A rendering of the GES2. Image: Renzo Piano Building Workshop.

New Moscow Art Center Will Be Crucial Link on City’s Museum Mile

Moscow’s V-A-C Foundation—an enterprise “dedicated to the development and international presentation of Russian contemporary culture,” according to its website—will be unveiling the GES2 next year, a Renzo Piano–designed contemporary art center that will help to link three other major institutions along the city’s Museum Mile, writes George Nelson of the Art Newspaper. The GES2 will aid in connecting the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Tretyakov Gallery, and the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art. The institutions, “which have been used to working in quite an isolated ideology,” according to Teresa Mavica, the V-A-C Foundation’s director, will now be “forced to have a conversation.”

“Moscow’s mayor wants to make this place like a cultural capital of the world,” said Mavica. “The idea arrived after understanding the level of cultural segregation in which Moscow has been for so long. It’s time for the Russian capital to become more open, for institutions to work together and themselves become an important actor of the social movement.”

The Museum Mile project is a part of Moscow’s “My Street” urban renewal program. Anton Belov, the director of the Garage, pushed the Russian government to approve the Museum Mile effort last year. But an ever-increasing budget, along with botched deadlines and residential debacles, has spurred a great deal of criticism against the program’s work. A representative from Arkhnadzor, an architectural preservation group, says construction has harmed ancient structures. Yevgeny Asse, an architect based in Moscow, was quoted in the Moscow Times saying that the city “has turned into hell.” Mavica, however, is undaunted: “Give us a couple of years and we will make the center beautiful.”