The Centre for Studies in Russian Art develops and carries out long-term research projects and manages the work of several labs that involve research staff, faculty members, PhD students, interns and independent scholars.
Many of the projects resulted in publications in both academic journals and volumes aimed to reach a wider audience, allowing the emergence of a broad network of scholars, research centres, cultural institutions, foundations and museums.

Research projects

The project was launched in February 2023. It serves as a platform for the gathering and, later, for the analysis of the artistic projects of those who left Russia due to the war or their political positions. It aims, first, to embrace and bring together different forms of reflection and experience on one of the most conspicuous intellectual migrations of our time. The goal of the project is literally to map (that is, “draw a map”) what has been experienced in the last year, and what has been created or is still being developed in the different fields of artistic expression.

The project takes the form of a website (available in three languages: Russian, Italian, and English) and it is divided into five sections.

  1. The first section, “Art”, presents works and projects carried out using different artistic languages made by Russian artists who emigrated.
  2. The second, “ConTexts”, collects texts, unpublished or already published, by various specialists (researchers, curators, journalists, writers) who analyze the migratory phenomenon from different points of view.
  3. In the third section, “Dialogues”, a list of predefined questions is proposed to which the project participants can answer extensively or schematically, allowing researchers to compare these answers. 
  4. The fourth section, “Chronicle”, consists of a summary account of the events related to Russian art from February 2022 to the present.

Finally, the project hosts a ‘practical section’ – “Grants”: up-to-date information on scholarships and other opportunities in the artistic and academic fields in different countries.
At a later stage, a series of thematic exhibition projects are planned, to give the results of the project a living form.

The scientific board of the project is by Silvia Burini and Olga Shishko and is carried out in collaboration with CYLAND and Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia.
An international group of specialists is working on the project, whose task is to help establish contact with various professionals in the field of culture.

Go to the website Mapping Diaspora: Russian Art in Exile.

in collaboration with Fondation Lepercq, Bermuda
in collaboration with Carrara Academy, Bergamo

The project includes the cataloguing and scientific description of items from a private collection of icons that will later be presented in a museum display. Italian and Russian researchers and experts are involved in the project.

in collaboration with Intesa Sanpaolo Art, Culture, Cultural Heritage

The three-year project includes the development of an exhibition program aimed at promoting and expanding the potential of one of the most important West-European collections of ancient Russian icons, hosted in the museum venue Gallerie d’Italia, at Palazzo Leoni Montanari in Vicenza (the first one being the exhibition "Kandinsky, Goncharova, Chagall. Sacred and Beauty in Russian Art", October 5, 2019 - January 26, 2020). The project also aims to develop new strategies for a rotation of the permanent collection in the exhibition space and educational projects targeted at the museum visitors.

in collaboration with the Ocean Art Projects Foundation

The project was launched together with the presentation of the installation “Subtiziano”, a collateral event of the 53rd Venice Biennale (2009) and the international conference dedicated to it. The project continued with the series of exhibitions "Antarctic Pavilion". Some of its outcomes were published in the monograph by Silvia Burini and Giuseppe Barbieri, Alexander Ponomarev. The Second Voyage, Milano-New York, Rizzoli New York, 2020 (pp. 367).

in collaboration with the University of Tartu and Tallinn University

CSAR reserves considerable attention to the semiotics of culture, the legacy of Yuri Lotman and its connections to art history. As a part of the project, the Centre organised numerous seminars, talks and academic publications dedicated to the subject, including the major international conference “A Merry-go Round of Muses: Yuri Lotman and the Arts” (Ca’ Foscari University, Venice, Auditorium Santa Margherita, 26 – 28 November 2013), which was followed by the volume Le muse fanno il girotondo: Jurij Lotman e le arti, eds. Matteo Bertelé, Angela Bianco, Alessia Cavallaro, Edizioni Ca’ Foscari, Venezia 2019 (2nd edition). ISBN 978-88-6969- 353-3 []

in collaboration with the Historical Archives of Contemporary Arts (ASAC) of the Venice Biennale

Since its foundation, CSAR has collaborated with the Russian Ministry of Culture to coordinate the exhibition programme of the National Pavilion in Giardini. During the 57th Venice Biennale, professors Silvia Burini and Giuseppe Barbieri curated, under the guidance of the Pavilion Commissioner Semyon Mikhailovsky, the exhibition "Scene change".
The history of the pavilion is one of the main research interests of professor Matteo Bertelé, who dedicated several academic publications to the subject, including the latest monograph Arte sovietica alla Biennale di Venezia (1924-1962), Milano-Udine, Mimesis, pp. 344 (ISBN 9788857557090) and extensively contributed to the collection of essays Russian Artists at the Venice Biennale, 1895-2013, Moscow, Stella Art Foundation (ISBN 9785904652067).

Joint Projects

CSAR collaborates with the communication project "Ca' Foscari on the Map" coordinated by Promotion and HR. The project aims at enlarging the University’s network and its visibility abroad for both research and degree programmes. Newsletters in four languages (Russian, Turkish, Chinese and Spanish) are issued three times a year (February, June and October), and present a range of contents, including translations of materials published in the University magazine Cafoscarinews, interviews with professors, researchers or international students at Ca’ Foscari. This initiative is linked to the University project "Offices in the World", which establishes the satellite information desks at the universities abroad, including that of the major Russian university Higher School of Economics in Moscow.


The first step in the laboratory will be to digitise the front and back of more than 2,000 prints. The printed text of the postcards will be inventoried, transcribed and translated, and made available online. At the same time, this precious resource will be studied and exploited from a scientific point of view. The laboratory will involve a research grant-holder, a technical collaborator, Ph.D. students, and Ca’ Foscari students as trainees.

The project has been completed:

in collaboration with the Centre of Film Festivals and International Programmes and “Mosfilm” Studios

The project has been completed:

Kandinsky, Goncharova, Chagall. Sacred and Beauty in Russian Art – exhibition catalogue, Skira, 2019
SubTiziano by Alexander Ponomarev, site-specific installation, Grand Canal, Venice, 1 June – 22 October 2009
Yuri Lotman, Vily (Pitchforks) n. 1. Tallinn University Archive