Contemporary art Exhibitions Russian Federation

Mobile unit in hunt for Russia’s best self-taught artists

The Museum of Everything is running a five-city talent search for outsider art show at Moscow’s Garage Center

The Museum of Everything is coming to Russia

The Museum of Everything, the largest travelling exhibition of outsider art, is taking its country-hopping roadshow to the streets of Russia for the first time. Throughout August, the museum is parking its mobile exhibition unit in a different city across western Russia, where it will become something like a talent-show stage, seeking out the country’s best, undiscovered self-taught and non-professional artists. The five-city tour ends in September in Moscow, where the city’s Garage Center of Contemporary Culture is due to show the museum’s top finds in a new pavilion.

“Russian self-taught artists are still relatively unknown outside the region and contemporary ones even more so,” says James Brett, the curator and founder of the Museum of Everything. “The museum hopes that this project will help give these artists the visibility they deserve so that we can bring them to the attention of the general public and curators and museums worldwide.”

Amateur artists at each stop will be asked to submit their work before the critical eyes of a variety of artists and curators, including the Russian artist Leonid Tishkov, the Ukrainian photographer Sergey Bratkov and curators such as Tamara Galeeva, who is the dean of art and culture studies at Ural State University. “International artists may also join us on the way,” Brett says. “It’s a flexible project and will depend on the [Russian airline] Aeroflot timetable.”

Judging begins on 2 August in Russia’s fourth-largest city, Yekaterinburg, then moves 600 miles west to Kazan, then farther west to Nizhny Novgorod and St Petersburg before ending in Moscow on a to-be-determined date in September. The Garage Center has commissioned the Japanese architect Shigeru Ban to build a temporary pavilion in Moscow’s Gorky Park that will present the top discoveries alongside works by some of Russia’s best-known outsider artists, including Pavel Leonov and Alexander Lobanov.

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