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Pervomayskaya 260 m Izmailov Avenue, 30
  • (495) 465 63 04, 164 37 38

Museum Outsider Art

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The spookiest and most mysterious museum in the capital

Free to enter

History of the Museum

Moscow Museum of Outsider Art was established — though unwittingly — in 1989. At this time the public's attention was focused on new ideas in art and on misery of mentally disabled people in the Soviet society.

In 1990 the first exhibition of the art Russian mental patients was opened in Moscow after the organisers had visited a number of foreign countries.

Art Brut, or Outsider Art genre was intensively developed in the West but quite unknown in the former Soviet Union. The organisers began actively collecting art works of Outsider Art upon their return to Moscow.

Over the past ten years the collection has been shown throughout the former Soviet Union, as well as in Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Hungary, Bulgaria, South Africa, Peru and the United States. The first Russian museum of outsider art opened in 1996. Since then the collection has grown to several thousand pieces, and in 2000 the museum moved to its new space at the Izmailovo Boulevard.

The Outsiders: geniuses or lunatics?

The museum's collection has about a thousand paintings, written by people with, to put it mildly, an unusual mind. Moreover, such artists paint with everything that falls in their hands, whatever it is — toothpaste on furniture, shoe boxes, pieces of cardboard and lumps of iron. You can examine for long the «Mechanical model of cannibalistic imperative» (a cylinder with nails stuck in), paintings and sculptures under the title «The Life of the Soul 1», «Ponitel ginekofasny», «Hanged Himself in Australia,» «Planes fly», wondering what, in fact, does all this mean ...

Naive Art, a fictional environment

Unprofessional artists, the outsiders, portray aspects of the real world, sometimes united with fictional images. The authors of such works often tend to the status of professional artists, drawing subjects and technical execution of works from the academism. «Worlds of fantasies», fictional landscapes ... These are a mirror of the soul of their creators, which is often perceived by others as crooked. Fictional environment is a solution to the problem of relations of its creator with the surrounding reality. And for us it is a mystery, a strange labyrinth that is easy to get lost in if you do not know where the magic way out is...

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