IN 2005, THE RUSSIAN ART SCENE was marked by encounters with official politics, money, and the media, which taken together constituted a confrontation primarily with power. The year began with the first Moscow Biennale and ended with “Russia!” at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. The Putin regime, with its mania for absolute control, finally accepted art as an essential element in its cultural and ideological program. This year capital, too, collided with art’s commercial spaces: In the fall, the galleries that were created at the dawn of the economic reforms and survived the difficult ’90s began their second season in league with new and ambitious venues, including Stella Art, Ru Art, and Gary Tatintsian, among others. In addition, a group of galleries, taking the name of Art Strelka (or “art point”), set up shop in a former factory on the Moscow River by the walls of the
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