Andrei Tolstoi (b. 1956) graduated from the Department of History of Art at the Faculty of Historic Studies of Moscow State University (MSU). He is a Doctor of Arts, Professor of the Moscow Architectural Institute (MARCHI), and teaches at the State Academic Art Institute named after Vassily Surikov and the Graduate School of studies in the European Cultures (VSHEK) at the State University for Humanitarian Studies. Tolstoi is an academician of the Russian Academy of Arts, and director of the Research Institute of Theory and History of Fine Arts of the Russian Academy of Fine Arts. He is also president of the Russian National section of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA) at UNESCO. Tolstoi is a specialist in Russian art of XX - XXI centuries, as well as European creative relations of Russian art in New and Contemporary Art and Russian émigré artists in Europe and America in the XX century. He is the author of more than 100 scientific publications on these subjects in English, Russian, French and Italian, published in Russia, U.K., France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Poland and the U.S.A.
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The current art scene in Russia could be characterized as one with many different modes of artistic expression. Here, many institutions are specifically focused on research and organizing exhibitions of contemporary art.