Zimmerli Art Museum in New Brunswick to host Ukrainian art exhibit, “Painting in excess”


New Brunswick

On November 6, the Zimmerli Art Museum is launching a new exhibition, “Painting in excess: the revival of art in Kiev, 1985-1993”, on Ukraine during the so-called Perestroika period (the 1980s) and the first years of the country’s independence.

These years seriously influenced the formation of modern Ukrainian art and, in particular, Kiev and brought it to a global level.

The artists freed themselves from the dictatorship of withered Communist ideology and the constraints of late socialist realism. The art of the time combined a large number of styles and created the effect of baroque exaggeration.

The exhibition features a variety of artistic manifestations from those transitional years in Kiev as well as earlier works of art by Ukrainian authors to create the right context.

“This exhibition is largely based on my thesis, which was devoted to the art of Ukrainian perestroika,” said the curator of the exhibition, Ph.D. in art history Olena Martynyuk, said.

“Therefore, for me, this is a rather personal project, one that I have dreamed of since my days working at the Zimmerli Museum as a graduate student in the Faculty of Arts at Rutgers University.”

The exhibition will include works of art from the Norton and Nancy Dodge Collection held at the Zimmerli Museum and paintings from well-known Ukrainian collections.

Visitors will be able to get acquainted with the paintings of Olexandr Roydburd, Tiberiy Silvashi, Arsen Savadov, Alla Gorska, Florian Yuriev, Alexander Dubovik, Valery Lamakh, Grigory Gavrilenko and many other artists.

In particular, the exhibition will include a monumental four-meter work by Georgy Senchenko, “The Sacred Landscape of Pieter Bruegel” (1988).

The project is supported by the Abramovych Foundation and the Tymofieiev Foundation.

Advisor to the director of the Institute of Contemporary Art Problems of the National Academy of Arts of Ukraine, Igor Abramovych, notes that Ukrainian cultural heritage forms the image of the country and the way it is perceived in the world . The exhibition therefore implements both aesthetic and intercultural missions.

“The artists’ works reflect the peculiarities of the time when they were created. And if we talk about a period of transition, a period of transformations, it becomes twice as interesting,” said Igor Abramovych.

“The global cultural community obtains information about Ukrainian art in an episodic and fragmentary way, but we have something to show and share. It is strategically important for each country to promote its art to the world.

Ruslan Tymofieev (Ruslan Timofeev), founder of the Tymofieev Foundation and venture investment fund Adventures Lab, points out that the exhibition reflects an important step in the development phase of Ukrainian art since the country’s independence.

“It is very important to exhibit the exhibition. The paintings presented here reflect an important stage in the development phase of modern Ukrainian art created at the junction of the two eras,” said Ruslan Tymofieiev.

“They offer the opportunity to learn more about the state of mind of artists and society at that time. These works of art mark the beginning of the globalization of Ukrainian art, its entry into the world market.

In the fall of 2021, a book based on the exhibition works will be published by Rutgers University Press with the support of the Ukrainian Institute.

The exhibition will be on display at the Zimmerli Museum until March 13.


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