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Marina Lochak: The Art of Risk-taking

Published on , by Carole Blumenfeld

Marina Lochak, founder of the Proun gallery in 2007 and in charge of programming for Moscow's Manege culture centre, took over as the Pushkin Museum's director in 2013 from Irina Antonova, who had managed the institution since 1961. We talk to a woman of conviction.

Marina Lochak at the Fondation Custodia, in Paris. Marina Lochak: The Art of Risk-taking
Marina Lochak at the Fondation Custodia, in Paris.
© Philip Provily
You didn't come from the "inner circle". How did you manage to take on the mantle of director of the Pushkin Museum? I have never taken on a mantle, really. Recently, as part of the policy of openness I have been pursuing since I arrived, I handed over the keys of my office to the artist Alexander Brodsky. He created an installation (see photo), a genuine work of art, conveying the powerful message that my personality is separate from that of director of the Pushkin Museum.    What roadmap did you set yourself when you arrived?    Far from wanting to change the image of the Pushkin Museum, I wanted it to be more in phase with today's world. In fact, it's only a matter of getting back to its roots. For me, the museum needs to take really bold steps when society isn't ready to do that, so as to create surprise and start trends – to be truly daring. In 1956, three years after the death of Stalin, when Soviet society was ultra-conservative, the Pushkin Museum staged the first Picasso exhibition. Later on, in 1979, with "Moscow-Paris", audiences also discovered that the Russian avant-garde was part of the Pushkin Museum's identity. When I started my job, I felt it was obvious…
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