are proud to present the project 

28.05 - 31.08.2018

Project producer: Natalia Opaleva

Author and curator: Polina Lobachevskaya

Art director: Gennady Sinyov

Media artist: Alexander Dolgin

International Center of Performing Art -

Fondazione Franco Zeffirelli Onlus

Piazza San Firenze 5 – Florence

The «New Flight to Solaris» project associatively binds outstanding works of painting, drawing and sculpture of Soviet nonconformist artists from the AZ Museum and the private collection of Natalia Opaleva with the masterpiece of the great Russian film director Andrei Tarkovsky. The «New Flight to Solaris» is the final of the exhibition trilogy, whose first two parts, based on Tarkovsky's films «Stalker» and «Andrei Rublev», were presented by the AZ Museum in Moscow in 2016 and 2017 respectively.


The AZ Museum is one of the youngest and most dynamically developing museums in Russia, founded by the collector and art patron Natalia Opaleva and curator Polina Lobachevskaya who works on all of its publishing and exhibition projects. The mission of the museum is to animate the heritage of unofficial Soviet artists of the 1960s through 1980s through original curatorial concepts, new technologies and an active dialogue with modern art.

The Franco Zeffirelli Foundation - International Center of Performing Art in Florence offer both specialists and spectators a unique possibility to learn about the artistic heritage of Maestro Franco Zeffirelli, the star of world art. The museum, which covers the second floor of the Palazzo San Firenze, holds over 300 items related to the Maestro's creative activity. Apart from the permanent exhibition, the San Firenze premises also offer exhibitions dedicated to the most outstanding artists of the world, as well as theater and cinema adaptations which Zeffirelli had worked on. The «New Flight to Solaris», inspired by the great Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky, will be the first international project of the Fondazione Zeffirelli ever since the museum was opened to the public on October 1, 2017.

In Andrei Tarkovsky’s film «Solaris», the samples of world art — earth artifacts chosen by Tarkovsky for life on a different planet — are collected. As a part of the exhibition project New Flight to Solaris, the AZ Museum offers its choice of art works from the artistic legacy of Tarkovsky’s contemporaries, members of the Soviet artistic underground of the 1960s—1980s, that would be congenial to his work. Using the director’s idea as a defining formal feature, Polina Lobachevskaya, the exhibition curator, places in the baroque space of Palazzo San Firenze a futuristic installation of a space station, equipped with 22 screens to show video art based on unique photographic and cinematic materials connected with Andrei Tarkovsky’s creative work. The same space will also house the works of Russian artists of the later 20th century: Anatoly Zverev, Francisco Infante, Dmitry Plavinsky, Dmitry Krasnopevtsev, Vladimir Yankilevsky, Vladimir Yakovlev, Lidia Masterkova, Pyotr Belenok, Yulo Sooster, Vladimir Nemukhin, Ernst Neizvestny (32 paintings and two sculptures in total).


The 1960s through to the 1980s, the time when Tarkovsky was creating his movies, was marked by an appearance of unofficial art in Soviet Union. It was definitely a «Soviet Renaissance», a new blossoming of avant-garde painting, drawing and sculpture. The 1960s artists were not united between each other or with the representatives of other arts by any common manifesto; each of them worked in his or her own inimitable manner. They were united with Tarkovsky through the means of historical time, an innovative approach to solving art questions and an unconquerable drive towards freedom, most importantly towards artistic freedom.

«The choice of The Franco Zeffirelli Foundation as the partner of the AZ Museum for the «New Flight to Solaris» project was not accidental», says the Founder of AZ Museum, Natalia Opaleva.

Franco Zeffirelli is the legend of world art, born in Florence. Andrei Tarkovsky, the world-famous Russian director, lived in Florence after leaving the Soviet Union. Italy also marks such momentous points of Tarkovsky's life as receiving the Golden Lion at the Venice film festival for «Ivan's Childhood» and the joint work with Tonino Guerra on the script and shooting of «Nostalgia».

The conjunction of two such names at the San Firenze Palazzo is not just a reminder of past peaks, but the continuation of a cultural dialogue between Italy and Russia, and Russian and European culture. A new joint flight to the planet of Solaris will engage both science fiction and cinema lovers, as well as the connoisseurs of fine art who flock to Florence from all over the world.

Franco Zeffirelli Foundation and AZ Museum express their gratitude for support

Inauguration partner

Media partners