malaga russian museum

Located on the first floor of Malaga’s Tabacaler (the former tobacco factory) a building which also houses the Museo Automovilístico (car museum), the 7,500 square metre gallery has been inaugurated with an inclusive collection of Russian art from five centuries, titled “Arte Ruso. The museum displays works by Ilya Repin, Wassily Kandinsky and Vladimir Tatlin. De los iconos al siglo XX” (“From icons to the twentieth century”) and a temporary exhibition of artworks centring on the creator of the Ballets Russes, Sergei Diaghilev, and called “La época de Diaghilev” (“The era of Diaghilev”).

After touring the Russian Museum mayor of Málaga Francisco la Torre said he was thrilled to see the latest phase in the city’s transformation. “It’s a feeling of great satisfaction for me,” said the fast-talking mayor. While his People’s party colleagues across the country have been accused of crippling the country’s cultural sector with tax hikes and cuts to subsidies, De la Torre has done the opposite, pouring tens of millions into turning Málaga into a big-name arts hub.

According to Eugenia Petrova, the artistic director of the Russian State Museum of St Petersburg which is loaning out some of its collection of art (the largest in Russia) the idea in Málaga is to move slightly away from the stereotypical view of Russian art being marked by two distinct movements – the religious icons of the fifteenth century and the vanguard movement of the early twentieth century. Nevertheless these significant eras begin and end the inaugural annual exhibition although most of the works on display are from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and are a mixture of portraits of aristocrats, pastoral scenes and folkloric traditions.

The collection is to stay in Málaga for ten years with a possibility of renewing the deal and is to host a different annual collection of art as well as two more temporary exhibitions each year. 150,000 people are expected to visit the collection in its first year and bring in 516,000 euros in entrance fees.