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7 women boosting Moscow's art scene, share their hometown secrets
No secret, the core of Russian art scene is female
Art Stuff 12 Oct 2019

No secret, the core of Russian art scene is female: you’ve seen works by Taus Makhacheva at the Venice Biennale in 2017, heard about Garage Museum founded by Dasha Zhukova and anticipated V-A-C Foundation run by Teresa Mavica. Those are only few names of a long list. Here are some of the women who are leading the art scene in Moscow sharing their must-visit spots if in Russian capital. Time to plan your tip.
1. Margarita Pushkina, Founding Director of Cosmoscow International Contemporary Art Fair
1. Margarita Pushkina
An art historian, patron of young Russian artists, founder of Cosmoscow International Contemporary Art Fair and Cosmoscow Foundation for Contemporary Art, Margarita Pushkina knows each and every gallery on Russian art landscape. Her career includes as many activities, as a box of chocolate: she had published the Project Classica architectural magazine for 10 years at the time being a Managing Director of Kit Finance Private Banking, she launched the Credit Suisse and Cosmoscow Prize for Young Artists, the Off white charity auction, the Cosmoscow patron program, the Cosmoscow Talks educational program and much more – follow her Moscow tips to get the same success level!
For dinner: if you wish an easy-going dinner atmosphere, go to a newly opened restaurant Blanc, an arty vibe is guaranteed! Another cozy choice – Rico restaurant.
To meet friends: summer terrace during the warm months of the year, wine and talks for the rest of the year at Buro TSUM.
Shopping: TSUM without any doubts!
To relieve stress: An artfair, contemporary arts exhibitions at MMOMA or Garage Museum, save the date for the next year V-A-C Foundation Opening!
An art date: A stroll through the galleries at Winzawod is highly recommended. Melnikov or VDNKh and don’t forget to check out Garage Museum Studios.
2. Olga Shishko, the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts
Olga Shishko is another example of how to do it right: after graduating from the Department of History and Theory of Lomonosov Moscow State University she worked as an art historian, curator and teacher. She has been running Department of Film and Media Art at the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts since 2016, established MediaArtLab Centre for Art and Culture together with Alexey Isaev in 2000 and is an art director of MIFF Media Forum Moving Image Festival since 2006.
For dinner: Nikolina Gora. There is a real ‘al forno’ stove and a beloved family, we go to the Datcha restaurant or make barbecue in the yard.
To meet friends: stay at home and arrange a themed dinner. Another option would be to go out for oysters with prosecco in the Central Market at Trubnaya.
Shopping: Italians do it better – in flea markets (favorite in Lucca) or in any small towns (I hate global brands).
To relieve stress: Live baroque music in the Botanical Garden near the pond – my discovery of this summer.
An art date: The Pushkin Museum, where I work.
3. Ekaterina Vinokurova and Anastasia Karneeva, Smart Art Consultancy
3.Ekaterina Vikonukorova, Anastasia Korneeve
Both gorgeous ladies are co-founders of Smart Art Consultancy, closely working with Russian contemporary artists. Ekaterina Vinokurova is an expert in Contemporary Art having worked as a representative of Haunch of Venison gallery in Russia previously and Christie’s team in Moscow. Anastasia Karneeva has extensive experience in art and investment consulting, with over 6 years of business development for Christie’s auction house in Russia.
Dinner in Moscow: Go for Rico restaurant for а nice ambience, friendly staff and great food!
To meet friend: Garage is a great meeting point where you can combine great art, a nice lunch and a walk in the park.
To relieve stress: Nothing is better than a work out – either a run in Luzhniki or visit to my favorite gym – Sektsia located at Trehgornaya Manifactura.
Art date: Foundation Louis Vuitton exhibition and Shchukin brothers’ collection at Pushkin Museum is a must.
4. Irina Gorlova, Tretyakov Gallery
Irina Gorlova
Irina Gorlova is a graduated art historian and curator who followed her passion and worked for 20 (!) years at the National Centre for Contemporary Art (NCCA). Since 2017 she has established herself as the Head of the Department of Contemporary Art at the Tretyakov Gallery.
Dinner in Moscow: For friends visiting from abroad, I’d recommend Russian herring and Ukrainian borsch at Korchma Taras Bulba. But be ready as sometimes visitors at the table next to you sing folk songs! I personally would go for a dinner with friends at the “Perelotnyy Kabak” or “Khitryye Lyudi”.
To meet friends: cinema, theater and exhibitions.
Shopping: I don’t like shopping in Moscow. Go to a flea market for the best shopping experience!
To relieve stress: go to the pool, go on a trip out of town or take a boat, for example, in a bay in the Strogino area. And, of course, the Tretyakov Gallery and the Pushkin Museum.
Art date: any art exhibition!
5. Inna Bazhenova, collector, IN ARTIBUS Foundation, owner of The Art Newspaper
5.Inna Bazhenova
Inna Bazhenova is Russian art collector and a philanthropist, supporting cultural projects. She is the owner of The Art Newspaper international network – yes, you hear it right – this lady is as well the founder of IN ARTIBUS Foundation, and co-publisher of Russian Art Focus online media.
Dinner in Moscow: Sakhli restaurant – cozy atmosphere and amazing Georgian cuisine.
To meet friends: Geraldine restaurant, I live next door.
Shopping: boutiques of Tretyakovsky Proezd for example Tom Ford or TSUM.
To relieve stress: Golden Mile Fitness, swimming pool and sauna.
Art date: IN ARTIBUS foundation offers an intimate space for some privacy and silence while watching an elegant exhibition of classic graphic works or paintings.
State Pushkin Museum of fine arts, State Tretyakov gallery, MMOMA at Gogolevsky boulevard and Multimedia Art Museum next to it, finished by a visit to Garage Museum in Gorky Park.
6. Anastasia Potemkina, artist
6.Anastasia Potemkina
Anastasia Potemkina is known for her work with Urban Fauna Lab, which studies the parasitic and symbiotic relations that arise between people, animals, and plants in cities in order to help them all to adapt. She analyzes situations in which human behavior is conditioned by fears and complexes stemming from patriarchal cultural codes and official mass culture. She has exhibited at the first Triennial of Russian Contemporary Art that was initiated by Garage Museum in 2017.
Dinner in Moscow: I usually don’t have time to dine normally, but if this is something special, love Umi oysters, if it’s not too crowded.
To meet friends: We usually visit each other or go to take salt baths to relieve stress.
Shopping: I buy clothes online on grailed.com. Sometimes mom sews something special for me.
Art date: if I imagine that I understand what an art date is, then the best thing I had was in the Garage Museum during the installation of the exhibition “The Fabric Of Felicity”.
7. Alexandra Paperno, artist
Alexandra Paperno is one of Russian female artists that gathered international attention, including participation in a group show at Albertina Museum and 5thMoscow Biennale of Contemporary Art. At first sight Alexandra Paperno’s paintings can come across as meditative abstractions, but on closer inspection they expose their figurative, almost realistic style.
For dinner: Best dinners are at friend’s houses. Otherwise I like quiet and non-fashionable places like the old-soviet-style club cafe of the Union of Writers or a hidden Georgian restaurant Zandukeli’s Spinat in a former research institute.
To meet friends: We often meet in each other’s studios. There is also a nice bar next door to my studio called DK Delau Kulturu (House of Culture “Make Culture”) with a tiny book corner Zhivet i Rabotaet (Lives and Works) – it’s a nice meeting point.
Shopping: Masterpieces can be found anywhere – in mass market department stores or in concept stores. All my best finds were made while walking around the city and seeing something accidentally.
To relieve stress: My studio or a walk in the central part of the city.
Art date: The New Tretyakov Gallery is always a worth a visit. Moscow is full of small house and apartment museums – like Vsevolod Meyerhold apartment of Maxim Gorki’s house. Melnikov’s house is a gem, but it’s not easy to get an appointment for a visit.
Text by Yulia Belousova

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