GRAD is a cultural platform for initiatives and communication, bringing new insights into Eastern European art, design and culture through exhibitions, publications, live events, collaborations and digital engagement.

Our purpose is to share our specialist knowledge in ways that capture the imagination, inspire creativity, and spark new ideas. We act as an engaging social and visual platform to encourage creative dialogues, create cultural links, and question long established preconceptions of Russian and post-Soviet culture. Committed to promoting and presenting Russian and Eastern European art and culture to the highest standard, GRAD’s endeavours have been recognised by the DCMS which has awarded GRAD, as of May 2014, with the immunity from seizure status, thus making it possible for the gallery and artists to engage with international museum collections worldwide as well as to exhibit them in London. During the last three and a half years GRAD executed over twenty curatorial projects, both historical and contemporary, addressing urgent social issues of today, and has partnered with over thirty cultural organisations including such prominent institutions as the Science Museum, the Courtauld Institute of Art, Van Abbe Museum in Eindhoven and many others.

GRAD Academy puts ideas centre stage through collaborations with leading institutions and experts worldwide to present exhibitions, lectures and screenings that explore cultural and social history. GRAD Lab provides a platform for experimentation in the now that showcases cross-artform projects such as artist-curated exhibitions, performances and specially-commissioned new work. GRAD Sputnik is an international initiative to travel our programme around the world through strategic partnerships with renowned arts organisations.

GRAD is a not-for-profit organization established in 2012.

We are committed to showing international art of the highest quality and are proud to have been awarded Immunity from Seizure by the Department of Culture Media and Sport on 6 May 2014. Further information about our status and any works currently covered by immunity can be found here.

GRAD is a company limited by guarantee
Registered in England and Wales 08287017, VAT registration number 163691393


NINA LOBANOV-ROSTOVSKY, Collector and Art Historian

JOHN MILNER, Professor of Russian Art, The Courtauld Institute of Art

WILLEM JAN RENDERS, Curator of Russian art, Van Abbemuseum

MARTIN ROTH, Director of the V&A

MIKHAIL SHVYDKOY, President of the Russian Television Academy Foundation and Special Envoy of the President
of the Russian Federation for International Cultural Cooperation

DEBORAH SWALLOW, Director of The Courtauld Institute of Art



Director & Principal Curator

Before completing an MA in Russian Art at the Courtauld Institute, Elena was director of the Moscow-based G.O.S.T. Gallery, which specialises in late 19th and 20th century works on paper and has established a strong reputation among Russian museums and cultural institutions. Elena is interested in developing multi-cultural links between Russia and Great Britain and her motto is ‘L’Art sans frontieres’.


Creative Director

Katya Sivers is an artist and graphic designer. Holding an MA in Fine Arts from Chelsea College of Art and Design and as a graduate of Stroganov’s Art Academy in Moscow, she has worked with leading Russian museums, galleries and publishing houses including the Tretyakov Gallery and the Garage Centre for Contemporary Culture.


Head of Education

Before being awarded PhD at the Courtauld Institute of Art, Natalia read History of Art at the Academy of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg and completed the PhD course at the Hermitage Museum. Natalia’s biography of Nikolay Punin, The Unsung Hero of the Russian Avant-Garde. The Life and Times of Nikolay Punin (1888–1953), was published by Brill Academic Publishers in 2012.


Gallery Manager

Alena is a Belarusian-born photographer. She began working at the gallery after completing her MA in Documentary Photography and Photojournalism in 2016. Her main interests are related to contemporary visual culture with a strong focus on the power of images and their function as social fixers, as well as the key elements in the process of collective identity formation.


Volunteer Placement Programme

GRAD is currently seeking bright and enthusiastic volunteers to assist with the daily running of the gallery. This placement is ideal for candidates at the start of their careers, looking for experience in an arts institution. Please see the full application guidelines here

To apply, please send a tailored CV and covering letter to with Volunteer Application clearly marked in the subject line.