Airport, please! to see Bill Viola’s Journey of the Soul at the Pushkin Museum in Moscow

by leslierankowfinearts


The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts Moscow, Russia

Good morning! Grab your coat. It’s bitter cold in New York and, interestingly, slightly warmer in Moscow.

Airport, please! is excited to be heading to the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts to see the extraordinary video master, Bill Viola, The Journey of the Soul. This exhibition represents the first solo presentation of Viola’s work in Russia and the first significant exhibition of media art at the Pushkin Museum. Who better to represent this artistic genre than the pioneer of media art, Bill Viola?

The Pushkin State Museum

Bill Viola, The Journey of the Soulis part of the ongoing “Pushkin XXI” project, which focuses on bringing together classical tradition and contemporary practice to offer new ways of engaging with art. Since the early 1970s, Viola has used video to explore the phenomena of sense perception as an avenue to self-knowledge. His works focus on universal human experiences—birth, death, the unfolding of consciousness—and have roots in both Eastern and Western art as well as spiritual traditions, including Zen Buddhism, Islamic Sufism, and Christian mysticism.

Bill Viola
Fire Woman

Bill Viola has been instrumental in establishing video as a vital form of contemporary art, and in expanding its scope in terms of technology, content, and historical reach. Bill Viola, The Journey of the Soul is curated by Olga Shishko, Head of Cinema and Media Art Department, Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, and Kira Perov, Executive Director, Bill Viola Studio.


Bill Viola
Martyrs (Earth, Fire, Water, Air)

More than 20 signature artworks presented in the exhibition were created in the period from 2000 to 2014. They demonstrate the artist’s mastering of moving image technology.  In the Museum’s main exhibition halls, visitors will see for the first time such large-scale works as Fire Woman (2005), Catherine’s Room (2001), The Quintet of the Astonished (2000) and four works from the Martyrs series (2014). This retrospective of Viola’s work of the last 14 years was curated by the Head of Cinema and Media Art Department, Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, in collaboration with the Executive Director of the Bill Viola Studio.

For further information, contact James Cohen Gallery, New York,


Bill Viola is a recognized master who has been a pioneer of video art since the 1970s. One of the most influential American artists living today, for more than four decades he has been creating single-channel videotapes, video and sound installations, acoustical environments, as well as media works that accompany large-scale concerts and opera productions. Viola represented the USA at the Venice Biennale in 1995; selected solo exhibitions were held at the Whitney Museum of American Art (1997), the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles (2003), the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2006), the Grand Palais, Paris (2014), the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence (2017), the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao (2017), the Royal Academy of Arts in London (2019), the Busan Museum of Art, South Korea (2020); and in St. Paul’s Cathedral in London Martyrs (Earth, Air, Fire, Water) (2014), and the video-triptych Mary(2016) were installed as permanent installations.

Bill Viola
Catherine’s Room


The Pushkin Museum of the Fine Arts is the largest museum of European art in Moscow, located on Volkhonka Street, opposite the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. The building was designed by Roman Klein and Vladimir Shukhov and its construction began in 1898 and was completed in 1912. Its permanent collection of French art once belonged to the legendary Moscow collectors, Sergei Shchukin and Ivan Morozov, and represents one of the most famous collections of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist and avant-garde art of the 20th Century, featuring masterpieces by Monet, Renoir, Degas, Cezanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Matisse and Picasso.

The Pushkin State Museum