About

Garage Museum of Contemporary Art is a place for people, art, and ideas to create history.

Founded in 2008 by Dasha Zhukova and Roman Abramovich, Garage is the first philanthropic institution in Russia to create a comprehensive public mandate for contemporary art.

Providing opportunities for dialogue, as well as the production of new work and ideas, the Museum’s extensive program of exhibitions, events, education, research, and publishing reflects current developments in Russian and international culture. Central to these activities is the Museum’s collection, which is the only public archive in the country related to the development of Russian contemporary art from the 1950s through to the present.

On May 1, 2014, Garage Center for Contemporary Culture changed its name to Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, reflecting the co-founders’ commitment to providing long-term public access to living artists and art histories. On June 12, 2015, the museum moved to its first permanent home in Gorky Park, in the heart of Moscow.

Dasha Zhukova

Co-founder, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art

“Garage was founded with an international perspective, but now we are increasingly recognized as an internationally significant organization that not only presents, but also creates culture. What started as a project to provide a platform in Moscow for great contemporary art has gradually evolved into the forward-thinking contemporary museum we are today.”


Anton Belov

Director, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art

“In 2018 Garage celebrated its 10th anniversary. In the course of a decade it has evolved from a center for contemporary culture into a museum of contemporary art with an extensive program of exhibitions, screenings, concerts, festivals, education events, scientific and regional research programs, and inclusive projects, which take place inside the museum as well as in its Education Center, Garage Screen summer cinema, and on Garage Square. Our mission is to create unique art experiences.”

Garage Program

Garage Archive Collection and RAAN

Founded in 2012, Garage Archive is the world’s largest collection devoted to the development of Russian art from the mid-1950s to the present day. With over 500,000 documents on the art of Moscow, Leningrad/St. Petersburg, and other Russian cities, the archive acts as a platform for international research projects (conferences, exhibitions, seminars, and publications), as well as a center that accumulates knowledge on Russian contemporary art and makes it available to people around the world. In 2017, Garage launched the Russian Art Archive Network (RAAN), an online platform that offers access to digitized documents from the collections of Garage and partner institutions in other countries.

Exhibitions and Public Programs

Every year Garage organizes around ten exhibitions, including major retrospectives of key Russian and international artists, group shows, and presentations of new work made for Garage Atrium or Garage Square. Some exhibitions produced by Garage then travel to other Russian cities or abroad. The team at Garage is interested in promoting knowledge on contemporary art and developing new forms of interaction with visitors, so every exhibition is accompanied by a public program, designed to engage all age groups, which includes lectures, workshops, discussions, screenings, artist talks, and family events.

Garage Atrium Commissions and Garage Square Commissions

Several times a year Garage shows new, site-specific projects commissioned from Russian and international artists for Garage Atrium and Garage Square. These works are free to visit. Between 2015 and 2018, Garage Square Commissions were produced by Ugo Rondinone, Boris Matrosov, Viacheslav Koleichuk, and Damián Ortega. Garage Atrium Commissions included works by Erik Bulatov, Rashid Johnson, Yin Xiuzhen, Irina Korina, and Anri Sala.

Garage Field Research

Launched by Garage in 2013, Field Research is a unique interdisciplinary platform that enables artists, curators, and critics from various countries to study little-known figures and phenomena of Russian and world cultures and present them to the public in the form of a new work of art, an exhibition, a film, an archive, a database, a publication or a talk.

Garage Education

One of the Museum’s priority programs, Garage Education comprises over 3,000 events a year, as well as training courses, seminars, and conferences for professionals. The professional program covers both theoretical and practical aspects of museum work, such as inclusion, and offers participants the opportunity to gain new skills and experience.

Garage Library

Garage Library is Russia's first public library devoted to contemporary art and is open to everyone and free to visit. Its collection contains over 30,000 publications, including exhibition catalogues from across the world, studies on art and culture in Russian and English, and a selection of rare books and periodicals. Visitors are welcome to use library computers that provide access to Artstor and JSTOR and browse the collection via the online catalogue. The library runs a series of public events as well as the project Single Copy devoted to the genre of the artist’s book.

Garage Publishing

Garage has an extensive publishing program of exhibition catalogues and books on contemporary art and culture, philosophy, media, and design published under the Museum’s own imprint or in collaboration with Ad Marginem Press. Each year around fifty new titles are published, including works translated to Russian for the first time and children’s books. All books are on sale at Garage Bookshop and online. In spring each year, the Museum invites leading Russian and international publishers to take part in Garage Art Book Fair, creating a public platform for the exchange of expertise and knowledge in the field.

Garage Screen

Launched in 2012, Garage Screen shows the best Russian and international film, including features, documentaries, experimental pictures, festival hits, and animation. Garage curators select a program of films on art and culture, biopics on contemporary artists, musicians, architects and performers, and documentaries on exhibitions and works of art. Screenings take place in Garage Auditorium and Garage Screen summer cinema, located on Garage Square from late spring to early fall.

Garage Live

Garage Live is a program of performances, music, theater, and dance events launched in 2012 to emphasize the importance of immediate experiences and present the Museum as a public space based on the ethics of empathy. Garage Live events offer experiences based on sensory and emotional responses. Since the program’s launch, Garage has presented over fifty live projects, many of which were produced specially for the Museum. The experimental nature of Garage Live projects can be found in their use of new forms of support for Russian performers and dance artists through their integration into hybrid educational events.

Mosaic Music

Since 2016, Garage Live has also included Mosaic Music, a program of live performances by Russian and international artists and musicians who have influenced the history of music in the twenty-first century and changed our understanding of contemporaneity through sound.

Academic program in partnership with HSE

In 2018, one of Russia’s leading universities, the Higher School of Economics, launched a joint department with Garage to foster scientific research based on the Museum’s activities and offer unique educational programs. From fall 2019, HSE will offer a Masters program in curatorial practices in contemporary art, which was developed by Garage and will combine the Museum’s expertise with an academic curriculum.

Grants

In 2012, Garage launched the country’s first grant program for emerging Russian artists, offering a monthly stipend for the period of one year to successful applicants. The Museum also offers the annual Art and Technology grant, in partnership with BMW, and a grant to produce a work of land art in Gorky Park as part of the international Signet Land Art project. Garage grant programs also include GARAGE.txt, which supports the publication of original research by specialists on art and culture writing in Russian; Archive Summer grants for researchers studying Russian art to work with Garage Archive Collection; and support for cultural institutions in Russia’s regions.

Garage Studios

In January 2019, the Museum will launch Garage Studios, located in a pavilion at VDNKh park that has been specially renovated. Eighteen studios will be offered rent-free to Moscow-based artists and artists from Russia’s regions. In August 2020, Garage plans to expand the program and invite artists from abroad, as well as Russian and international curators, to work in the studios.

Accessible Garage

The Museum’s Inclusive Program focuses on disability awareness across all aspects of the Museum’s activities, working in particular to enhance the experiences of visitors who are deaf and hearing impaired, blind and partially sighted, and those with intellectual disabilities. The program, which started in 2014, is the first initiative of its kind in the country. It includes training for Museum employees, especially invigilators, guards, and customer service staff, who are taught Russian Sign Language. Programs are aimed at both individuals and families, with regular free tours for people with disabilities and children’s workshops. In 2019, Garage will expand the program to include work with migrant and refugee communities in Moscow.

Garage Membership

The first program of its kind in a Russian museum, Garage Membership offers visitors free priority access to exhibitions for one year, as well as discounts at Garage Café and Bookshop and invitations to special events, among other benefits.

GARAGE ARCHITECTURE

Garage Museum of Contemporary Art’s past and future have always had an important relationship to architecture, in that the organization believes that the spaces it inhabits play a central role in the development of a contemporary approach to making a public museum for art and publics.

The organization was initially housed in (and received its name from) the renowned Bakhmetevsky Bus Garage in Moscow, originally designed by the Constructivist architect Konstantin Melnikov. In 2012, Garage relocated to Gorky Park, to a temporary pavilion specifically commissioned from award-winning architect Shigeru Ban. A year later, a purpose-built Education Center was opened next to the Pavilion. On June 12, 2015, Garage welcomed visitors to its first permanent home. Designed by OMA, this is a groundbreaking preservation project that has transformed the famous Vremena Goda (Seasons of the Year) Soviet Modernist restaurant built in 1968 in Gorky Park into a contemporary museum.

GOVERNANCE

Dasha Zhukova

Dasha Zhukova is co-founder of Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, and founder of the IRIS Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the understanding and development of contemporary culture throughout the world. She serves on the Board of Trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Shed, where she is a founding member. Additionally, she is a co-founder of Artsy. Zhukova has been involved in a number of ventures in the fields of fashion and design, including GARAGE Magazine, which she established in 2011. Born in Moscow, she was educated in Los Angeles, graduating from UCSB.

Roman Abramovich

Roman Abramovich is co-founder of Garage Museum of Contemporary Art. A prominent Russian businessman and philanthropist, he is a former member of parliament (State Duma, 1999-2001) and former governor of the Chukotka Autonomous District (2001-2008). Mr Abramovich is involved in a broad range of philanthropic projects in the Russia Federation and abroad, supporting charitable foundations focused on making a difference in the areas of arts and culture, sports, healthcare, children’s issues, education, veterans’ affairs, and other important social issues. He is a trustee of Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre and the main investor in the development of the New Holland cultural center in St Petersburg. He also provides sponsorship to a number of cultural establishments and programmes in Moscow and St. Petersburg, supporting Russian and international artists, performers, and musicians at exhibitions and events, and contributing to educational projects on contemporary culture. The Roman Abramovich Jewish Foundation helps numerous Jewish causes and also offers assistance to underprivileged members of society throughout the country.Past projects include the Pole of Hope and Territoria foundations, which made substantial contributions to the improvement of living conditions in the Russian region of Chukotka, and the National Academy of Football, which over a 10-year period built more than 100 sports facilities and sponsored training and coaching for young athletes across the country. Mr Abramovich was born in the city of Saratov and holds a diploma from the Moscow State Legal Academy.

Anton Belov

Anton Belov has been Director of Garage Museum of Contemporary Art since 2010. He is a graduate of the Moscow Institute of Steel and Alloys, with a degree in the physics and chemistry of processes and materials. Prior to his appointment at Garage, Anton ran the non-profit project Gallery White in Moscow, which he founded, working with young artists to develop new works. In 2009, Anton launched the bilingual magazine and online resource Artguide, which covers events in the field of contemporary art. It is now the leading magazine of its kind. He was a member of the Public Council of the Russian Ministry of Culture from 2012 to 2013. Since 2018, he has been Head of the Department for Garage Museum of Contemporary Art at the Higher School of Economics.

Kate Fowle

Kate Fowle is chief curator at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow and director-at-large at Independent Curators International (ICI) in New York. From 2009-13 she was the executive director of ICI. Previously she was the inaugural international curator at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing (2007-08) and chair of the Master’s Program in Curatorial Practice, which she co-founded in 2002 for California College of the Arts in San Francisco. Before moving to the United States Fowle was co-director of Smith + Fowle in London. From 1994-96 she was curator at the Towner Art Gallery and Museum in Eastbourne, East Sussex.

Fowle’s recent exhibitions at Garage include David Adjaye: Form, Heft, Material (2017), Irina Korina. The Tail Wags the Comet (2017), Garage Triennial of Russian Contemporary Art (2017), Toward the Source (2017), Proof: Francisco Goya, Sergei Eisenstein, Robert Longo (2016-2017), Urs Fischer. Small Axe (2016), Rashid Johnson. Within Our Gates (2016), Louise Bourgeois. Structures of Existence: The Cells (2015-2016), Rirkrit Tiravanija: Tomorrow Is The Question (2015), The New International (2014), and John Baldessari: 1+1=1 (2013). Her recent writing includes catalogue texts on Doug Aitken, Rasheed Araeen, John Baldessari, Harrell Fletcher, Ilya Kabakov, Robert Longo, Ari Marcopoulos, Sterling Ruby, Althea Thauberger, and Qiu Zhijie. She has written on curating and exhibition practices for numerous publications and magazines, including Parkett, Modern Painters, Mousse, Art in America, Manifesta Journal, the Exhibitionist, and Frieze.

Garage is a non-profit project of The IRIS Foundation

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