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The Hermitage Museum announces forthcoming exhibition highlights
The Hermitage Museum announced four highlights from its exhibition schedule opening in the first half of 2018.

ST. PETERSBURG.- The Hermitage Museum announces four highlights from its exhibition schedule opening in the first half of 2018. These include the first exhibition dedicated to Arte Povera to take place in Russia; a major retrospective of Ilya and Emilia Kabakov; a survey of the life of the reformist Tsar Alexander II; and the most comprehensive exhibition ever dedicated to the Lombards. Details of these highlights are below:

ARTE POVERA 20 March to 9 July 2018 Curators: Dr. Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev (Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Turin) and Dimitri Ozerkov (Hermitage)
The first dedicated exhibition of Arte Povera to take place in Russia, this show will include important works of art from the Galleria d’Arte Moderna in Turin and will take place in the thirdfloor rooms of the Winter Palace.

Arte Povera was a crucial movement which emerged in Italy in the early 1960s, and which saw artists creating works with non-aesthetic materials that liberated art from the boundaries of traditionalism. The exhibition will include important works by leading artists of the movement including Giovanni Anselmo, Alighiero Boetti, Pier Paolo Calzolari, Jannis Kounellis, Mario Merz, Pino Pascali, Giuseppe Penone and Michelangelo Pistoletto.

ILYA AND EMILIA KABAKOV - Not everyone will be taken into the future 20 April to 29 July 2018 Organised by Tate Modern in collaboration with the State Hermitage Museum and the State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow.
The Kabakovs are amongst the most celebrated Russian artists of their generation. Ilya moved to America in 1987 and did not come back until 2004 when he held his first exhibition in Russia since the 1980s - at the Hermitage.

Critiquing the conventions of art history and drawing upon the visual culture of the former Soviet Union – from dreary communal apartments to propaganda art and its highly optimistic depictions of Soviet life – their work addresses universal ideas of utopia and fantasy; hope and fear.

This exhibition, which follows the Tate, will drop some of those exhibits and include a fascinating Russian contingent. The Kabakovs’ ‘Red Wagon’, an immersive display of Soviet life, is on permanent display at the Hermitage and will be included in the exhibition, along with other examples from its collection of roughly 50 works. The show will also include selected loans from private Russian collections. Coinciding with the centenary of the 1917 Russian Revolution, the exhibition Not Everyone Will Be Taken Into the Future explores the role of the artist in society in uncertain times.

CHRONICLES OF ALEXANDER II 27 April to 29 July 2018 Curator: Dr. Mikhail Olegovich Didinkin
This exhibition of watercolours and photographs records the personal and public life of Alexander II (1818-1881), the great reformist Tsar of the 19th century. Alexander succeeded his father, Tsar Nicholas I, in 1855 at the height of the Crimean war. Having negotiated peace in Paris the following year, and in contrast to his father’s authoritarian regime, he set out to reform and modernise Russia.

As well as the Emancipation Act of 1861 which abolished serfdom and granted freedom to tens of millions, his reign included the construction of vast railway networks, improvements in education and welfare, and the introduction of modern banking and judicial systems.

Despite his sweeping reforms, Alexander II remained a dedicated autocrat and continued to be seen as the enemy by extreme revolutionary movements. Having survived numerous assassination attempts, he was felled in 1881 having been attacked by People’s Will, a revolutionary group, on his route home from Sunday lunch. They ambushed his coach throwing hand grenades and, when the tsar got out to investigate the condition of his coachman, threw the grenade which killed him.

The Church on the Spilled Blood, a famous St Petersburg tourist attraction, was built on the exact spot where he was attacked. The uniform that he was wearing on the day is now exhibited in the Hermitage church and a siver plaque records the room where he actually died, now one of the Russian history galleries.

THE LOMBARDS: A PEOPLE WHO CHANGED HISTORY 27 April – 15 July 2018 Organised by the National Archaeological Museum of Naples and the Public Museum of Pavia, in collaboration with the State Hermitage Museum.
This is the most comprehensive exhibition ever held on the Lombards with loans from more than 80 European institutions. It comes to the Hermitage from Italy having recently been shown at the Public Museum of Pavia, the Lombard capital (1 September to 3 December 2017) and the National Archaeological Museum of Naples (December 2017 to April 2018), both of whom are principle organizers of the exhibition.

The exhibition is dedicated to the Lombard kingdom (568 to 774 AD), a turning point in Italian history. It brings to life the myth of these Germanic people whose invasion of the Italian peninsula led to a period of political fragmentation in Italy, and whose artistic and architectural styles mark the transition from antiquity to the Middle Ages. With more than 600 predominantly archaeological objects, including weapons, jewellery and manuscripts, the exhibition presents insights into the political, economic and daily life of the Lombard princedoms, including their complex relationships with the Byzantine Romans ruling the largest cities of Rome and Ravenna. The exhibition is curated by Gian Pietro Brogiolo (University of Padua), Federico Marazzi (Suor Orsola Benincasa University of Naples) and Aleksei Furasiev (Hermitage).

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