Moscow art institutions and artists continue to react to the war in Ukraine. The Garage Museum of Contemporary Art today announced that it would “stop work on all exhibitions until the human and political tragedy that is unfolding in Ukraine has ceased,” according to statement emailed to press. And prominent Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson has closed his exhibition at another Moscow museum, GES-2, early.
The Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, in Moscow’s Gorky Park, had upcoming exhibitions by Lydia Masterkova, Anne Imhof, Helen Marten, and Saodat Ismailova planned. The museum’s statement, which also appears on the its website, indicates that the institution will fulfill its “obligations to the artists whose projects are being postponed and who have worked with us with trust and enthusiasm.” The Masterkova exhibition was slated to open on March 16, and the Imhof show, the first in Russia for the celebrated artist who won the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale in 2017, was due to open on April 5.
Kjartansson‘s exhibition, Santa Barbara – A Living Sculpture, inaugurated the V-A-C Foundation’s new GES-2 House of Culture in December and was meant to run through March 13. “It is not possible to have this work when this horror begins,” Kjartansson told the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service – Ríkisútvarpið, calling Russia a “fascist state.”
The Garage was founded in 2008 by prominent contemporary art collector Dasha Zhukova and her then-partner Roman Abramovich, also a collector. The museum has since expanded from a site in a former bus garage to a Rem Koolhaas–designed building in Gorky Park. The V-A-C Foundation was founded in 2009 by collector Leonid Mikhelson.