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Regular version of the site

English-language Lectures at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art

The Moscow Museum of Modern Art has launched a series of lectures on Russian Art of the 20th and early 21st centuries for an English-speaking audience. 

Nine lectures will take place on Wednesdays at 7.30-9.00 pm, from October 7 to December 2, 2015.

The lecturer is Valentin Diaconov, a Moscow-based critic and curator who writes on art for the Kommersant newspaper. His most recent curatorial project was 'Detective' at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art in summer 2014.

These lectures will provide information about the leading historical movements and artists in Russian art of the 20th and 21st centuries in an interactive manner and based on rich illustrative material. They will combine historical narrative with practical information on the collections of Moscow museums and galleries,  and will give an introduction to the contemporary Russian art scene. 

Nine Lectures That Shook The World / A Crash Course in Russian Art of the 20th Century

The 20th century saw art’s deconstruction, as a result of the combined forces of the bourgeois city, new forms of entertainment, modern techniques of scientific research and the institutional dominance of the public museum of art. This process took many forms worldwide, and for a time Russian art was at the cutting edge of innovation that aligned itself with the New against the Old. Even in its most radical forms, however, the art of Russia and the USSR never veered too far away from notions of utopian or totalitarian collectivity and the search for a common myth of transition into the aesthetic realm, while European construction of a free subject, made possible by centuries of philosophy, trade, and war, was almost always regarded with suspicion. This series of lectures will look at the 20th century’s most prominent personalities and the cultural context in which they worked, exploring significant breakthroughs along with deep-seated conservative tendencies.


LECTURE 1 — October, 7

Rape of Europe: Retrospectivist Tendencies in the 1900s

LECTURE 2 — October, 14

Les Fauves Ala Russe: Mikhail Larionov and «Bubnovy Valet»

LECTURE 3 — October, 21

Against Venus: Kazimir Malevich and the Beginnings of Abstraction

LECTURE 4 — October, 28

For the Worker and by the Worker: Early Revolutionary Art for a New Society

LECTURE 5 — November, 4

Stalin’s Witnesses: How Soviet Art Became Official

LECTURE 6 — November, 11

Screening the War: Images of WWII

LECTURE 7 — November, 18

Back Through Peter’s Window: Cultural Policy of Thaw and the Beginnings of Non-Conformist Art

LECTURE 8 — November, 25

Held In Doubt: Soviet Concept Art of the 1970s

LECTURE 9 — December, 2

Promises of Capitalism: Contemporary Russian Art in the Global Context


Address: Moscow Museum of Modern Art, 9 Tverskoy boulevard.

Language: English

One lecture per week on WEDNESDAYS

Price: 700 rubles

Price for students: 450 rubles

Season ticket for all 9 lectures: 5500 rubles


See also: announcement on the MMOMA website.