Founder, Theodora Clarke
Theodora Clarke founded Russian Art and Culture in 2011 and was Editor for five years. She also set up and published the first guide to the bi-annual Russian Art Week in London. Theodora is a popular and frequent commentator on the arts in national and international press including TV, print and radio. She previously worked at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and Christie’s. She is an art historian, critic, lecturer and curator specialising in Russian art. Theodora recently published a book called ‘Boris Chetkov: Re-imagining Russia and she curated a contemporary exhibition for the Maslenitsa Festival. She is a NADFAS accredited lecturer and has delivered talks at numerous museums, galleries, universities and cultural institutions across the UK and abroad.
Simon Hewitt studied History of Art at Oxford University and has over 25 years’ experience as an art critic and art market journalist, working on a regular basis for Art + Auction, The Art Newspaper, Antiques Trade Gazette and The Huffington Post. He has also contributed to a number of Russian magazines, including DEI Desillusionist, Vedomosti and the Russian editions of Robb Report and ELLE De Luxe. He has been reporting on Russian art and culture since 2004, and is regularly asked to write for catalogues to exhibitions of Russian art. He visits Russia several times each year, and has explored the country from Kaliningrad to Vladivostok.
Alexandra is currently Assistant Curator and Public Programmes Co-ordinator at GRAD: Gallery for Russian Arts and Design, a not-for-profit exhibition space in Central London. She has previously worked as Senior Cataloguer in Sotheby’s Russian paintings department and in addition she has ten years of experience in business and finance. Alexandra developed her interest in the Eastern European region during her time with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. She holds an MA in Russian Art from the Courtauld Institute.
After completing an Art Foundation course Ali studied History of Art and Russian Studies at the University of Birmingham. She has also studied at the universities of Petrozavodsk, Yaroslavl, and St Petersburg. During time spent working and studying in Russia Ali has volunteered at the State Hermitage Museum and Garage Centre for Contemporary Culture, and has also spent time in the Russian department of Sotheby’s, London. Ali assists the publication with various research projects as well as reviews exhibitions and events in London
Anna recently completed her Master’s degree in History and Business of Art and Collecting at the University of Warwick / IESA, Paris. She has studied photojournalism at Lomonosov Moscow State University and worked as a freelance photographer and photo editor before moving to Rome, where she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in History of Art at John Cabot University and worked as an assistant to Fine Arts Director at the British School at Rome. Anna’s pursuits span across cultures and centuries, including European Old Masters, decorative arts, photography and Russian Impressionism. She also has a keen interest in the confluence between digital media and the arts.
Anya Mokhova is an independent artist, who runs a practice in Moscow. With a background in architecture, she received her Master of Arts from Chelsea College of Art & Design in 2011, London, UK. Anya has been teaching and curating art courses in higher education and working as an independent exhibition and educational events producer, currently administering a community of arts and creative UK alumni based in Moscow.
Ashley Holdsworth studied Medieval Languages at the University of Birmingham before pursuing careers over two decades in financial services and arts facilitation. Since returning to university and gaining a Masters in Curatorial Practice (Contemporary Art) from The Glasgow School of Art in 2016 she has developed projects that explore the role of arts as a form of communication that might transcend spoken language. Her current practice celebrates migrating communities and their hosts through processes of sharing and exchange. She served as Treasurer of Russkaya Cappella between 2013 – 2016 and publicity officer from 2016 to date.
Borimir is a postgraduate student of Russian and Post-Soviet Politics at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London. His Master’s dissertation focuses on the visual culture of contemporary Russia and the power of art in bringing about change through visual activism. Borimir also edits the interdisciplinary journal on Russian and regional affairs at University College London, SLOVO. He has interest and experience in documentary cinema and film photography.
E. S. Jones
Having completed her degrees in English/ Creative Writing (MA) and English/Art (BA) at Chichester in 2003, E.S. Jones went on to study a History of Art diploma at Cambridge in 2011. Since then she has worked as a freelance writer and art consultant for St Petersburg Gallery, Open Space UK and Hay Hill Gallery, regularly contributing articles to art publications such as FAD, Miami Art Scene, Wall Street International and Aesthetica. The biography ‘From East to West: The Paintings, Poetry and Sculpture of Oleg Prokofiev’ was published in association with the 2014 exhibition at Hay Hill Gallery.
Eleanor Hemming is studying for a BA in Russian Studies and History at The University of Edinburgh. Currently she is studying and living abroad in St Petersburg, and recently she has also spent time studying in Kazan. Eleanor has a keen interest in the arts, particularly in music and literature. As well as improving her Russian language skills, Eleanor has enjoyed being able to develop her knowledge and interest in Russian culture in both St Petersburg and Kazan. In her spare time, Eleanor writes a blog on life and her cultural findings in Russia, contributes on Russian history to Retrospect, the Edinburgh University History Journal, and is an active member of many musical ensembles within the UK as well as in Russia, where she performed as a member of the Kazan Federal University Choir.
Elena Lisina has MA of Foreign Languages and Area Studies and MA in Art History from Lomonosov Moscow State University. She worked on a regular base in Charity Fund in Moscow. Elena’s main research interest in problems of displaying of Bysantium Art, Russian art of the first quarter of the XXth century (Avant-Garde) and unofficial underground Art Of USSR (non-conformists). She is an author of research articles to art publications. She commenced to create her own collection of Russian Art in 2005. She speaks Russian, English, French, Finnish (basic) and German (basic).
Ellen studied for an Undergraduate and Masters degree in History of Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art. Her Masters specialised in Contacts and Contexts in Russian Art (1905-1945), with particular focus on the work and writings of Kazimir Malevich and El Lissitzky. She graduated with Distinction in July 2012. Since then she has worked at the National Portrait Gallery, Garage Centre for Contemporary Culture and and now acts as research and education officer at GRAD: Gallery for Russian Arts and Design.
Helena grew up in South London and is currently studying Russian and French at the University of Cambridge. She enjoys cinema, contemporary art and classical music and hopes one day to travel to the Caucasus.
Ian Christie FBA is a writer, curator and broadcaster, and Professor of Film and Visual Media at Birkbeck College, University of London. He has helped organise many exhibitions and film programmes, from Twilight of the Tsars (1980) up to Unexpected Eisenstein (2016) and Revolution: Russian Art 1917-32. www.ianchristie.org
Iona studied Russian at the University of Bristol, focusing on the study of Russian art and literature. She worked for Russian Art and Culture in early 2013, having written for us about art and culture in Siberia during her travels there. Since then she has worked at GRAD: Gallery for Russian Arts and Design in London and in the Contemporary Art Department of the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, helping with the preparations for the opening of Hermitage 20/21. Before starting her degree in Russian, Iona completed an Art Foundation course at Chelsea College of Art and Design.
Irene Kukota was born in Moscow, studied ancient and modern languages and history of art. She also holds a degree from the University of Oxford, where she completed her M.St. focussing on Syria and Byzantium in Late Antiquity in 2001. Between 2005 – 2008 she held responsibilities as the secretary of the Oxford Byzantine Society, taught Russian and Russian philosophy at Oxford and later acted as consultant for the film the Shroud of Turin: Material Evidence aired on BBC2 on 22nd March 2008. Between 2007 and 2010 Ms Kukota also worked as cataloguer, translator and consultant for the Icons and Works of Russian Art Departments at Christie’s. Ms Kukota also received an MA in Fine and Decorative Arts from Sotheby’s Institute of Art in 2010 ( her dissertation was about Walter Savage Landor as collector) and is author of numerous articles in both English and Russian. She lectured at Sotheby’s Institute of Art between 2009 -2013 and has been collaborating with curators at the Royal Collection (Russian art) and the Kremlin Museums since 2014.
Between 2012 – 2016 she worked as London- based representative for the Art Newspaper Russia and acted as a journalist, researcher, lecturer, conference and events manager.
Isabel is a doctoral candidate at the University of Cambridge, specialising in Russian realist and modernist painting from 1850 to 1920. Her research reassesses the relationship between artistic generations in late imperial Russia, reflecting on personal and professional exchange between older proponents of realist painting and youthful members of Russia’s celebrated avant-garde. After studying Russian at the State Pushkin Institute in Moscow, Isabel went on to receive her BA from the University of Oxford and her MA from the Courtauld Institute of Art. Isabel is a guide lecturer at the Wallace Collection and has volunteered at the Gallery for Russian Arts & Design (GRAD) and the Hermitage Foundation UK. She is currently based in Moscow as a visiting scholar at Moscow State University, where she is conducting long-term archival research.
James Van de Pette
James is a freelance arts writer and editor of the Economist’s podcast. He received an MA in History of Art from the Courtauld Institute with a specialism in Russian modern art following his MA in Social Anthropology at the University of St Andrews. James is especially interested in futurism, cosmism, the influence of folk arts and myth on the Avant-garde and the everyday objects designed by Vladimir Tatlin. Follow him on Twitter @jamesvandepette
After obtaining a BA in Art History and Russian Studies from the University of Geneva, Joana studied for an MA in Art History between the University of Geneva and Herzen University in Saint-Petersburg, with a dissertation on the graphic collaboration between Olga Rozanova and Alexey Kruchenykh. Joana is currently studying of her MA in Contemporary Art at Sotheby’s Institute of Art. She did work experience for the Garage Center for Contemporary Culture and is now working for Iris New Holland in Saint-Petersburg. Joana writes for us on contemporary Russian art.
Katya runs Russian Art and Culture on a day-to-day basis and is responsible for its operational and market development. She has run several businesses in the arts sector in Russia and the UK after an earlier career in the financial sector. Katya has a MA in Economics from Finance University, Moscow and since receiving an MA in Art History from Christie’s Education, she has provided professional services to a number of galleries. She speaks Russian (native) and English (fluent).
Kseniia Klimova is a young art historian with a work experience in the field of contemporary art and biennales. In 2016 she successfully defended a Bachelor thesis in Art History at the Saint Petersburg State University, the faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences – the first department in Russia to be founded upon the principles of liberal education in collaboration with Bard College (New York, USA). Currently Kseniia is a graduate student at the faculty of Political Science and Public Administration of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, where she is working on her master dissertation, devoted to communist propaganda art. She is also preparing a PhD dissertation on Russian Avant-Garde.
Lauren Warner is an independent art historian focusing on Russian art and culture and a former lawyer. She has an MA in Russian art history from the Courtauld Institute of Art and an MA in Russian from Bryn Mawr College. She worked as a cataloguer in the Russian department at Sotheby’s and is currently the administrator for The Malevich Society. She has written exhibition and book reviews for various publications including Russian Art & Culture and The Burlington Magazine. She is a contributor to the Royal Academy’s exhibition Revolution: Russian Art 1917-1932 and part of the production team for Margy Kinmonth’s film Revolution – New Art for a New World.
Leah grew up in Sussex and moved to the Midlands to study Russian and East European Civilisations at the University of Nottingham. She is currently undertaking an internship in Arts Administration at Nottingham Lakeside Arts, and has previous experience in business travel. Her areas of interest are wide and include art, literature and history, but she is particularly fascinated by Russian ballet of all eras. In December 2015, Leah was selected to be a Dance Ambassador for One Dance UK, the national industry body for dance.
Lisa Moravec regularly writes critical texts on art/exhibitions. Her writing has appeared in English and German, in publications such as – Die Springerin, Widewalls.ch/magazine, Art UK, Courtauld’s Views & Reviews, London’s City A.M., Die Weltkunst, Kunst & Auktionen, Reflektor-M, and on her own platform WatchFineArtsLondon that she started in 2012. She also writes texts that accompanying the work of artists. After studying Journalism, Economics, and Art History at UCL, the Courtauld Institute and in Munich, she is currently preparing herself for a PhD project on the techniques of ‘dress-aging’ the body in live art and its technologies of documentation in contemporary art practices, with a focus on humans and horses.
Maria Korolkova is a Senior Lecturer in Media & Communications at the University of Greenwich. Before that she taught Cultural Theory at Richmond, the American International University in London, and European Cinema at the University of Oxford, where she also completed a Doctorate on Representations of Space in Russian Cinema of 1910s and 1920s. Maria is an independent film critic, with her articles featuring in Calvert Journal, BBC World Service, Forbes and Times Literary Supplement. Maria was invited to curate A World to Win: A Centenary of Revolution on Screen for Kino Klassika Foundation.
Marina Maximova is a doctoral researcher in Russian art and culture at Loughborough University. Marina studied International Relations in Moscow, and Art History and Curating in London. Marina has worked for Tate, GRAD and Christie’s Russian Art Department and is a contributor to Russian Gap. Her doctoral dissertation focuses on curating in the late Soviet period.
Matteo has a background in classical studies and has always been passionate about classical music. He sings as baritone-bass in a semi-professional London choir and is an active participant of the city’s classical music scene. Visiting numerous concert venues to enjoy his favourite compositions, discover new music and meet major conductors and performers, Matteo is particularly interested in Russian classical music, with a soft spot for Shostakovich, Stravinsky, and Gubaidulina.
Matthew obtained a BA in Russian Studies from the University of Nottingham and worked at the State Hermitage Museum whilst studying at the Smolny Institute in St. Petersburg. After graduating he worked for online Russian art gallery Collection Red and most recently as Gallery Manager for Erarta Galleries, part of the largest private museum in Russia. He has a keen interest in contemporary Russian art and reviews exhibitions in London.
Born in New York, Milan studied at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow and the Smolny Institute in Saint Petersburg while pursuing a BA in History and Russian Studies from McGill University. He went on to work at Russian Art and Culture while volunteering at GRAD: Gallery for Russian Arts and Design in London. Milan is particularly interested in the Russian avant-garde and the Constructivist movement.
Latvian pianist Olga Jegunova makes every performance fresh and compelling. She possesses a remarkable musical imagination combined with a seriousness of purpose and discipline. Her repertoire ranges from Bach to Schnittke, Scarlatti to Bartok and includes much contemporary repertoire, not least some new works composed especially for her.
Olga has gained an enviable reputation as soloist and recitalist, not least winning many major international piano competitions. These include the Ginette Gaubert competition in Paris and the Steinway-Förderpreis in Hamburg. She has been a prize-winner at the Maryse Cheilan competition in France, the Stasys Vainiunas competition in Vilnius, the Animato competition in Zurich, and was a semi-finalist at the prestigious Geza Anda Concours in Zurich. Olga regularly performs at festivals across Europe.
In December 2015 Olga launched a charity called OlgaRhythm to support talented music students of all ages.
Rachel Hajek has been working in an auction house for the past eighteen months, having previously graduated with a Distinction for a Masters in History of Art from the Courtauld Institute of Art, specialising in Russian 20th century art. Prior to that, Rachel worked in several Russian-focused private and not-for-profit galleries, and received a BA from the University of Bristol in Russian and Spanish.
Having gained a BA in Philosophy from King’s College London, S.L. Walker is currently undertaking a MA in English Literature from The Open University and achieved a distinction in her first year. She is currently writing her dissertation on Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita and the effect of explicit and implicit narratives and verdicts on the meaning of Lolita. She is also studying Russian and aims to one day read Tolstoy and Dostoevsky in Russian and work in Russia.
Stephen Dalziel first visited the USSR in 1974. He graduated in Russian Studies from the University of Leeds having spent a year in the Soviet Union on a British Council scholarship, and in 1982 joined the Soviet Studies Research Centre at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. From 1988-2004, Stephen was Russian Affairs Analyst at the BBC World Service, reporting on and from the USSR and Russia on the collapse of the Soviet Union, the chaotic ‘nineties and the coming to power of Vladimir Putin. Stephen later spent five years as Executive Director of the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce (RBCC). As well as making a number of radio series and programmes, his first book, The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Empire, was published in 1993, and he is currently writing his latest book, Russia: Collected Wisdom. He is still regularly interviewed on radio.
For her MA thesis, Valeria conducted a ground-breaking research on Russian émigré artists in Latin America and during her field trip to Chile and Argentina discovered some remarkable Russian artists who managed to integrate in the South American art scene. She is organising an exhibition of an Argentinian photographer Anatole Saderman and assists the V&A Theatre and Performance Department. She is passionate about making the research in the humanities entertaining and interesting to the public.
Born in Riga, Latvia, Yevgeniya Ravcova has been living in London since 2008, when she came to study art history at the Courtauld Institute of Art. After graduating in 2012 with an MA in Modern Art she has worked at Sotheby’s London and as a museum educator at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice. Passionate about working with artists, Yevgeniya has collaborated with the collective JocJonJosch, coordinating their site-specific large-scale live performance Existere commissioned for London’s Testbed1 project space in 2011. She has since been working with the artists as their assistant. She is currently also working in the Visitor Services department at the V&A and is contributing to various online and printed publications, including Garageland magazine. Her personal research interests lie in the cultural crossovers between Russia and Paris in the first half of 20th century.