10 June: museum open 11.00-18.00
11 June: museum closed
12 June: museum open 11.00-18.00

ticket-office closes 30 min. before the museum closure


‘Breakthrough’ Exhibition of Paintings and Lighting Elements by Maria Chernyak-Belenky

21st April – 20th May 2018

Maria Chernyak-Belenky was born in St. Petersburg in 1974.  In 1991, at the age of 17, she moved to Israel, where she lived in Jerusalem, studied at The Hebrew University and in Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design.  In 2005 she moved to England where she still currently lives. 

By living in different countries and immersing herself in different cultures, Maria has been able to pay attention to the complex relationship a person has with their surrounding world and life’s necessities.  The struggle people face to break through the external and internal constraints they face has been at the core of her art.

In her works, Maria always unveils the link between humans, architecture and nature. In exhibited works she conveys the issue of co-existence and relationships. These relationships can be between an individual and society or between people and generations, man and woman, conflicts focused on traditions and constraints of society whilst on the other side there is the willingness for people to try new, contemporary approach with the aim for reaching avant-garde.

The words from Friedrich Nietzsche were an inspiration to the artist as they focus on trees and humans having an intertwined relationship:

‘But it is the same with man as with the tree. The more he seeks to rise into the height and light, the more vigorously do his roots struggle earthward, downward…’, - Friedrich Nietzsche, ‘Thus Spoke Zarathustra’.

Maria explores the use of trees as a symbol to reflect the bonds and relationship between individuals and their surroundings.  The trees with their roots growing deep within the soil, from which they have grown up from and the branches stretching out to the sides as well as towards the light upwards, symbolising the timeless conflict between the human mandatory necessity to belong to society with its rules and constraints.  Man’s intention to willingly live through his rational and irrational worlds putting aside society’s rules. The more man wants to achieve then the more unsteady his foundations become.  Society places strain on people to achieve via its conventions and rules which people are also fighting against.

The paintings displayed in this exhibition were painted with oil colours on canvas.  The trees and the back ground were made using different techniques, providing different textures which stress the contradiction between the two.  The series of paintings with frames reflects the constraints and breaking through that people are facing on a daily basis.  The frames reflect the moment of breaking through in different situations.  They are symbolising the obstacles, the borders and the social etiquette of expected behaviour underlining the constant conflict between the person, the internal and the external constraints.

Along with the paintings in this exhibition there are lighting elements called the ‘Kaleidos’.  These are exhibited to reinforce the concept of the exhibition.  The light breaks out or can be seen going through the obstacle the metal.  The light changes colour and direction as it breaks through the body of the lamp.  The light becomes an analogy for the path of life.  As a person travels on the path of life he finds himself under the influence of circumstances or responsibilities that change him and influences his surroundings.  He needs to breakthrough in order to become who he wants to be.

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A collective exhibition of the Dostoevsky Museum and the Literary Museum of the Russian Literature Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences

On 9 November, 2018, the world is going to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Ivan Turgenev’s birth.

Dostoevsky Museum, together with the Literary Museum of the Russian Literature Institute (of the Russian Academy of Sciences), started the “anniversary marathon” by hosting the exhibition "Dostoevsky and Turgenev. The Portrait Game".

The relationship of these two great contemporaries is sometimes called “friendship-enmity” and took place more in the world of literature than life. Their interior dialogue, however, was constant, manifesting itself clearly both in their own work and in the assessment of that of the other.

The name of the exhibition – "The Portrait Game" – is not accidental: Turgenev was playing this game with his acquaintances for over 20 years, considering it very useful for a writer. The writer himself will be telling about the game at the exhibition, especially for which was created the video film Dostoevsky and Turgenev. A Dialogue, starring the BDT actors Alexander Kudrenko and Vassily Reutov. The dialogue of the two writers is projected onto opposing walls. Life-size Dostoevsky and Turgenev will be talking with each other across the auditorium, and the visitors, while familiarizing themselves with the traditional part of the exhibition, will be witnessing their interaction.

The exhibition briefly designates important moments in the writers’ communication. The Literary Museum has supplied unique materials: lithographs, etchings and photographs taken during the writers’ lifetime.

 The exhibition can be attended during the Museum’s regular opening hours

Literary Event

9 February - Fyodor Dostoevsky Commemoration Day (1821-1881)
9 February 2018 - 137th aniversary of the writer's death

14.00 Laying of flowers on Dostoevsky’s grave. Necropolis for Masters of the Arts, St Alexander Nevsky Monastery (Lavra) (Alexander Nevsky Square, 1)
15.00 Memorial service at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Vladimir (Vladimirsky prospekt, 20)

Contact: +7 921 977 43 00,