ART ON THE BATTLEFRONT was opened in Vienna
From April 15 to 17, the ART ON THE BATTLEFRONT exhibition of Ukrainian art opened in the historic center of Vienna. The works of 19 artists are presented in the renovated premises of the Künstlerhaus, which is home to one of the most famous museums of modern art in the world – Albertina Modern. Curated by Svitlana Starostenko
Main image: Stepan Ryabchenko, “Dawn” (2020), 150 x 300 cm, digital print on aluminum under plexiglas
“The struggle for national identification in Ukrainian art has been going on for a long time. For almost a century, our artists’ works were destroyed, banned, or presented in world museums and international auctions as Russian art – this is how the enemy stole our recognition. And although we managed to separate during the thirty years of Independence, the fundamental changes have only begun now. Nowadays, during the war, thanks to cultural diplomacy, we have the opportunity to be heard. And our voice sounds especially powerful when we speak the language of art,” said Svitlana Starostenko.
Every year Vogue Ukraine publishes a collectible art issue. Although this special edition didn’t come to life in 2022, Vogue editors are exploring new format to showcase the best of the thriving Ukrainian art scene. This is how a concept for ART ON THE BATTLEFRONT, a group project for contemporary Ukrainian artists was born. In it we invited a selection of talents across different disciplines and media to reflect on the current state of things and the war in Ukraine. Some of the participants produced their work while staying in the epicenter of tragic events, some created their work abroad and some did so in art residencies across the globe.
One of the project’s main goals is to remind the world that the war in Ukraine is still on and that Ukrainians keep on fighting on all fronts, with artists being integral part of this resistance. Hence the name for this project – ART ON THE BATTLEFRONT.
Exclusively for Vogue UA, 19 prominent Ukrainian artists have created works of various scale in various techniques – from painting, graphics, sculpture, and installations to video and digital art. Majority of this exciting new body of work reflects on the wartime in an allusive way yet manages to capture the whole range of emotional states and aspirations experienced by a person facing the war first-hand.
The project brings together Mykhailo Alekseenko, Julia Beliaeva, Petro Bevza, Andriy Bludov, Bohdan Burenko, Petro Gronskyi, Vasyl Grublyak, Yuriy Koval, Vitalii Kravec, Nikita Kravtsov, Maria Kulikovska, Volodymyr Manzhos (WaOne), Denys Metelin, Vitaly Protosenya, Stepan Ryabchenko, Yuriy Sivirin, Vasylyna Vrublevska, Yelena Yemchuk, Sergei Zapadnia.
We are delighted that among the artists, the works of the famous Odessan Stepan Ryabchenko are also presented.
“Dawn” by Stepan Ryabchenko from Odesa was life-affirming and powerful. At the exhibition, it is complemented by the author’s well-known sculpture “Walking Cloud”. These two works are related. The three-meter painting depicts the dawn – the time when the darkness disappears, the time when that’s what we strive for. Dawn is like a new norm of life, where such a concept as war does not exist at all. And the sculpture creates a conditional visual transition of this image from a plane to a three-dimensional space,” said Svitlana Starostenko