Open Gallery
Moscow, Trubnikovskiy lane, 22 building 2
+7(495) 772 2736
+7(499) 530 2727
opening hours:
Wed-Fri 15:00 – 20:00
Sat 12:00 – 18:00

Nikita Alekseev


The artist, writer, critic and one of the most important and controversial figures on the contemporary art scene Nikita Alekseev somehow manages to cut an outsider even in a most personally advantageous situation. He received training at the Moscow Institute of Graphic Arts, got exposed to Western contemporary art from an early age, developed an interest in the interrelationship of text and image, and joined the circle of Moscow conceptualists. He took part in meditative performances of the Collective Actions group and was one of the organizers of the Moscow Archive of New Art (the Russian acronym of the name is МАНИ). Having said goodbye to the esoteric exploits of Collective Actions, Alekseev opened a gallery in his personal apartment – the famed “APTART”. It became the venue of choice for the second generation of unofficial artists’ absurdist expositions and wild performances. In 1985-87 годах Alekseev played “simulation rock” with the "Central Russian Upland" group. A participant of many exhibitions of Russian unofficial art outside of Russia, he lived in France for a few years. Disenchanted about contemporary art, he came back to Moscow and became the editor for Culture section of the weekly “Inostranetz” (“The foreigner”). He resumed artistic pursuits with his “Death Drawings” (the project lasted several years) – a series of deliberately simple drawings full of drama and self-irony. Discontent with contemporary art’s departure from the purely visual and its proclivity for anecdotal and provocative caused him to turned away from today’s artistic trends. He started working on simple and clear, partly autobiographical subjects. Alexeev draws and writes something of a visual diary, hiding lyricism and tender feeling behind the façade of absurdity and dark sarcasm. The author of «Memory Rows», an autobiography, he recently started putting on the web his new book, “Aachen-Yakhroma”.


Born in 1953 in Moscow
1968–72 studied in Moscow Art College named in memory of the 1905 Revolution (industrial design and advertising department)
1973–76 studied in Moscow College of Polygraphy (book design department)
1976–83 member of "Collective Action" group
1979 took part in setting up Moscow Archive of New Art (MANI)
1982–84 one of organizers and art director of the APTART Gallery
1987–93 lived in France
since 1993 lives in Moscow
1996–2004 heading the culture section of the weekly INOSTRANETS
2004 grant of Kulturamt der Landeshauptstadt, Dusseldorf
2004 Joseph Brodsky Foundation Fellowship, American Academy in Rome (visiting fellow)


Principal exhibitions


1984 “For the Soul and the Flesh” (together with K. Zvezdochiotov). APTART Gallery, Moscow

1989 “Liebe und Tod des Nikita Alexeev”. Galerie Roesinger, Cologne, Germany

1992 “Cruciform Songs”.XL Gallery, Moscow

1992–1993 “Palais de I`arbre balai”. Centre d`Art Contemporain "La BASE", Levallois-Perret, France

1994 “Weight and Tenderness”. L Gallery, Moscow; “Two Moons”. XL Gallery, Moscow

2003 “Death drawings. Any breath glorifies the God”. Liza P Gallery/OGI Street, Moscow

2004 “Final Cut”. E.К. Art Bureau, Moscow

2006 “Black towels for karachokheli”. E.K. Art Bureau, Moscow

2007 “54 Winters” ( 2nd Moscow Biennale of Modern Art). Museum of RSUH, Moscow; “Screens”. Schusev State Museum of Architecture, Moscow

2008 “There is. There ain’t none. There is”. GMG Gallery, Moscow

2009 “Trinity paintings and Poems / I see people, but they look like trees”. Project Fabrica, Moscow; “Zarechje Views”. National Centre for Contemporary Arts Collections, Moscow

2010 “Much – Little – Little – Much”. Stella Art Foundation, Moscow; “Impressions”. GMG Gallery, Moscow; “Kvazimir Muhlevich and others” (with О. Yakovlev). Gallery at Vspolnom, Moscow


1974 “II Open Air Picture Exhibition”. Izmaylovo Park, Moscow

1975 “Exhibition of Moscow Artists”. National Economy Exhibition, «House of Culture» pavilion, Moscow

1977 “La nuova arte Sovietica: una prospettiva non ufficiale”. La Biennale di Venezia, Venice

1982 “1st APTART Exhibition”. APTART Gallery, Moscow

1983 “APTART on Plein Air”. Kalistovo, Moscow Region

1984–1985 “APTART. Moscow Vanguard of the '80s”. Contemporary Russian Art of America, New York - Washington Project for the Arts, Washington

1986 “Art against Commerce” (one-day exhibition-action). Bitsa Park, Moscow

1987 “Creative Atmosphere and Art Process – 1st Exhibition of the Avantguardist’s Club”. Exhibition Hall of Proletarsky District on Vostochnaya Str., Moscow

1988 “IsKUNSTvo I”. Kunstlerwerkstatt im Bahnhof Westend, West Berlin

1992–1993 “a Mosca... a Mosca...” Villa Campolieto, Herculanum - Galleria Communale d’Arte Moderna, Bolognaя

1994 II Cetinjski Bienale. Vladin Dom; Rusko Poslanstvo, Cetine, Montenegro

1995 “Kunst im verborgenen. Nonkonformisten Russland 1957-1995”. Wilhelm-Hack Museum, Ludwigshafen - Documenta-Halle, Kassel - Staatliches Lindenau Museum, Altenburgг; “Moscow – Yerevan. Question of the Ark”. Museum of Modern Art, Yerevan, Armenia; “Kraeftmesse. Eine Ausstellung ost-oestlicher Positionen innerhalb der westlichen Welt”. Kunstlerwerkstatt Lotharingerstrasse, 13, Munich

1997 “Mystical Correct”. Hohenthal und Bergen Galerie, Berlin

1998 1st International Biennale of Contemporary Art “10 Years Later”. Art Academy, Gumri, Armenia

2000 “Red Square. White Tower”. City harbor (dry cargo ship «Volgo-Balt», warehouse), Thessalonica

2003 “Neue Ansaetze. Zeitgenoessische Kunst aus Moskau”. Kunsthalle, Dusseldorf

2003–2004 “Moskuer Conceptualizmus”. Kupferstichkabinett, Berlin

2005 “Accomplices. Collective and interactive art in Russian Art 1960-2000’s (special project of the 1st Moscow International Biennale of Contemporary Art). State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow; “International Biennale of Contemporary Art «Second Sight»” (""Ghost Hunters""). The National Gallery, Veletrzny Palac, Prague

2006 “Warning: Glass”. . Pushkin’s Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow

2007 1st International Biennale of Contemporary Art «Heterotopia». State Museum of Contemporary Art-Thessaloniki

2008 Russian Dream. The Bass Museum, Miami, USA

2009 “Exhibition of State Modern Art Prize «Innovation» nominees”. National Centre for Contemporary Arts Collections, Moscow

2010The City”, Open Gallery, Moscow; “Exhibition of Kandinsky Prize nominees”. Central House of Artists, Moscow

2012I've Been Here!”, Open Gallery, Moscow



State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow

State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg

National Centre for Contemporary Arts Collections, Moscow

The Moscow Modern Art Museum

Moscow House of Photography

“Ekaterina” Foundation, Moscow

Leonid Talochkin Collection "Другое Art", RSUH, Moscow

Kupferstichkabinett, Staatliche Museum zu Berlin

The Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum. The Norton and Nancy Dodge Collection, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, New-Brunswick, NJ, USA

The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham

Museo d’arte moderna e contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto (MART), Fondo Sandretti del ’900 russo, Rovereto

“Japanese Landscape (View out of the Window of the Hospital. Morning 12/12/2009”. Acrylic on canvas

“Japanese Landscape (View out of the Window of the Hospital. Morning 12/12/2009”. Acrylic on canvas

“Auto-epitaph”. 2012. Canvas, acrylic, pencil

“Auto-epitaph”. 2012. Canvas, acrylic, pencil