The moment has finally arrived. The Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, the brainchild of Dasha Zhukova, has opened its new building in Moscow, just three years after it was commissioned from architect Rem Koolhaas. It is the first contemporary art museum to alight in the capital city since the fall of Communism. The 65,000-square-foot structure, a reworking of a gargantuan (1,000-seat) disused Soviet-era restaurant came at a cost of $27 million. That’s a song compared to what other museums have paid for their new spaces! (The Whitney’s new Renzo Piano–designed building in New York was $422 million; the Louis Vuitton Foundation’s Frank Gehry–authored palace in Paris was $143 million.)
The upper echelon of the art world has ventured to the opening, joined by a trove of celebrities who were invited by Zhukova and her husband, the oligarch Roman Abramovich. Among those in attendance, according to Page Six: model Karlie Kloss, fashion designer Stella McCartney, Hollywood macher Harvey Weinstein, businessman François Pinault (who of course has his own private museums, in Venice), Miuccia Prada (ditto, in Venice and Milan, the latter also designed by Koolhaas). No less than a dozen curators from the Museum of Modern Art are there too, the Post’s column says. (Plus Woody Allen is there, La Prenasa reports.)
Want to know more? For a primer on the building, and the history (and future!) of Garage, which was founded in 2008, Dan Duray has you covered, with a story that was published in the May issue of ARTnew. The folks at Architecture Digest have the scene from the opening press conference, where Koolhaas discussed his first trip to Russia, way back in 1965. Condé Naste Traveler, too, is at the ready with some background material, and notes that a Louise Bourgeois show is in the offing in September. The Telegraph has published a quick, early review. Meanwhile, The Guardian declares it a “hipster hangout.” Design Boom also has a thorough tour around the handsome complex.
The consensus opinion? Too soon to tell. More in the days to come.