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2016's Most Anticipated Art Exhibitions

News that Russians waited hours in the cold and snow outside Tretyakov Art Gallery reveals the love and passion people have for high culture and beauty in the Federation. For visitors and locals alike, 2016 offers a promise of historic preservation of Russia's magnificent art heritage, as well as the promise of new and ongoing artistic creativity. Here's a very brief roundup of some important exhibitions around the country. 

Catherine the Great and Stanisław August: Two Enlightened Monarchs - The Hermitage, thru May 21st

The Hermitage

This exhibition at the fabulous Hermitage museum features more than 150 works of fine and applied art from the collections of the State Hermitage, the Royal Łazienki Museum, the State Russian Museum, the State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, the Research Museum of the Russian Academy of Arts and the State Museum of the History of Religion. The event attempts to establish a commonality in between Catherine II and Stanisław August, both of whom were influenced by the works of French writers and philosophers, and a common love of literature, fine art and architecture. The exhibit is a stunning experience into how these monarchs were influenced to bring about a cultural enlightenment of thier subjects.

Igor Lazarev - Moscow's Winzavod Centre, January 28th, 2016 Only

Lazarev Igor, "In search of lost music", canvas, oil, 50x70 см, 2011

This one day only exhibition will present paintings from the collections of the Alexander Seitz, Irina Dolinina, Victoria Kanokova and other private collections, as well as a number of paintings prepared by the artist to the nearest exhibition in Norway in the spring of 2016. Most of the works are exhibited in Russia for the first time, so this is a rare chance to see the fabulous artistry of one of Russia's most famous artist of this day. Igor Lazarev's world is one of surrealism, of lands inhabited by mystical creatures and the metaphysical. For a journey into the wondrous imagination, this Moscow exhibition is well worth your time.  All funds collected via entrance to the exhibit will be donated to the children's pension "Anita center Big family".

Leon Bakst: 1866-1924 - Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, February 24 - May

From Scheherazade (Public Domain]

Some 150 works will be shown in honor of the artiests 150th birthday at the Russian Museum. Artist, designer, and illustrator, Bakst was best known for his costume and set decoration talents. The exhibition will focus on examples of his work in this area. Bakst's costume designs and decorations sketches played a huge role in the success of Sergey Diaghilev's "Les saisons russes" - ballet and opera performances in Russia, France and other countries. Furthermore, his art influenced theatrical art all over the world, becomming one of the best examples of a combination of experiments with form and interest to the artistic tradition of the Ancient East and antiquity.

Gely Korzhev: “I have the right” - Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, March 18 - June 14 

Anxiety by Gely Korzhev

This exhibition is a retrospective look at the works of one of Socialist Realism’s main artists. The product of years of preparation by Tretyakov Gallery's Director, Zelfira Tregulova, the space will be devoted to showing various forms and themese from heroic and patriotic representations, to the artist's more surreal work in the 1990s. Considered one of the most significant artists of the latter half of the 20th Century, Korzhev's is a fascinating study into the art and artists of the Soviet era. This exhibition will feature works from the collection of the Tretyakov gallery, the Russian Museum, and ROSIZO, Institute of Russian realist art, Russian and foreign private collections.

5th Moscow Biennale of Young Art - Moscow, June 29 - August 14 

The website of

A massive city-wide project, this exhibition features budding new artists ages under 35 years, from around the world. Curated by British art historian Nadim Samman, the events all coincide with the theme "Biennale: Deep Inside." The main aspects of the exhibition will be divided into two parts. One, will be located at the 19th century industrial building, Trekhgornaya Manufaktura, while the other will be inside a branch of the Moscow Museum of Modern Art on Yermolaevsky pereulok. The events are being organized by Organisation: Department of Culture of the City of Moscow, National Centre for Contemporary Art (NCCA), Moscow, and the Moscow Museum of Modern Art (MMoMA), among other organizations. 

Ivan Aivazovsky - The Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, July 29 - November 20

Ivan Aivazovsky. The Passage of the Jews through the Red Sea. 1891

In celebration of the 200th birthday of the artist, the Tretyakov Gallery will feature some of this romantic painter's most famos works. Paintings and drawings from galleries across Russia have participated to show this retrospective of the artist. Examples of the pieces on exhibit include; “The Rainbow” to “The Ninth Wave,” and for the very first time the general public will be able to see “Along the Shores of the Caucasus." The exhibition will also include models of ships, compasses, a globe, and a telescope.