Tactile Game of Masterpieces: from Henri Matisse to Marina Abramovich” in Jewish Museum

On February 13, the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center opened an exhibition entitled “Masterpiece Game: from Henri Matisse to Marina Abramovich” adapted for visually impaired people. The project is implemented as part of the “Special View” program of the “Art, Science and Sport” Foundation. The masterpieces of modernism and modern art — from cubism to video art are presented. The core of the exhibition is the works of foreign and domestic artists such as Kazimir Malevich and Francis Bacon, Roy Lichtenstein and Victor Pivovarov, Natalia Goncharova and Marina Abramovich, Alberto Giacometti and Bridget Riley, Anselm Kiefer and Niko Pirosmani.


The “Game of masterpieces” is first of all a family project. Designed as an attraction, where one has to climb the stairs, crouch, slide down or look into the closet in order to familiarize himself or herself with the art works, it grants both children and adults an opportunity to see the works of religious contemporary artists outside of schools and concepts. At the exhibition, selected works of the XX and XXI centuries were presented, in particular, art works by Malevich (“Three Figures in the Field”), Bacon (“Study for Head of George Dyer”), Liechtenstein (“Portrait”), Yakovlev (“A Cat that Caught a Bird”), Pivovarov (“Pasha”, “Vika”), Goncharova (“Bathers”), Kiefer (“für Adalbert Stifter”), as well as Kandinsky, Pirosmani, Abramovich, Picasso, Matisse, and other famous artists. In total, viewers could see 30 art works in different genres, from painting and photography to installation and experimental animation.

Works of various periods, schools, styles and trends become a single statement, the purpose of which is to tell about the universality of art, enter into a dialogue with it and allow the emotional to prevail over the rational.

“The cooperation with such a fundamental cultural institution as the Jewish Museum and the Tolerance Centre allows us to expand the boundaries of accessibility. Adapting museums for blind and visually impaired people is an important element of an inclusive society. The ‘Game of masterpieces: from Henri Matisse to Marina Abramovich’ exhibition is unique because it is interesting both for adults and children, for sighted and blind. As part of the ‘Special View’ program aimed at support of visually impaired people, tactile models combining different materials and density were specially created. A volumetric textured exhibit creates a synergistic effect for a blind person, allowing his or her imagination to draw the most complete picture of reality”, said Mariya Melnichenko, program director of the “Art, Science and Sport” Foundation.

Tactile models were mainly made of white plastic with volumetric elements. It is noteworthy that there were models that included different materials, for example, plastic and metal, plastic, copper and wood. Moreover, there were models of different hardness and softness. Especially for visually impaired visitors, some objects are duplicated in color.

As part of the exhibition at the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Centre, an educational program is conducted, which includes lectures on emotional intelligence, children’s workshops and inter-disciplinary meetings with psychologists, art historians and body practice experts, including workshops for blind and visually impaired visitors.


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