Erarta Museum of Contemporary Art, St. Petersburg, Russia

Erarta is the biggest global project in Russian contemporary art, a must-see institution for gaining insight into modern Russia. At the heart of Erarta lies a totally unique approach to both the art and the viewer, a desire to build a new relationship system between people and art. The museum’s absolute focus and priority are concentrated on the most important person at Erarta – the visitor. All of Erarta’s activities are aimed at growing the number of people who appreciate and love contemporary art because at the core of the institution lies a belief that love of art can make any individual’s life more interesting and fulfilling, thus, ultimately, spreading a passion for art makes the world a happier place.

Erarta Museum aims to discover, research, collect and popularize works of art created by talented contemporary artists of Russia. The museum collection provides an opportunity to see works of both renowned masters and inherently talented authentic artists who aren’t yet widely known but whose art is already on an outstanding level. Besides displaying its permanent collection in the left wing of the Erarta building in St. Petersburg, the museum is also engaged in exhibition projects, the main one being “Russia in Erarta”, which showcases works by talented artists from Russia’s various regions such as Perm, Krasnodar, Ufa, Novosibirsk and many others. Erarta’s activity is aimed at the widest audience and its goal is to make contemporary art an important part of as many people’s lives as possible and help those without any prior experience of contemporary art develop a passion for it. In order to help achieve those objectives, Erarta Museum is also actively engaged in its own creativity and has created a series of unique projects, which can only be seen within its walls and are aimed at bringing people closer to contemporary art.

In St. Petersburg, one of the wings of its 10,000 sq. m building is dedicated to the permanent exhibit of the collection of Erarta Museum, the largest private museum in Russia, containing 2800 works by more than 300 artists from all over the country. Another two wings are dedicated to temporary exhibitions and change completely every three months, with over 35 shows in total staged each year. There is also a multi-function Erarta Stage performance hall with a maximum occupancy of 800, which every year hosts over 300 various events such as plays, concerts and film screenings as well as lectures and meetings with renowned figures from the worlds of art, fashion and design. Erarta is open every day except for Tuesdays, from 10:00 till 22:00

Sale of works of contemporary authors in the international network of galleries Erarta – an integral part of the mechanism of promoting art, which allows to expand the geography of popularization of contemporary artists.

The Erarta Museum of Contemporary Art and the Erart Gallery are self-sufficient components of the Erart project and have independent management structures and development strategies. The circle of authors with which Erart’s galleries work, does not coincide with the list of names represented in the museum. The existence of two such different – museums and galleries – institutions under one roof allows the world art community not only to see the works of famous artists, but also to find out what young authors are doing.

The sale of works in galleries allows Erart to financially support the living authors. Thus, they do not need to conclude exclusive contracts with foreign galleries that do not engage in exhibition activities in Russia: as a result, the wide Russian public is not deprived of the pleasure to see and acquire the work of their compatriots.

Galleries of contemporary art Erarta, open in three countries of the world, promote contemporary art of Russia in the country and abroad. Until 2016, galleries operated in three cities around the world: London, Hong Kong and St. Petersburg. In 2016, galleries in London and Hong Kong were closed.

The name of the Erarta Museum is derived from uniting two words, “Era” and “Arta”, whose combination can be translated from Russian as “the era of art”. The very first thing that all guests see when visiting the museum are the two sculpture of Era and Arta in front of the building, which were especially created for Erarta by the St. Petersburg artist Dmitry Zhukov.

The Erarta building is an example of late Stalinist classicism, originally built in 1951 for the local headquarters of the communist party and later occupied by the Synthetic Rubber Research Institute of the USSR. It took a complete three-year renovation of the interior to transform the space into one suitable for a contemporary art museum and Erarta finally opened its doors to visitors in 2010.

Guests are able to enjoy dining at the à la carte restaurant with a spacious summer terrace that serves Russian and European cuisine dishes created by an award-winning chef, or alternatively, try a wide selection of delicious homemade desserts and pastries at the Coffee Rooms with an open-air balcony. There are also several shops located in the Erarta building – the gift shop with unique souvenirs and handicrafts, print shop which offers custom size prints of works from the collection and a book shop with a large selection of publications on art, architecture, fashion and design.

Erarta Museum of Contemporary Art bring art closer to people and there’s a natural human desire to make art part of everyday life that can only be satisfied by buying the work one has come to love. In order to facilitate the harmonious presence of art in people’s lives and also as part of our efforts to promote Russian contemporary art, Erarta offers for sale both original works of art as well as their reproductions. All proceeds from Erarta’s commercial activities are reinvested back into the overall project and go towards supporting its non-profit constituent parts and Russian contemporary art as a whole.

The commercial gallery offers works by more than 200 Russian artists for sale to clients and collectors. The sales are an integral mechanism of popularization of art, expansion of its geographical reach, all the while enabling Erarta to financially support living artists.

Erarta Design integrates contemporary works of art into residential, office and public spaces and takes orders for especially commissioned objects. Our clients include the Four Seasons hotels in Moscow and St. Petersburg, the Pulkovo Airport, Ginza Project restaurant group as well as numerous private residences and offices in Russia and abroad.

Erarta Museum of Contemporary Art offers the opportunity to order a custom size print or gicleé of over 5000 works from Erarta’s electronic collection. A convenient search system makes it easy to pick something by theme, genre and various other criteria. There are further customizable options, such as additional manual touches by our artists for an enhanced finish. Prints and gicleés are not only stylish elements of interior décor but also make wonderful gifts and mementos of your time in Russia.

Erarta’s guided tours have something for everyone as they’re tailored to audience needs, enabling both art novices and experts to discover something interesting. The most popular tour lasts approximately 90 minutes and gives guests an overview of the most interesting pieces of the collection and insights into issues concerning contemporary Russia and its people as reflected in the works of art on exhibit. There are also special options, such as the private nighttime tour with flashlights or enhanced interactive elements with actors bringing particular works of art to life. All guided tours should be booked in advance by emailing excursion@erarta.com or by calling +7 812 324 11 96. Audio guides are available for hire at the reception desk.

There are several unique projects that one can only experience at Erarta – total installations called “U-Space” that designed to invoke particular feelings or emotions during private 15-minute sessions for visitors, the “Theatre with no Actors” project which involves a multimedia play featuring characters of paintings that are brought to life by special audio and video effects, the “Art-Animation” project in which a series of humorous and artistic cartoons extend the moment captured by the artist on canvas into a prolonged story, the “Art-Literature” project that gives every visitor the opportunity to share thoughts that were inspired by a particular work of art from the collection that are published and displayed next to those works for others to enjoy and finally, the “Audio Installations” project which presents soundtracks to art, recorded by professional musicians, designed to enhance viewer perception.

Every year Erarta hosts the world’s only festival of short films about painting entitled Erarta Motion Pictures. Another trademark Erarta project is “Cross Art”, the annual festival of art synthesis, which showcases works that were created as part of a fusion of two or more art genres.

In only its third year of existence, Erarta became ranked among the top 10 museums in all of Russia according to Trip Advisor’s Travellers Choice awards. In the list of top museums that also includes the likes of the Hermitage and the Tretyakov Gallery, Erarta was the only museum dedicated to contemporary art and was the only non-state-funded one. In the fourth year, Erarta became listed as a “top sight” of St. Petersburg by the Lonely Planet Travel Guide.

With 300,000 social media subscribers, Erarta has the largest online following among all of museums in Russia.

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