Garage museum of contemporary art

Opening Exhibition Program Announced for New Building by Rem Koolhaas and OMA

Opening June 12, 2015, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art is celebrating the completion of its Rem Koolhaas-designed building in Gorky Park with a range of exhibitions, performances, screenings, and events. These will introduce visitors to the broad range of Garage Programs and showcase the innovative new Museum spaces. A special-edition publication—Garage Gazette—will be produced to provide the context for all activities.

The 5,400 square-meter building will feature a state of the art façade consisting of a translucent double-layer of polycarbonate that is elevated two meters from the ground to visually reconnect the Museum’s interior to the park. The structure will be immediately recognizable worldwide by its unique silhouette, produced by two 11-meter wide, vertically sliding panels that rise seven meters above a rooftop terrace. The new building will provide Garage with inventive opportunities for programming through five exhibition galleries, a screening room, auditorium, and education spaces, including a creative center for children, as well as a bookshop and café.

Five major international projects will include interactive exhibitions by Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929, Matsumoto, Japan) and Rirkrit Tiravanija (b. 1961, Buenos Aires, Argentina) with Julius Koller (b. 1939, Bratislava, Czechoslovakia); as well as the inaugural Garage Atrium Commission by Erik Bulatov (b. 1933, Sverdlorsk, USSR); and a site-specific installation by Katharina Grosse (b. 1961, Freiburg, Germany) for Garage Pavilion.

For his debut Russian exhibition, Rirkrit Tiravanija invites audiences to participate in works developed in response to his experiences in the city, from tournaments in collaboration with Ping-Pong Club Moscow (P.P.C.M.), to eating pelmeni (the Russian dumpling,) served from site-specific sculptures. The artist has also paid homage to little-known Czechoslovakian conceptualist Július Koller, (1939-2007) who is both an inspiration and creative source for Tirivanija, particularly in his choice of the exhibition title: Tomorrow Is the Question?

Yayoi Kusama is also making her first exhibition in Russia, immersing audiences into extraordinary sensory and psychological environments. Connecting the Museum to its local environs, the artist has additionally created a large-scale public artwork, Ascension of Polka Dots on the Trees, which will lead visitors through Gorky Park.

Launching a new series of displays from Garage Archive Collection, photographs of the Moscow underground art scene from the 1970s through 1980s by Moscow Conceptualist George Kiesewalter (b. 1955, Moscow, USSR), will be presented. Inviting visitors to take part in building local histories, The Family Tree of Russian Contemporary Art will outline the creative networks in Russian art from the 1950s to 2010. Intended as a framework for the (as yet) unwritten history of domestic art in the second half of the 20th century, the «Family Tree» is not developed on subjective evaluations, but through an analysis of sources from Garage Archive—such as films, newspapers, memoirs, and interviews—that give evidence to connections between the participants of this history.

Providing unique public access to the new research Garage is developing, in addition to the Family Tree, Field Research: a progress report will include four ongoing projects by curators Koyo Kuouh (b. 1967, Cameroon) and Rasha Salti (b. 1969, Beirut, Lebanon); the Technical Assistant of the Museum of American Art in Berlin; as well as artists Taryn Simon (b. 1975, New York, USA); and Anton Vidokle (b. 1965, Moscow, USSR). Each initiative explores overlooked or little known events, philosophies, places, or people relating to Russian culture, creating opportunities for new worldviews to develop. Current topics include cosmism, nuclear vitrification, the 1959 American National Exhibition in Moscow, and filmmakers from Africa and the Arab world who studied in Moscow from the 1960s-1980s.

Throughout the Summer, Garage Education will offer workshops, lectures, and tours relating to the exhibitions, as well as showcasing two groundbreaking training programs that support emerging voices of Moscow’s creative scene: Inspired by Rem Koolhaas’ interests in preserving aspects of the original 1960s architecture, Garage Teens Team has focused on this decade as one that formed the ideals of their parents. In advance of the opening, the cohort have conducted interviews and researched local modernist architecture, Soviet comedies, music, and everyday artifacts to develop their own perspective on the period, which they will share with visitors in Garage Resource Space. Throughout the Summer, Garage Mediators—the first group in Russia to undergo specialist training in body language and public speaking, as well as architecture, art, and museum studies—will lead visitors through the building, introducing Garage’s institutional history and the Soviet Modernist structure it will call home.

Garage opens to the public on June 12, 2015. Entry to the Museum will be free throughout the day for all visitors, with priory access granted to Garage cardholders.


Garage Museum of Contemporary Art is a place for people, art, and ideas to create history. Founded in 2008 by Dasha Zhukova, the museum is the first philanthropic institution in Russia to create a comprehensive public mandate for contemporary art and culture. The organization was initially housed in (and received its name from) the renowned Bakhmetevsky Bus Garage in Moscow, designed by the Constructivist architect Konstantin Melnikov. In 2012, Garage relocated to Gorky Park, to a temporary pavilion specifically commissioned from award-winning architect Shigeru Ban. A year later, a purpose-built Education Center was opened next to the Pavilion.

On May 1, 2014, Garage Center for Contemporary Culture changed its name to Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, reflecting the founder’s commitment to providing long-term public access to living artists and art histories. On June 12, 2015 Garage welcomes visitors to its first permanent home. Designed by Rem Koolhaas and his OMA studio, this is a groundbreaking preservation project that has transformed the famous Vremena Goda (Seasons of the Year) Soviet Modernist restaurant built in 1968 in Gorky Park, into a contemporary museum.

Garage is a non-profit project of The IRIS Foundation.

Adam Abdalla
Nadine Johnson Inc.
Tel: +1 212 228 5555