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Kazan‘s many museums are complemented by its art galleries and institutions that rival those in bigger cities. Emphasising the work of Tatar artists, the galleries exhibit the best current and historic art across the disciplines. Check out our guide to the best in town.
This spot is a commercial gallery that displays the work of current local artist, Slava Zartev. The permanent exhibition has over 60 works, created by a mix of unusual materials such as dry leaves, clay, sand, staples and magazines. The result is a collection of diversely textured works, including Zartlev’s ranges of animals, made from staples, or portraits made by collage.
Respublika 2nd floor, Ulitsa Petersburg 9, Kazan, Russia, +7 843 290 91 07
A top-notch gallery run by the Kazan National Cultural Centre, this gallery preserves the often dark, brooding and symbolic works of Konstantin Vasilyev, who was killed as a young man in an accident in 1979. The collection has almost all of his paintings, which are a diverse set. His work covers portraits, landscapes, and depictions of Slavic and Teutonic mythology, and imagery from World War II.
Ulitsa Baumana 29, Kazan, Russia, +7 843 292 23 89
This gallery was created to preserve the work of one of the Peoples’ Artists of the Republic of Tatarstan, folk artist Ildar Zaripov, as well as to exhibit prominent Russian artists. Housed in the location where Zaripov used to run masterclasses for children, the gallery and studio also carries on his legacy as an arts educator. Programmes engaging talented young people with visual arts are offered here, run by established artists from the region.
A contemporary cultural hub, Smena has a program of lectures, films, fairs, events and happenings alongside its exhibitions, enabling it to hold its own with other contemporary culture centres in Russia’s bigger cities – it’s filled with hipsters and the next wave of local intelligentsia who want to discuss the latest zeitgeist. The attached bookshop is an excellent source of contemporary cultural criticism art and culture books. The exhibitions cover all contemporary art practices, so this is the place to visit if you want to see installation art, mixed media projects and works showcasing the latest trends.
Ulitsa Burkhana Shakhidi 7, Kazan, Russia, +7 843 249 50 23
It may say museum in the title, but housed in a former residence, this tribute to the great Tatar sculptor, painter and graphic artist Baki Urmanche feels like a gallery. A key artist of the 20th century, Urmanche was a notable cultural figure and was also awarded the title of People’s Artist of the Republic of Tatarstan, leaving a legacy that spanned theatre, poetry and education, as well as the visual arts. This spot is another high-calibre gallery run by Kazan’s National Cultural Centre, which also hosts literary and music evenings.