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Exhibition: City of KhA
Opening: 15.12.2017 (Friday) at 18:30
Curator: Tetiana Tumasian, Sergii Bratkov
City of KhA
Avant-garde Kharkiv: Research Project
16.12.2017 - 18.02.2018
Curators of the project: Tetiana Tumasian, Sergii Bratkov
Exhibition opening: December 15, 2017, 6.30 p.m.
Press-tour: December 15, 2017, 5.00 p.m.
The National Art Museum of Ukraine and the Kharkiv Municipal Gallery represent a joint project exploring the avant-garde line in Kharkiv art of the last 100 years. The project unites photographers and painters, graphic artists and authors of objects, traditional techniques and new media.
The main heroes of the exhibition are the Derzhprom, avant-garde artists of the early 20 th century (Vasyl Yermilov, Borys Kosarev, Maria Siniakova), representatives of non-conformism (Vagrich Bakhchanian), Kharkiv photography school (Borys Mykhailov, Yevgenii Pavlov, Sergii Bratkov), "heirs to the avant-guard" (Vitalii Kulikov, Pavlo Makov), and Kharkiv contemporary artists (Artem Volokitin, Hamlet Zinkivsky, Roman Minin, Alina Kleitman, Ivan Svitlychny, Vitalii Kokhan).
Curators Sergii Bratkov and Tetyana Tumasian use the term avant-garde in the broadest sense without locating it within the historical avant-garde framework of the early 20 th century. The focus of their attention is experimental art, which goes beyond the classical aesthetics, and uses original, innovative means of expression.
The avant-garde aesthetics of the early 20 th century perfectly met the spirit of Kharkiv as powerful industrial city, which has been the administrative and cultural capital of Ukraine from 1919 to 1934. Throughout the past century artists who violated the rules, argued with the tradition, went beyond the established forms, genres and trends appeared in the city. The innovative breakthrough made by the constructivists in the 1920 s and 1930 s continued in the 1960 s –1970 s in the underground, where modernist and conceptualist practices developed simultaneously.
The most famous phenomenon became the famous Kharkiv school of photography. From the end of the 1980 s to the present day, Kharkiv has been an unalterable generator of original ideas in the field of Ukraine contemporary art. The avant-garde in Kharkiv is a broad topic that covers visual arts, literature and theatre. It is extremely difficult to comprehend everything within one exhibition project. Therefore, “City of KhA” is a personal view of curators on a section of the city's culture, reflecting key elements in Kharkiv art. Such elements are the sign, the text and the word. Specific Kharkiv textcentricism is in some way related to the reference point of the Kharkiv avant-garde.
During 1920 s the city united the best literary forces of the country. The famous house “Slovo” became the dramatic symbol of their fate in a totalitarian country. The need for comment, verbal accompaniment of the image or complete replacement of one with the word can be traced in the work of several generations of Kharkiv artists. On the one hand, it is connected with world tendencies (in particular, constructivism or conceptualism), and socio-political demands of that time; on the other hand, in the works of Kharkiv artists the word becomes an important composite component beyond artistic trends, as in the works of Vitalii Kulykov, Pavlo Makov or Hamlet Zinkivsky.
The exhibition shows artworks from the collections of the National Art Museum of Ukraine, the Art Fund of Igor Voronov, the gallery VOVATANYA (Kharkiv), private collections of Boris and Tetyana Grinyov, Olexandr Blank, from family collections of artists Iryna Bahchanian, Vira Bondarenko, Iryna Oleksandrova- Kulykova. The highlight of the exhibition is the infographics “Genealogy of Kharkiv avant- garde”, the work of Maria Volchonok and Hamlet Zinkivsky’s artistic imagination with the participation of Pavlo Makov.
The infographics trace the path of the centuries-old development of Kharkiv culture through three major vectors: Time, Events, People. Another accompanying project is “Laboratory work” by Anton Tkachenko and Olga Fedorova, devoted to the process of preparation of the exhibition. It says that the “City of KhA” is not only curators, artists and paintings, but also the city itself, the Municipal Gallery, work on the exposition and many other elements that eventually "fused" into a holistic exhibition project.
Information partners of the exhibition: UA: public broadcasting, lb.ua, Old Fashioned Radio