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“The place to go for contemporary Russian art in St Petersburg”

Erarta Museum Of Contemporary Art
Ranked #29 of 1,810 things to do in St. Petersburg
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Erarta brings under one roof Russia's largest private Museum of Contemporary Russian Art (with over 2,000 works in its collection) and one of the branches of its international Galleries (others located in London, New York and Zurich). Erarta building with an overall floor space of 8,600 sqm (currently being expanded to 10,200sqm) opened its doors in September 2010 but has already been nominated for Russia's museum of the year in its first year of existence. The Museum is especially worth visiting for its creativity, not only exhibiting other artists' works but also acting as an author itself with unique projects such as "U-Spaces" (total installations created by the Museum itself to immerse the viewer in a particular world), "Theatre with no actors" (the world's only multi-media play whose cast is made up exclusively of characters from paintings with special audio and video effects bringing them to life), "Art-literature" (accompanying essays of experts and regular visitors' thoughts about particular works of art, helping explain what kind of emotions they trigger in others), "Art-animation" (videos and cartoons transforming a two-dimensional painting into a story prolonged in time). Erarta building also has a restaurant, a cafe and several museum shops offering gifts, prints and books and is open every day (except for Tuesdays) from 10am to 10pm
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level 5 Contributor
71 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“The place to go for contemporary Russian art in St Petersburg”
Reviewed August 31, 2013

Hidden down a suburban side-street, away from the main tourist drag in central St Petersburg, the Erarta contemporary art gallery is well worth seeking out. If you came to Russia looking for Russian art, the Erarta rather than the Hermitage is the museum to visit. After the crowded Hermitage, the Erarta offered a pleasurable, almost solitary experience (at least when I visited) and an opportunity to reflect on the art itself without feeling harried or distracted by other visitors and museum guards.

One of the first exhibits I saw – 'Vernicle’ by Vyacheslav Mikhailov – was also one of the most memorable; a brooding face of Christ reminiscent of the Turin Shroud. Mikhailov’s heavy oil paintings were definitely my favourites in the entire gallery. I was also impressed by Nikolai Sazhin’s monolithic triptychs 'From Eros to Thanatos, Yoricks’ and ‘By Default’, and Yevgeny Ukhnalev’s fantastically detailed 'Portal MMVII'.

A unique feature (in my experience) is the locked rooms on each floor within which different artists interpret paintings of their choice from the gallery, in a 3-dimensional space that transforms the artist’s vision into a potent psychological experience. The rooms are called ‘U-spaces’ and you need to buy a ticket at the front desk to gain access for 15-20 minutes each. The U-space I visited was a meditative evocation of childhood and loss. To be honest, it spooked me – when my time was up and the lights went out I was shaking. The most powerful experience I have ever had in an art gallery.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
Thank Dromedaryman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Erarta, Guest Relations Manager at Erarta Museum Of Contemporary Art, responded to this review, September 5, 2013
Dear Dromedaryman,
thank you so much for your amazing feedback, it totally made our day! It is true we are a bit off the beaten track but the bus ride here (less than 30 minutes from the city centre) is also quite an amazing experience because of the historical architectural backdrops you can enjoy on the way. It is much better than going underground, especially if the weather is fine.
Vyacheslav Mikhailov is one of our most-cherished artists and has his personal hall on the 5th floor of the museum wing. His “Vernicle”, a very powerful work indeed, was consecrated at a church which makes it a truly precious acquisition. Sazhin and Ukhnalev are also prominent figures in Russian contemporary art and our long-standing associates. Nice pick!
Our U-space installation rooms (5 altogether) were carefully constructed by artists in order to convey certain atmosphere and evoke feelings and reminiscences. It is great to know that you’ve experienced strong emotions there. They are all themed differently, so maybe next time you will visit “Cherry Orchard” or “Childhood”, they are lots of fun! We look forward to seeing you again!
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new jersey
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“A wonderful museum”
Reviewed August 23, 2013

We went to this museum on my last day in St Petersburg. Just be aware that it is far from the city center - we took the Metro and then walked there. - took about an hour. On our return we took a small bus (that you flag down from anywhere on the main avenue) back to the Metro so it was faster. I was with my two sons, aged 26 and 34, who also enjoyed the artwork here.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank shpap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Erarta, Guest Relations Manager at Erarta Museum Of Contemporary Art, responded to this review, August 28, 2013
Hi shpap,
thank you for your feedback. It is true that we are situated a bit off the beaten track, although it’s a nice walk from the subway and usually doesn’t take more than 25 mins. Another option that we usually recommend is to take trolleybus 10 or 11 or bus 7 from Nevskiy prospect. All of them go to Erarta via bridges with beautiful vistas. It is also a much faster way since you don’t have to walk at all. It is our pleasure to know that your sons also enjoyed Russian Contemporary art. We hope to see you again at Erarta one day!
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Kharkiv, Ukraine
Level 5 Contributor
35 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Russian Art: modernity”
Reviewed August 14, 2013

This gallery is situated far from common tourist route and not so much tourist visit it, comparing to other museums.
There is a fee for seing the part of the collection of Russian and European art, but some of the excibitions are free. Average price is 200-400 Russian rubles. There is a lift, very comfortable and suitable for wheelchar users. The stuff is friendly, they will give you an adwice according to what you want to see.
There is a cozy cafe (with nice art).
You can buy some paintings, statues and books there.
If you like modern art or just want to explore modern Russian art, you should definitely visit it.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank Julia F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Erarta, Guest Relations Manager at Erarta Museum Of Contemporary Art, responded to this review, August 22, 2013
Hello JuliaF,
Thank you for your feedback and a detailed description of our features. We would like to clarify a few things so other visitors will have a more precise idea of what to expect. It is correct that occasionally we organise temporary exhibitions of international artists, although our main focus is showcasing the works of contemporary Russian artists. Admission fee is actually 300 rubles for the 5 floors of permanent exhibition and we also have half price consession tickets for elderly people and youth (under 21 years old). Most of our temporary exhibitions in the gallery wing are free. Thank you for mentioning the elevator, we actually have two! The whole Museum building is fully equipped so we can welcome our psycally challenged guests and make sure their visit is comfortable and enjoyable. Apart from the café (the wall art there is nice indeed!) we have a great restaurant offering contemporary cuisine. It is true that you can buy a souvenir, a book or an original artwork at Erarta but also we have a recently-opened fashion store where we have clothes and accessories by talented young designers. We look forward to seeing you at Erarta in the near future!
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Copenhagen, Denmark
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great museum visit”
Reviewed August 12, 2013

I am not a fan of so called "Modern Art" but I really loved this museum. I would call it contemporary art not really modern art. When I think of modern art I think of paint splattered on a canvas and this as anything but that. This is a beautiful museum which we would have never considered except Steve, our tour organizer at Russian Tour Guide, highly recommended it for several reasons. The main reason for us was it was open later than everything else and allowed us to make an evening visit to an art museum where we could also eat a good meal in their museum cafe.
The musuem had lots of interesting art with many interactive exhibits. Our favorite thing was the "theme room" we entered. We paid a little extra to have 15 minutes in a room just to ourselves that had an "art theme". The room we visited was a childhood room complete with furniture designed to the scale of what a child would experience in their own home. In other words, we had to climb into a chair and the crayons left for us to use were about as big around as a cigar. It was so much fun and so interesting! The dress up clothes dwarfed even my 6 foot tall husband.
While not a usual museum visit in St. Petersburg, it was really worth the time.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank 108MayAppleLee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Erarta, Guest Relations Manager at Erarta Museum Of Contemporary Art, responded to this review, August 14, 2013
Dear 108MayAppleLee,
We are so happy to receive your response! It is great you enjoyed your visit and contemporary Russian art. Please pass our regards to Steve, he obviously likes the Museum as much as we do! You absolutely hit the spot when you describe your impressions of U-Space room. The installation was specially designed to evoke the childhood memories and experiences. We have four more of those rooms with different themes. It is also nice to hear that you took advantage of our late opening hours and the restaurant. We think that everyone should have an opportunity to enjoy a bit of contemporary art regardless of their schedule. We are proud to be different from any other museum in Saint Petersburg and offer a variety of unconventional experiences. We will be happy to see you again!
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Ramsey, New Jersey
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“The art was New!”
Reviewed August 8, 2013

The art was so different and yet appealed to my 13, 14, 14, and 16 year old grandchildren as well as my daughters and myself. so much fun, and our tour guide Sergei arranged for a special museum guide to lead us through the exhibition.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank fetching2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Erarta, Guest Relations Manager at Erarta Museum Of Contemporary Art, responded to this review, August 9, 2013
Dear fetching2013,
Thank you for your response! It is great to know that younger audience appreciates Russian contemporary art as much as we do. We tried to design our permanent collection in way that is approachable and understandable for the widest audience. I hope you enjoyed your guided-tour and we look forward to welcoming you back!
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