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You're Nobody Until You Have Your Own Garage...and Then an Island!

Saturday 11th December 2010

The Garage Centre for Contemporary Culture in Moscow
 
The world's eye is on Russia at the moment as they take the glory for being named the host nation for the World Cup in 2012, but in art terms, the world has been  keeping a close eye on Russia for sometime. Some of the biggest names in collecting in recent years have come from Russia and there is no doubt as to the massive influence that Russia has had on the art market as a whole. 
 
If you happen to be a fan of both football and art, then you might be familiar with the name Roman Abramovich - Russian billionaire and owner of Chelsea football club. You might also be familiar with his wife Daria Zhukova who is named as the founder of The Garage - a centre for contemporary art based in Moscow. 
 
The Garage opened in 2008, as a non-profit organisation for the promotion and development of contemporary art and culture in Russia. Housed in an old bus garage designed in 1926 by Constructivists Konstantin Melnikov and Vladimir Shukhov, making it an icon of early 20th-century Russian architecture. The 8,500 square meter space was designed in a parallelogram shape to accommodate an innovative parking system for the buses, but now stands host to a range of international contemporary art exhibitions and events. 
 
In 2011 the gallery is looking to really expand, opening a space in St Petersburg and it is rumoured that Abramovich has bough an island (New Holland) to fit in with further expansion plans for the gallery, and his art collection. Yes, an island. He is not alone in making such plans, there is already an island off the coast of Japan, called Naoshima, dedicated to art installations by artists such as Richard Long, WAlter De Maria, James Turrell and Cai Guo-Qiang. It was also rumoured that billionaire art collector Anita Zabludowicz also had plans for an art island in Scandinavia.
 
In a quote at ArtDaily.org Zhukova said "I am excited about this next stage of The Garage's development and the possibility of expanding to the cultural landscape of St Petersburg. We will release more details of our plans for New Holland once they are finalised in the coming year."
 
Already, 2011 looks to be an exciting year for art in Russia. Watch this space for more information.

Posted on December 11th 2010 on 11:14am

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