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“Identification code” will be shown in Ukrainian Art Center in Los Angeles


Ukrainian Art Center in Los Angeles presents a brilliant Ukrainian artist Iryna Vyshnevska and her masterpiece collection of paintings on traditional homespun kilims “Identification code”! The exhibition will take place January 22-23, 2022.


As a child, the artist IraVish (Iryna Vyshnevska) felt the magical influence of homespun kilims (tapestry). She grew up in the Gagauz culture, where kilims also possessed powerful symbolism. The Gagauz are Turkic-speaking people who practice Christianity and live in Bessarabia (Moldova and the southern Odessa region in Ukraine). It is one of the Ukrainian national minorities.

The systematic displacement and suppression of Gagauz culture, by historical and modern globalization processes, led IraVish to create a unique series of paintings on traditional kilims, designed to recreate the beauty of life and customs of this nation. The artist skillfully focuses the audience’s attention on cultural tradition as the main guaranty of the nation’s existence.

“Abandoned Graves”

Carpets and kilims are well-known attributes of Ukrainian culture, always having everyday and ritual significance. In particular, home-woven Hutsul carpets are rich in cult symbols: each pattern or ornament is a code symbol of the nation, used since ancient times to communicate with descendants. It took place through the transfer of knowledge and wisdom in schematic patterns. Bedbugs were also often used as talismans. According to its symbolic characteristics, the carpet was equated to an embroidered shirt and carried the national identification code.

“The Minkovsky brothers from the village of Ogorodnoye”
“Bessarabian Madonna”

What do we know about the life and traditions of national minorities, with whom we have coexisted for centuries? Are we fully aware of the crucial importance of the mission of preserving our own culture – the code of identification, which makes us a part of the complicated historical reality? Looking for answers to these questions in her art, IraVish encourages the viewer to think.

“Identification code”, Museum of Western and Eastern Art, Odessa, 2020
“Identification code”, Museum of Western and Eastern Art, Odessa, 2020

About the artist:

IraVish (Iryna Vyshnevska) lives in Odessa, Ukraine. At a young age, the artist was involved with journalism: she worked as a reporter, editor, and published five books. She got back to painting in adulthood. IraVish is an active participant in collective art projects. In 2020 and 2021, the artist impressed the Odessa audience with two solo shows that made her a star of contemporary art in Ukraine.

The artist paints in the style of romantic primitivism. “In my new role, I remain a journalist, so each of my paintings is a story with a complex, confusing plot, which has a sequel,” she explains.