Open Gallery
Moscow, Trubnikovskiy lane, 22 building 2
+7(495) 772 2736
+7(499) 530 2727
opening hours:
Wed-Fri 15:00 – 20:00
Sat 12:00 – 18:00

Andrei Monastirsky


Andrei Monastyrsky is one of the pillars of the Moscow Conceptualist School, an artistic movement in Russiacomparable in its influence only to the Russian avant-garde of the early XX century. It can be said that currently the School has two leaders – Ilya Kabakov who lives outside of Russia and Andrei Monastyrsky who lives in Moscow. It is largely due to the long-expatriate Kabakav that Moscow conceptualists became known to the international artistic community. Kabakov convinced foreign viewers that life in the Soviet Union could be best described through the visual language used by conceptualists. In spite of his participation in international exhibitions (Venice Biennial in 1977, 2003 and 2007, and Kassel Documenta in 2007) Monastyrsky is far less known outside of Russia than Kabakov. While Kabakov was popularizing the movement abroad, Monastyrski explained it to the Russian conceptualist artists themselves. He has given the School its philosophy, and developed it as a real institution even at the time when conceptualist artists were leading an underground existence and their art was not exhibited, did not have curators, critics or scholars, and was not to be seen in galleries and museums. In spite of all these constraints, the School documented its existence and interpreted the work of its participants.
Andrei Monastyrsky started as a poet and later turned to visual art. In 1975 he started creating interactive objects, “action” objects as he called them. A year later he founded an artists’ group called “Collective Аctions” which at different times included Nikolai Panitkov, Nikita Alekseev, Elena Elagina and Igor Makarevich, Georgy Kizevalter, Sergei Romashko, Sergey Letov, and many other artists, writers, musicians and thinkers. Since the beginning “Collective Actions” group has gone through more than 120 performances (called “actions”), documented and interpreted in eleven volumes of “Trips to the Country”. As this title indicates, most of the performances took place outside of Moscow, although there have been some exceptions – performances done on the streets or even at apartments. However, “Collective Actions” had nothing to do with Land Art proper – being out in nature simply offered an abstract, uncluttered space, a blank page, not littered with ideology. True to their name of conceptualists, members of “Collective Actions” were interested in the emergence of new meaning, in transcending habitual meanings and seeking those special moments when a person reaches the limits of logical thinking and receives suprarational enlightenment. Monastyrsky says that a participant in “Collective Actions” engages in a sort of spiritual practice. Performances have always been meant for a small number of participants who were frequently their own viewers. Drawing crowds has never been Monastyrski’s goal. “Collective actions” performances as well as the actions of “Kapiton” – the group which Monastyrsky created in 2008 together with Yuri Leiderman and Vadim Zakharov – continue to be essentially an “artists’ art”. It allows Moscow Conceptualist School to continue as a self-contained and self-developing system, independent of the art market and the tastes of a larger public.

Irina Kulik

born in Petsamo, Murmansk region
1980 graduated from the philological faculty of Moscow State University
Since 1975 conceptual works, objects, performances, installations, texts etc.
Since 1976 member of the “Kollektivnye Deystviya” (Collective Actions) group
1981 compiling of the first MANA (Moscow Archive of the New Art) folder
1986 – 1991 compiling of MANA collected texts and “Trips into the Country” volumes of the Collective Actions group
1999 compiling of the “Dictionary of Terms of the Moscow Conceptual School” for “Ad Marginem” publishing house, Moscow
2003 winner of Andrey Bely Prize
2008 Winner of “SORATNIK” prize

Principal exhibitions


1990 “Particular histories” (with Conrad Atkinson). Exhibition of the Avantgardistse Club (KLAVA), Avtozavodskaya Exhibition Hall, Moscow

1991 “Situacija iskusstva v muzeje MANI”. (Art Situation at MANI museum). MANI, Moscow Region; Suburbs of the Regina Gallery, Regina Gallery, Moscow

1994 “Unterschriften”. Kunstwerke, Berlin

1995 “Graphics and installation” (with P. Pepperstein). Galerie Paszti-Bott, Cologne, Germany

1996 “Vetka” (The branch). XL Gallery, Moscow

1998 “Gosagroprom”. Obscuri Viri Gallery, Moscow

2000 “70-s and other works”. Navicula artis Gallery, St. Petersburg

2004 “Mouse hunting” (with Vadim Zakharov). Stella Art Gallery, Moscow

2005 “Earth works”. Stella Art Gallery, Moscow

2007 “Winter 1983–2008”. Mala Gallery, Lyublyana

2008 “Andrei Monastyrsky”. Kunstihoone, Tallinn

2010 “Andrei Monastyrsky” (Gogolevsky boulevard). Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Moscow

2011 “Empty Zones. Andrei Monastyrsky and Collective Actions”. La 54 Biennale di Venezia, Padiglione Russo, Venice

2012 2012 Andrey Monastirsky. "Trips out of Town" (1980-2006). Regina Gallery, London.

2013 "Carriers". XL gallery, Moscow

"Andrei Monastyrsky", Charim Galerie, Vienna


1977 “La nuova Arte Sovietica. Una Prospettiva Non Officiale”. La Biennale di Venezia. Espositione internazionale d’arte, Venice

1981 – 1982 “Russian New Wave”. Contemporary Russian Art Center of America, Soho; International Art Center, New York

1983 “Come yesterday and You’ll Be First”. City without Walls: an urban artist’s collective inc. Contemporary Russian Art Center, Newark, New-Jersey, USA

1988 “Ich lebe – ich sehe”. Kunstmuseum, Bern, Switzerland

1989 “Expensive (Dear) Art”. Youth Palace, Moscow

1990 “Between Spring and Summer: Soviet Conceptual Art in the Era of Late Communism”. Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma; Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, USA;
Soljanka Exhibition Hall, Moscow; Schizo-China, Exhibition of KLAVA, Frunzenskaya Exhibition Hall, Moscow

1991 “MANI Museum–40”. Moskauer Kuenstler im Frankfurter Karmelitenkloster, Frankfurt am Main; BiNationale, (Israelische – Sowjetische Kunst um 1900). Kunsthalle Dusseldorf; The Israel Museum, Jerusalem; Central House of Artist, Moscow

1992 “...a Mosca,. .. a Mosca”, Galleria Comunale d’Arte Moderna, Bologna, Italy; “Perspectives of Conceptualism”. Clocktower Gallery New York City; The University of Hawaii Art Gallery, Honolulu

1993 “Passaggio a Oriente”. La Biennale di Venezia, espositione internazionale d’arte, Venice

1994 “Fluchtpunkt Moskau”. Ludwig Forum, Aachen, Germany

1995 “No Man’s Land”. Nicolay Copenhagen Contemporary Art Center, Copenhagen

1998 “Out of Actions”. MOCA Museum, Los-Angeles; “Proprintium”. Staatsbibliothek Berlin, Berlin; Universitat Bremen, Bremen, Germany

1999 “Global conceptualism...”. QMA, New York; Kunst im Untergrund, Albertina Museum, Wien

2000 “Art of 20th century”. State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow; “L’autre moitie de l’europe”. Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume, Paris

2002 “In capital letters”. Kunsthalle Basel, Basel, Switzerland; Moscow
Minimal Art; Dusseldorf Kunsthalle, Dusseldorf, Germany

2003 50th Venice Biennale,Venice, Italy; Moscow conceptualism. Kupferstichkabinett, Berlin; “Berlin-Мoskau – Moskau-Berlin”. MartinGropius-Bau, Berlin

2004 “Moskau – Berlin/Berlin – Moskau 1950–2000”. State History Museum, Moscow; Objects of Collective Actions Group, Moscow

2005 “Angels of history”. MuHka, Antverpen; “Russia!”. Gugenhaim, NY; “Reflection”, NCCA, Moscow

2006 “Vincent 2006”. Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; “Artists Against the State: Perestroika Revisited”. Ronald Feldman Gallery, New York

2007 Documenta 12, Kassel, Germany; 52nd Venice Biennale, Venice; “Romantic Conceptualism”. Kunsthalle Nurnberg, Nuremberg, Germany; “The History of Russian Videoart. Volume 1”. Museum of Modern Art, Moscow; “Who’s Got the Big Picture?”. Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen, Antwerpen, Belgium; “Thinking Realism”. State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow; “Woe From Wit”. State Literary Museum, Moscow

2008 “Another Mythology”. NCCA, Moscow; “The Future Depends on You. New Rules”. Krasnoyarsk cultural-historical center; The Arsenev Primorsky Joint State Museum in Vladivostok, The Far East Art Museum, Khabarovsk; Sverdlovsk Museum of History, Yekaterinburg; Samara State Art Museum, Samara; Museum of modern art, Moscow

2009The Secret Life of Bodies”. Open Gallery, Moscow

2010 “Hide and Seek”. Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago, USA; “Arkhstoyanie 2010. Summer”. Nikola Lenivets Village, Kaluga region; “The City”. Open Gallery, Moscow; “La Leçon d’histoire”, Palais de Tokyo, Paris; “Memories and Dreams”. Open Gallery, Moscow; “Counterpoint, Contemporary Russian Art”. Louvre, France

2011 "Looking for a Masterpiece". Open Gallery, Moscow
"A Close Look Changes the Object". Open Gallery, Moscow

2012 "Limited Edition". Open Gallery, Moscow

Public collections

State Tretyakow Gallery, Moscow
State Russian Museum St-Peterburg
Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris
Collection of Library Contgress USA, Washington
Museum Ludwig in der Josef-Haudrich Kunsthalle Koln
Berlinische Galerie-Museum fur Moderne Kunst
Zimmerly Art Museum, Rutgers USA
Duke Museum USA
North Carolina Museum USA
Silkeborg Kunstmuseum Denmark
Museum Wurth, Kunzelsau, BRD
The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, USA
Kupferstichkabinett Staatiche Museen zu Berlin
The Moscow Modern Art Museum
State Museum of Contemporary Art-Thessaloniki, Greece
National Centre for Contemporary Arts Collections, Moscow
National Museum Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain
MuHKA Museum, Antwerpen, Belgium


“The Lobnya Fields”, from the “Golden Lines” series. 2009. Photo, metal, marker. 57 × 42

“The Lobnya Fields”, from the “Golden Lines” series. 2009. Photo, metal, marker. 57 × 42

“Psychiatry”, from the “Golden Lines” series. 2009. Photo, metal, marker. 40 × 50

“Psychiatry”, from the “Golden Lines” series. 2009. Photo, metal, marker. 40 × 50

“Untitled”. 1990. Photo, plastification, dibond. 130 × 89 cm.

“Untitled”. 1990. Photo, plastification, dibond. 130 × 89 cm.