Malaga is fast gaining a reputation for art exhibitions of world-class calibre. Hot on the heels of Jackson Pollock’s extraordinary ‘Mural’ at the Picasso Museum comes Chagall at the Russian Museum. It’s not often you get the chance to see so many of his works together and art critics are hailing this as 1 of the best art exhibitions in Malaga this year. If you’re on holiday in Malaga, put this on your must-see list.
art exhibitions in Malaga
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Over the last couple of years, art in Malaga has started to make a name for itself and Malaga regularly hosts new art exhibitions. But it isn’t every day that a whole new collection arrives. The Russian Museum in Malaga recently changed its galleries completely bringing dozens of new pictures to town. Here’s our guide to two new art exhibitions in Malaga.
A complete change for art in Malaga
The advantage of having a big sister is that you can borrow her stuff. And in the case of the Russian Museum in Malaga, this big sister is huge and has plenty of things to borrow. The Russian State Museum in St Petersburg has a collection of over 400,000 paintings so there’s plenty of scope to lend things to the smaller museum in Malaga.
In January this year we said goodbye to an exceptional collection of Russian art through the ages – from icons to Chagal – and welcomed a brand new set of paintings. The new exhibition is, in our opinion, a great addition to the art scene in Malaga.
Four seasons in Malaga
This year’s collection is entitled ‘The Four Seasons’ and a walk through the galleries takes you from sub-zero ice and snow to scorching summer sun before leaving you in the midst of mellow autumn temperatures.
Like the previous collection, the new paintings showcase the classics with the very modern. There are several works painted this century so you get a very broad look at Russian art in Malaga.
The exhibition starts in the winter. And in Russia of course winter equals piles and piles of snow, very chilly temperatures and deep frosts. Snow never makes an appearance on the charts for weather in Malaga so there’s something a little surreal walking round 3 galleries where all the pictures contain that white stuff.
You see beautiful snow, cruel snow and fun snow as you walk around – we were amazed as how the painters had manage to capture on canvas the different shades of snow (almost anything but just white). In my favourite picture, the snow was tinged with pink and gold.
As you’d expect, spring changes the colour palette completely, although several paintings show how long it takes for the snow to disappear in Russia. We were especially taken with a giant painting showing a family watching the ice flows melt their way down river.
But spring comes apple blossom, flowers and warm sunshine. (But judging from the clothes people are wearing in the pictures, not as warm as in Malaga.)
The Russian Museum brochure says that “summer is everyone’s favourite time of year”. And you can tell this from the paintings. In the summertime galleries it’s almost as if someone’s suddenly turned the lights on.
Stunning bright colours – we loved the rainbow painting – and smiling people. Even when they’re threshing corn.
The colours turn golden and brown here, and there are some stunning treescapes on display in this section. This is the shortest section, perhaps reflecting a shorter autumn in Russia? It’s certainly very different to autumn in Malaga.
Video art in Malaga
This new exhibition is accompanied by several videos. A monitor in each season plays footage of that season in Russia. The photography is stunning and provides a real insight into the countryside and architecture.
4 Malaga artists are also featured. 1 per season with a video installation for each. We loved the winter video by Cristina Martín Lara and the summer heat perfectly shown in David Triviño’s summer piece. We found the installations for spring and autumn a little puzzling, but it’s great to see an integration of local and Russian art within the same exhibition.
On until July this year, this latest exhibition of art in Malaga is entitled ‘Knave of Diamonds’ and depicts paintings from a group of artists active in Russian during 1910-1920. It’s a fascinating glimpse into the art scene in this period and there’s an informative video giving the historical context at the beginning of the exhibition (in Spanish only).
Still life paintings dominate here – fruit, bread and flowers mostly. And there are nods to Cezanne and Van Gogh plus a couple of definitely Cubist works. But although you might find the paintings have a familiar air, they’re still unmistakably Russian.
Our top tips
Getting to the Russian Museum from Malaga city centre – take the No 7 bus from Alameda Principal and get off at La Tabacalera.
Bite to eat – a café has recently opened in the museum and it serves good cakes, sandwiches and tapas. The breakfast and tapas deals are good value.
Lunchtime meal – walk to the seafront (5 minutes from the Russian Museum) and have lunch at any of the beach bars along the front. We like Gutiérrez Playa but you can’t go wrong at any of them. If you’re looking for fast food, there’s a Burger King on the front, which has a rooftop terrace with lovely sea views!
Museum combo – combine art in Malaga with classic cars by visiting the Car Museum (next to Russian Museum) on the same day.
Visit for free – it’s free entrance from 4pm on Sundays.
Russian Museum opening times and prices
Open Tuesday to Sunday 9.30am to 8pm (11am to 10pm between 16 June and 15 Sept)
Entrance: €6 for The Four Seasons; €4 for Knave of Diamonds; €8 for both exhibitions.
Visit the Russian Museum website here.
We think this latest addition to art in Malaga is excellent and highly recommend a visit to the Russian Museum when you’re on holiday in Malaga.
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