Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow

The Garage Museum of Contemporary Art is one of the many interesting places to visit in Moscow’s famous Gorky Park. To be honest, the name “museum” might be a bit deceiving, as the permanent collection of this institution primarily acts as a center for the study of Russian contemporary art, rather than showcasing its masterpieces to the public. The museum, therefore, is a space for a large number of ever-changing exhibitions. Probably the most noteworthy of them all is the Triennial of Russian Contemporary Art, which, as the name implies, takes place every three years and unfortunately just closed on May, 14th 2017. At the time of writing, the entrance ticket to the museum and exhibitions is 400 Rubles (roughly 6 Euros or USDs).

Architecturally, the building itself is rather interesting. It was designed by the famous Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas “over the ruins” of an old soviet restaurant, thanks to the generosity of Dasha Zhukova, the “Russian art tsarina“. The outside is a facade of polycarbonate and glass, in the shape of a parallelepiped. The shape itself and many elements are reminiscent of those of the Kunstmuseum in Vaduz, Lichtenstein. A very distinctive element, on the other hand (and I suspect where the Garage Museum takes its name from) is an enormous garage-style rising door on either side, as you can see from the picture below.

 

GaragePano

Inside the large open space is divided into four main ambients. The entrance hall can easily turn in a large theatre and divides the art book store, on one side, from the museum’s cafe-restaurant, on the other. We didn’t dine in the museum, as we found the restaurant to be a bit overpriced, for Moscow’s standards. The cafe’s web-site, I must note, is honest enough about it and right in the home page specifies that the average meal price is 1.500 Rubles (around 22 Euros – 25 USD). It is noteworthy that many of the original restaurant elements on the inside have been kept and preserved, without having been restored to look new. Among them many tiled surfaces and a large, impressive mosaic.

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