«In 1990 Leonid Bazhanov came and said:" You must run a gallery." I said: "A gallery? In Russia? There is no market here, there is nothing!" - "It’s not your problem. Just organize exhibitions ... " And by the 1993 Guelman Gallery has been recognized as the best one in the country» (Marat Guelman)
«Since he is a man with great authority in contemporary art, I hope and I am sure that ... Lenya Bazhanov will find and once again create new opportunities for research and promotion of contemporary art in our country ...» (Yury Samodurov, “Echo of Moscow")
Leonid Bazhanov is the founder of the creative association "The Hermitage", the initiator and the Artistic Director of the National Center for Contemporary Art. Leonid is an art critic, an art historian, a curator, and an expert in the art of the second half of the XX - early XXI century.
Leonid Bazhanov is a man who has determined the main trends in the Russian contemporary art in many ways. Since the late 1960’s he has curated more than 90 exhibitions in Russia and abroad, including exhibitions which were held at the international biennale and triennale in Venice (the Russian commissioner of the Venice Biennale in 2001 and 2002), São Paul, Istanbul, Cairo, New Delhi. Being the author of numerous articles devoted to the theory and practice of contemporary art, Leonid has directed short films on art and apart from that he acts as an exhibitor.
In 1986 he set up the creative association "Hermitage" in Moscow, and in 1990 he created the Contemporary Art Center on Bolshaya Yakimanka, from which the Guelman Gallery, the Center for Contemporary Architecture, the DAR Gallery of Naive Art and many others originate. From 1992 to 1997 he headed the Department of Fine Arts of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation. In 1992 he initiated the creation of the National Center for Contemporary Art (NCCA), where he acted as a permanent Artistic Director since 1997, until the restructuring of the NCCA. He is a member of the Consultative Council for Cultural and Art issues and of the State Expert Commission of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation.
Leonid Bazhanov deals not only with the analysis of the creative component of the Russian contemporary art, but also with the sociology of the modern cultural community, which is crucial for understanding the artistic process. In his work he pays much attention to the protection of the right to freedom of artistic expression and creation in Russia. He has been listed in the Top-50 of the most influential people in Russian art according to "Artguide" magazine.
1969 — “Group exhibition of works by Moscow artists”. The House of Scientists, Pushchino. Curator.
1970 — “Clocks and tapestries”. Exhibition Hall of the Moscow Kremlin Museums, Moscow. Curator.
1970 — Exhibition of contemporary Russian artists. Central Exhibition Hall "Manege", Moscow. (Prohibited). Curator
1976-1979 — “Apartment Exhibitions”. Moscow, Malaya Gruzinskaya street, 28, apartment 59. Among others: “Mikhail Chernyshev”, “Irina Nakhova”, “Marlen Shpindler” and others. Curator.
1980 — “Victor Melnikov”. Central House of Artist, Moscow. Curator.
1982 — “Plastic Art and sign”. House of Artist, Moscow. Curator
1983 — “Classicism and modernity”. House of Scientists, Moscow.
1983 — “Painting, sculpture, graphics of young modern artists”. Exhibition Hall, Yalta. Curator.
1983 — «Meta-metaphorists and conceptualists”. Central House of Art Workers, Moscow, Curator.
1987 — “Retrospection”. Exhibition Hall of the creative association "Hermitage", Moscow. Curator.
1987 — “Oscar Rabin”. Exhibition Hall of the creative association "Hermitage", Moscow.
1987 — “Ex-position”. Exhibition of the photography. Central Exhibition Hall "Manege", Moscow.
1989 — Exposition of painting and graphics (E. Steinberg , V. Yurlov) and performance (M. Roshal and V. Mirzoev), dedicated to K.S. Malevich. The State Tretyakov gallery, Moscow. Curator.
1991 — “Moo bothers Moscow”. Festival of contemporary Finnish art in Moscow. The Center of Contemporary Arts. Moscow. Curator.
1991 — “Space. Color. Impulse: Painting and graphics by Yuri Zlotnikov”. The Center of Contemporary Arts. Moscow.
1992 — “Lessons of Magnitsky”. The Center of Contemporary Arts. Moscow.
1992 — “The Art of the New Russia.” Festival of Contemporary Art of Russia. Helsinki, Finland.
1993 — “The red pavilion”. Installation, by Ilya Kabakov. Venice Biennale. Giardini Castello, Venice, Italy. Curator.
1994 — “Artoteka”. Central House of Artists, Moscow. Curator.
1996 — Russian exposition at the Biennale of Contemporary Art. Tbilisi. Curator.
1998 — “The Steamboat of the Present”. The art project. State Historical, Architectural and Art Museum-Reserve, Ples, - Center for Contemporary Art "Ars-Forum", Yaroslavl, - Municipal Art Gallery, Kostroma, - Art Museum, Nizhny Novgorod. Curator.
1998 — “The Return”. Exhibition of works by Oleg Kudryashov. The Andrei Sakharov Museum and Public Center. Moscow (In collaboration with D. Filippovskaya).
1999 — “Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow.” - Exhibition projects within the framework of the “Intermuseum-99” Festival (Expo Center, Moscow) and the Museum Biennale (Strelka Museum, Krasnoyarsk). Curator.
1999 — «ACT-99: art-communication tour». The Russian-Austrian exhibition project. Linz, Wels, Steyr, Austria, - Moscow. Curator.
2000 — “Ecce Homo”. Schusev State Museum of Architecture. Moscow
2001 — Exhibition project within the framework of the Xth Triennale - India, 2000-2001. New Delhi, India. [Catalog]. (In cooperation with I. Gorlova).
2001 — “NCCA: corps and strategies”. Exhibition project within the framework of the International Art Fair “Art – Moscow”. Central House of Artists, Moscow. Curator.
2001 — Participation of the Russian Federation in the International exhibition “Milano Europa 2000. Fine secolo. I semi del future”. Triennale Palace, Pavilion of Contemporary Art, Milan, Italy. Curator.
2001 — Exposition in the Russian pavilion at the Venice Biennale of Contemporary Art. Russian Pavilion, Castello Giardini, Venice, Italy. Curator.
2002 — “Moscow Time”. Center for Contemporary Art, Vilnius, Lithuania. Curator.
2002 — Russian project at the XXV Biennale of Contemporary Art. Sao Paulo, Brazil.
2002 — “Transformations.” National Center for Contemporary Art, Moscow. Curator.
2002 — “- Son un artista italiano. - Nice to meet you! Russian artist. - Piacere!”. National Center for Contemporary Art, Moscow, - Center for Contemporary Arts “Spacio Umano”, Milan, Italy. Curator.
2010 — “Visual / Speculative”. Exhibition. Curator.
2012 — “ Generation coordinates /LXXV”. Exhibition. Curator.
2012 — “ Outside the school. After school ”. Exhibition. Curator.
2015 — “EDIK STEINBERG. MATERIALS OF BIOGRAPHY ”. Presentation of the book, one-day exposition. Curator.
2015 — "PEOPLE IN THE CITY". Exhibition. Curator.
2017 — The project-retrospective of Valery Eisenberg. The Moscow Museum of Modern Art. Curator.
Awards and titles:
Corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Arts (Department of Art History and Art Criticism).
Education and professional activities:
Graduated from the Division of the History of Art of the Faculty of History of Lomonosov Moscow State University in 1973.
Head of Fine Arts Department of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation from 1992 to 1997.
Artistic Director of the National Center for Contemporary Art from 1997 to 2016.
The Russian commissioner of the Venice Biennale in 2001 and 2002.
Member of the Consultative Council for Cultural and Art issues under the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation.
Member of the State Expert Commission of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation.
Member of the Monumental Art Commission of the Moscow City Duma.
Member of the jury of the All-Russian Competition in Contemporary Visual Art “Innovation Prize”.
Member of the jury of the independent Sergey Kuryokhin Contemporary Art Award.
Member of the Rating Board of the Russian investment Art Rating 49ART.
Participation in creative and public organizations:
Member of the Russian Academy of Art Criticism.
Member of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA).