Dasha Zhukova

With a $1 million gift to the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST), Dasha Zhukova, philanthropist, art collector, and founder of Garage, made her first major gift to a university and her first endowment of a visiting artist program. The Dasha Zhukova Distinguished Visiting Artist Program brings artists to campus for one to two year residencies to collaborate with MIT faculty, students, and researchers. The program supports the research and development of new work in an experimental environment that combines artistic vision with the extraordinary talent across multiple disciplines at the Institute.

“After spending time at MIT and exploring its Center for Art, Science & Technology, I see it as a true hub of creativity—a virtual center that touches all areas of the arts, from the visual arts to architecture, design, music, the performing arts and more.” said Ms. Zhukova. “What most impresses me is the way that CAST creates mutually enlightening encounters for visiting artists and the creative culture on campus. I’m both excited and honored to begin this relationship with MIT and to launch such an innovative visiting artist position.”

Ms Zhukova’s support of this residency program at MIT is a logical expansion of her previous and current activities in the art world, notably the founding of the biannual art and fashion magazine Garage Magazine, as well as the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow. The Museum was originally established as Garage Center for Contemporary Culture in 2007. “Viewed as the most substantial private museum created in Russia since the 1917 Communist revolution” (New York Times), Garage opened a new building designed by Rem Koolhaas in Gorky Park in June 2015 on the site of a Soviet-era restaurant. In addition to presenting contemporary art, the museum houses an archive of Russian art since the 1950s, in lieu of a permanent collection, which is an invaluable resource for reconstructing the art of a period when much work was created underground.

She sees this project at MIT as an opportunity to foster the creation of new artistic work by connecting leading artists, architects and designers with the creative energy, innovative thinking, and advanced technology found throughout the MIT community.

“I’ve always held an interest in science and technology and their powerful intersection with the worlds of art and design. My mother is a microbiologist and at the same time a lover of classical art, so for me the fusion of these worlds is where vital creativity and innovation take place,” said Ms. Zhukova.

The first Dasha Zhukova Distinguished Visiting Artist was Pedro Reyes, appointed for the 2016–17 academic year.