has a permanent sculpture exposition which, of course, you can fully enjoy in the summer time. From time to time Gorky Park also hosts different cultural events. Guess when? … Exactly, in summer!

Access: metro Oktyabrskaya (orange line and circle line) or Park Kultury (red line and circle line)

Picture: Moscow - Muzeon Park and Peter the Great Memorial (c) Shutterstock
Muzeon Park and Peter the Great Memorial

2) Kropotkinskaya district

The metro station of Kropotkinskaya is surrounded by plenty of museums. This is the so-called “Art district” of Moscow. There, you find the Pushkin Art museum, Glazunov gallery, Percov house, and many more. You may not only find classical museums over there, in fact this area also hosts 3 important museums for Russian modern art.

The first one is the Multimedia Art Museum (MAMM). A key museum in the field of modern art. It is not only an exhibition building, but also a study and research platform.

Address: 16 Ostozhenka street, Moscow

The second is the center of photography of Lumiere Brothers. This modern art museum is located in the party center of Moscow – Krasny Oktyabr. It takes some time to get there, but on your way, you will pass by very picturesque sights as Saint Savior Cathedral and Patriarchy bridge. The hall always hosts very interesting exhibitions, that are worth to go.

Address: 3 Bolotnaya embankment, Moscow

And last but not the least the main building of Modern Art Museum of Moscow (MMOMA). The buildings of this museum are also near the Patriarchy Ponds and Tverskoy Boulevard, but the main one is here on Gogolevsky Boulevard. The exposition of this museum is very often becoming a scandal. But scandals are the most attractive, aren’t them?

Address: 10 Gogolevsky boulevard, Moscow

3) Kurskaya district

In the 90s, Kurskaya was an ugly area with railway station, homeless people and factories. But since the late 2000s the situation has absolutely changed. Moscow government gave this area for the artists and designers, so now old factories turned to art clusters and homeless people were replaced by hipsters. So, several places you must visit:

  • Artplay – art and design cluster situated 7 minutes walking from Kurskaya metro station. There you may find: design boutiques, cool cafes of vegan food or burgers, British Higher school of Art and Design, which organizes plenty of exhibitions of its students, art galleries.
  • Vinzavod – old wine factory which now hosts the show rooms, design boutiques and plenty of exhibitions.
  • Pluton – new place on the map of modern art lovers. The place isn’t fully renovated yet, but there is one of the best techno clubs in Moscow.
  • ARMA – this place is situated on the opposite side of the places mentioned above, from Kurskaya station. The area of old manufactures now looks like an urban heaven. A lot of showrooms, clubs, galleries and modern theaters are taking place there. So, don’t miss a chance to visit it to enjoy Moscow with its casual lifestyle.

Here are our tips for you! Enjoy Moscow!

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To Do in Saint-Petersburg Top

Top 4: Unusual Things To Do in Saint Petersburg

Are you bored to see tourists everywhere you wanna go? Do you feel like you want to explore areas others haven’t? You can unearth places like that even in Peter! (yeah, that’s another way to call Saint-Petersburg, way more popular in real life than “The Venice of North”) Thanks to this top 4, you’ll bring back home unique pictures and memories, and everybody’s gonna tell you: wow, where have been? where have you seen that?… Now you’re wondering what exactly, I’m gonna tell you.

In Moscow? Check this unusual top 3!

  • Saint Petersburg Secret Roofs

Many people have already seen outstanding videos and pictures on St-Petersburg from its roof. But few had the opportunity to actually go there, and pretend to be one of the Hermitage’s cats. Several locals started “mini-businesses” and let you access the roofs through their stairs. For the view, the feeling of breaking the rules, the adrenaline and for the likes on Instagram, take the stairs and explore another side of this surprising city! But careful when roofs are wet or icy, you wouldn’t let your annoying step-sister fall…

Picture: View from Saint-Petersburg's roofs © Dreamstime
View from Saint-Petersburg’s roofs
  • St-Anne’s Church-Theater (Annenkirche)

Building shared by a lutheran congregation and a liberal theater company, St-Anne’s Church Theater is the doorstep of Peter’s underground. Hidden in a small street, the building had a long history, built as a church it became a theater and a nightclub that burnt in 2002. Restored on popular initiatives it remains a strange and amazing building half-burnt but slowly rising again. There you’ll meet interesting people and will be able to explore the whole building (including the mysterious and very scary undergrounds) by yourself. This place is actually great for photo shoots (especially if you like to pretend that you’re so “out of the tracks”) or if you want to appear as a muzhik by protecting your so… but don’t bring your kids, they’ll have nightmares.

Picture: Gloomy Interior of St. Anne's Lutheran Church (Annenkirche), Saint-Petersburg
Gloomy Interior of St. Anne’s Lutheran Church (Annenkirche), Saint-Petersburg

If you like this kind of original, non-touristic places, try our tour “like a local” of St Petersburg.

  • Loft Project ETAGI

This surprising building in the heart of St Petersburg is a center of cultural life for many artists, hipsters and all curious people. There, you’ll find progressive exhibitions, workshops and original events. For example, you may meet real huskies and play with them while sitting on a swing on the 4th floor of the building. While your new-made Petersburgian friends may enjoy a meal in the food-court in the basement, you might head up to the rooftop and enjoy the rays of sun while sipping mulled-wine or a milkshake. Across the different floors, you’ll probably pop into one of the shops selling all sorts of things from clothes to graffiti equipment, nail bars and green cafes. You’ll even find a container alley and a sock vending machine (yes, yes, a machine that sells socks, some with pikachus, some with unicorns, and many others).

Picture: Main entrance to Loft Proyekt Etazhi © Eva Delaunay
Picture: Main entrance to Loft Proyekt Etazhi
  • «Pushkinskaya-10» Art Center

This is the only non-governmental, self-regulated and independent art center of St Petersburg, and probably even of Russia. In this creative place, you may try yourself at painting by taking drawing classes, or simply discover contemporary art from local and international artists. If you fell like you want to keep concrete memories from this unique place, you may buy paintings or books, and even music! An since St Petersburg underground is a vibrant and fashionable topic, people there will be pleased to inform you about its history.

«Pushkinskaya-10» Art-Center © Eva Delaunay
«Pushkinskaya-10» Art-Center

If you’re really fond of art and prefer to see real Russian art across all ages, then the State Russian museum was made for you.

 

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Cultural Fact Did you know? Russian Culture Top Travelers Advices Traveling in Russia

Hidden places of St. Petersburg

Saint-Petersburg is full of surprises… From surprisingly beautiful sights to surprisingly small prices. You will enjoy this city even if you visit just the main tourist attractions, but believe us, a lot of amazing places are hidden on those streets..

Here is our top!

  • Nelson yard
Picture: Nelson Yard, Saint-Petersburg
Dvor Nelsona, Polozova Ulitsa, 6, St Petersburg

Bard Nelson fought gray routine and created in the yard area of the house on a small Polozov street a bright colorful atmosphere. The musician managed to create the most amazing courtyard of the Petrograd side with the help of a spray paint, applying imagination and using all the trash that had been gathering dust on the mezzanine for many years.

  • Chufalnya on Aprashka Market
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Chifanka (Chufalnya), Sadovaya Street, 28, St. Petersburg

” Chufalnya ” is in the third house on the right, if you go on Apraksin Market through the gate with Apraksino lane. Here, as before, (in 90s) the authenticity is turned to the maximum: the owners and cooks are Chinese, the wall menu with touching mistakes in translation, the complete lack of interior, ridiculous prices and a whole rack of Chinese goods — from bamboo rugs to wood mushrooms. However, because of the increased attention on the part of students and fashionistas the titular nation in the room appears in a noticeable minority and the place is becoming not that unknown.

  • Kabinet bar
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Kabinet, Malaya Sadovaya Street, 8, St Petersburg

The establishment of the famous bartender in the city is made in the style of a closed poker club or an illegal casino of the 30s. Entrance to the” Kabinet ” is through the diner Grill Brothers: you need to find the door with the inscription” only for staff ” and go down the stairs to the basement. However, to get to the bar itself is possible only upon prior reservation, contacts for which you have to search in social networks under the hashtag #вкабинетпожалуйста.

  • The house of Buck
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Kirochnaya Ulitsa, 24, St. Petersburg (currently in restoration)

Apartment house of Buck, whose name has become an integral part of the name of the building, is interesting from all sides: its amazing facade is one of the dominants of Kirochnaya street, in the front it is still preserved part of the interior decoration, which can be judged on the solvency of the former tenants. Unfortunately, the house of Buck is in a depressing condition, but also on the dirty marble stairs, broken in places stained glass, apartments, first 15-room, but later given to the communal, as well as dusty twisted railing bars can restore the image of the former splendor of the house.

  • Rotunda
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Fontanka River Embankment, 81, St. Petersburg (Gorokhovaya Street, 57А, St Petersburg)

In the house on the corner of Gorokhovaya street and Fontanka embankment you can find the most mystical city object — Rotunda. The house is not noticeable, it is a typical structure for St. Petersburg. It’s all about the Rotunda — a round building with six free-standing columns. The curves of the walls repeat the stairs, as if striving endlessly upwards. The rotunda received the title of a cult place in the 70-80s of the last century – the time of the emergence of informal movements among the Soviet youth. Representatives of different subcultures gathered here — rockers, hippies, punks.

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To Do in Saint-Petersburg Traveling in Russia

Yusupov Palace

The Yusupov Palace or Moika Palace was the house of the Yusupov family. One of the richest family of Russia at the verge of the Revolution. Its princes were well-known philanthropists and art collector. Preserved and transformed into a museum, it now tells us about the life of the nobility in the Russian Empire.

Dreamstime © - Saint-Pétersbourg - Palais Youssoupov (5)

Build in 1776 by the French architect Jean-Baptiste Vallin de la Mothe, the Yusupov Palace stands on the Moika river in St Petersburg. In 1830 it was acquired by the Yusupov family. This family, well known for its philanthropy and its art collections, transformed it into a splendid residence, a real piece of art. Many different artists contributed to this palace and you can still admire this variety of styles nowadays. The luxury of this place, its art gallery, the charm of its private chambers and even a private theater, will make you travel to the time when emperors and empresses were governing Russia.

Dreamstime © - Saint-Pétersbourg - Palais Youssoupov (4)

This Palace holds a very important place in Russian history. It was one of the finest demonstrations of Russian art and a nest for future talents. But most importantly, it was between these walls that the murder of Grigory Rasputin took place, more precisely in the cave that can be visited nowadays!!!. The murder was organized by a group of monarchists led by Felix Yusupov, the last owner of this palace. The exact way the murder occurred is still obscure, many parts are still unclear. Here is one of the most famous version (and my favorite). After inviting the monk to this palace, the conspirators offered him wine and pastries with enough poison to kill 5 men. Since he didn’t seem to be affected by the poison, they shot him with pistols and beat him, then they wrapped him into a broadcloth and threw him into the Moika river. A doctor that examined the body said Rasputin didn’t die because of the poison, nor the pistols, but out of hypothermia (it happened in December).

Dreamstime © - Saint-Pétersbourg - Palais Youssoupov (6)

The Russian revolution turned it into a museum, one of the most visited of St Petersburg. It also hosts different diplomatic or artistic events. It is probably one of the finest and most beautiful palaces of the Imperial area that you can visit in Saint Petersburg.

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Traveling in Russia

The Bolshoi Theater

Who doesn’t know the Bolshoi? If you don’t know it, it’s a shame. Like a real shame. I mean the kind of shame you feel when you have to walk in the middle of two groups of judging babushkas.

Dreamstime © - Moscou - Théâtre Bolchoï (2)

Anyway the Bolshoi is one of the best Opera and theater in the world, especially known for its ballets. With nearly 200 dancers, one of the most extensive repertoires in the world, technically the best-equipped theater in the world, and with the modern stage opened in 2002 and the historical stage reopened in 2011 after six years of work, there are not enough superlatives to describe the Bolshoi. Opened in 1776 and two steps away from the Kremlin, the Bolshoi remains as one of the most vibrant and famous symbols of the Russia and the Russian arts scene.

Dreamstime © - Moscou - Théâtre Bolchoï - Ballet (2)

This symbolism lies of course on the quality of its representations, its history, its continued world-tours and on its ornaments. From the chandelier and ceiling paintings to the loges, the Bolshoi itself offers to its visitors a magical decor. But the Bolshoi is more than that. The Bolshoi is a real historical milestone that saw as well as contributed to history. Indeed, if Lenin wanted to destroy it (no comment, I promise), it was Stalin that saved it. A bit later, the Bolshoi’s first representation after the dissolution of the USSR was Swan Lake and its nowadays the most well-known ballet among people.

Dreamstime © - Moscou - Théâtre Bolchoï (5)

 

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Cultural Fact

Russian contemporary art

Russian art and artistic life are mainly known for the imperial architecture, the classic music and literature and the Soviet modern art. More, Russia is often seen as a country where contemporary culture doesn’t exist. It couldn’t be more wrong. Indeed the Russian contemporary artistic life is rich, diversified and of high quality! However it’s true that Russian contemporary is most of the time a bit hidden. Why? First because it rarely (and very sadly) goes out of the country due to a clichés and low interest from foreigners (bad). Second because Russian contemporary art isn’t about gigantism or pop art (yes I despised Jeff Koons). But missing Russian contemporary art is missing what Russia really is nowadays and it’s staying on the surface of a buzzing society.

dreamstime_xxl_102942702

Of course, to better know the Russian contemporary art, you can go in well-known museums and galleries. Among them, the best are the Garage Museum and Winzavod gallery in Moscow, and the Erarta Museum of St Petersburg!

Starting with the Erarta Museum in St Petersburg, because this one is my favorite (and trust me I know about art). The Erarta Museum is the most important museum of contemporary art in Russia despite being opened in 2010. It displays more than 2300 objects d’art. But to me the most important is its philosophy. Indeed, the philosophy of the Museum is to combine the elements of the participation of the visitor with the preference given to talented artists over popular artists. Finally a museum of contemporary art that gives the way to talent over popularity!

Musée Erarta © Saint-Pétersbourg - Musée art contemporain Erarta (4)

In Moscow the two museums that deal with contemporary art are the Garage Museum and the Winzavod gallery. The first one is a well-known and good quality museum in the heart of Gorky Park. It’s rather small but often has good exhibitions. Even if, to be honest, you need to be careful when choosing as some of them are more modern art than contemporary and so a bit… different.

dreamstime_xxl_82657845

The Winzavod gallery is different (and free). It exhibits contemporary art project in a big industrial building. You’ll therefore meet young artists, often a bit underground and discover many styles and personalities!

dreamstime_xxl_16332626 (1)

But if you want to discover the Russian contemporary art, the best remains to explore, walk by the streets, go to gallery openings and find the doors to the underground. Good luck!

 

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