Málaga’s Hotly Anticipated Russian Museum Announces First Shows

Former tobacco factory in Malaga that will house the St. Petersburg satellite museum Photo: Alf Melin

The director of the State Russian Museum, Vladimir Gusev, has announced details of the Málaga branch’s inaugural exhibition program, ABC reports (see State Russian Museum To Open Spanish Outpost).

A yearlong exhibition will feature 100 artworks from the St. Petersburg museum’s vast permanent collection, including works by Wassily Kandinsky, Kazimir Malevich, Vladimir Tatlin, Petr Konchalovsky, Alexander Rodchenko, and Marc Chagall.

The museum will also stage two temporary exhibitions. The first one is to be dedicated to Ballets Russes founder Sergei Diaghilev, who visited the Spanish coastal town in 1917. It will feature 69 pieces including paintings, set designs, props, and costumes from artists such as Leon Bakst, Mikhail Vrubel, Aleksandr Golovin, and Natalia Goncharova.

The second temporary show will focus on the oeuvre of prominent avant-garde painter and poet Pavel Filonov.

The local city council will bankroll these three exhibitions: Málaga’s mayor Francisco de la Torre announced that they will have a budget of €400,000.

The opening of the museum will coincide with the eagerly awaited launch of the Centre Pompidou’s temporary satellite, for which the local government paid a bidding fee of €2.1 million ($2.7 million) (see The Centre Pompidou Pops Up in Málaga). This joint strategy signals the local council’s efforts to push Málaga beyond its reputation as a beach resort and position it as a cultural destination.

The city already boasts a substantial cultural offering. The Picasso Museum and the Centro de Arte Contemporáneo opened their doors back in 2003. In 2011, the Carmen Thyssen Museum was launched, with works from the Thyssen-Bornemisza collection in Madrid. To top it all, a new art fair will open its doors in the neighboring resort town of Marbella next summer (see Marbella Gets an Art Fair, But Are Collectors Game?).

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