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Landscape and Poetics in Contemporary Ukrainian Art in Silkeborg, Denmark


“UNFOLDING LANDSCAPES – Landscape and Poetics in Contemporary Ukrainian Art” presents the work of several generations of artists who study the topology and psychogeography of their unique country. Among them there are Odessan Stepan and Vasiliy Ryabchenko. Faye Dowling (London) is the curator of the project.

Cover image: Stepan Ryabchenko. Walking cloud, 55 x 73 x 25 cm, polymer marble, 2012-2021


United by the themes of landscape and poetics in modern Ukrainian art, the project invites viewers on a journey through Ukraine – the country it is now and how it could be according to young and already well-known Ukrainian artists. The exposition was formed by the works of Ukrainian artists of several generations. Their works are authorial experiments with the landscape, a demonstration of how this genre can be perceived and interpreted in different ways, and what knowledge can be gleaned by studying the cognitive geography of the environment in depth.

Vasily Ryabchenko. Princess, 194 x 296 cm, oil on canvas, 2010-2021

Through the prism of their work, we learn how the Ukrainian landscape exists and is perceived and what knowledge and discoveries its deployment can provide. These works reveal a unique paradigm of perception: the nature of space and its boundaries, the perception of the symbolic meaning of public and private spaces. But above all, a deep awareness of the potential for change and evolution, unification, transformation and reform, rebirth and prosperity

Faye Dowling

The exhibition includes selected works by 42 contemporary artists and creative associations working with painting, graphics, sculpture, photography, installation, video and new media. Three key topics emerging in UNFOLDING LANDSCAPES: “Station to station” – journeys through Ukrainian culture; “Topology” – abstractions and observations of the changing landscape; “Vanishing landscapes” is a study of ancient and modern landscapes of Ukraine.

Stepan Ryabchenko. “Dedication to the Spider”, computer animation, music by Sergey Ryabchenko ©

The exhibition marks the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Ukraine and Denmark. It continues the cultural ties between the two countries, which emerged with the first exhibitions of contemporary Ukrainian art in Odense, organized in the late 1980s by Sioviet Art. The author of ​​implementing the project in Silkeborg Bad was an active participant in those events and one of the co-founders of Soviart, Ukrainian-Danish artist Serhiy Sviatchenko, who has lived in Denmark for the last 30 years.

The art center Iben Fromm director comments: “This exhibition is an opportunity for the Danish and European communities to get a unique idea of ​​current artistic practices and modern traditions of Ukraine. This is an opportunity to learn about this huge country’s extremely rich art scene and the culture of the modern Ukrainian landscape in the vision of different generations of artists. I would like to express special thanks to Serhiy Sviatchenko for the idea of ​​this exhibition and his advisory work and the efforts to continue cultural diplomacy since the landmark exhibitions between Kyiv and Odense. “

Odessa at this exhibition is represented by one of the key figures of contemporary Ukrainian art and the “New Ukrainian Wave” – ​​Vasily Ryabchenko with a large-scale painting “Princess” and the leader of Ukrainian digital art Stepan Ryabchenko, who presents two video works in the genre of computer animation from the series “Virtual Landscapes “and the sculpture” Walking Cloud “.

Stepan Ryabchenko. “Calm”, computer animation, music by Sergey Ryabchenko ©

Participants and participants of the project:

Anna Bekerskaya, Nazar Bilyk, Katya Buchatskaya, Grigory Gavrilenko, Ksenia Gnilitskaya, Alexander Gnilitsky, Oleg Golosiy, Alexander Zhivotkov, Lesya Zayats, Anna Zvyagintseva, Yuri Efanov, Lusya Ivanova, Nikita Kadan, Zhanna Kadyrova, Pavel Kerestey, Taras Kovach, Alexei Kondakov , Dana Kosmina, Vitaly Kokhan, Nikolay Krivenko, Anatoly Krivolap, Katya Libkind, Pavel Makov, Sasha Maslov, Nikolay Matsenko, Evgeny Nikiforov, Yuri Pikul, Yulia Polyashchenko (Julie Poly), Georgy Potopalsky (Ujif notfound), Vlad Ralko, Stepan Ryabchenko , Vasily Ryabchenko, ruїns collective, Andrey Sagaydakovskiy, Alexey Say, Yuri Solomko, Marina Skugareva, Tibery Silvashi, Sergey Svyatchenko, Elena Subach and Vyacheslav Polyakov, Oleg Tistol.

“With this exhibition, the Danish audience will have the opportunity to get acquainted with new cultural phenomena because the last large-scale presentation of Ukrainian art took place in Denmark thirty years ago. Over the past three decades, there have been many changes in Ukraine, Denmark, the world, art, and philosophical views on the relationship between man and nature. This project is about loyalty to traditions and transformation at the same time. In the exhibition, you can see both the “classical” landscape and abstraction, where the landscape breaks up into components, like atoms, people and non-people shaping the landscape; experiments with both “traditional” and new media. There are also the scars of the war and the annexed Crimea – traces-craters on the bends of the landscape. The project is designed to move away from colonial exoticization and show the contemporary art of Ukraine as an organic part of global processes and the country itself – not only as a zone of turbulence but as a place where, like everywhere else in the world, people strive to comprehend their relationship with the environment,” says consultant and project coordinator Natalia Matsenko.

“UNFOLDING LANDSCAPES – Landscape and Poetics in Contemporary Ukrainian Art” will run until May 1, 2022, at the Silkeborg Bad Art Center (Gjessøvej 40, 8600 Silkeborg, Denmark.)

“Such a universal theme shows Ukraine as an organic part of the world, which equally, in all corners, cares about the environment, its beauty and diversity, as well as related modern challenges common to everybody, to Ukraine as well, as the poeticization of its landscape is deeply rooted in its culture. Its nature is really a landmark, an integral part of the existence and practices of artists. In addition, thanks to the works of contemporary artists, it is possible to clearly trace the transformation of the landscape, its perception and image from the classical to a variety of artistic experiments,” says Igor Abramovych.

The partners and sponsors of the exhibition are The Danish Arts Foundation (Staten Kunstfond), the European Region of Culture (Europæisk Kulturregion), the platform of art dealer Igor Abramovych Abramovych Art, and the fund of venture investor Ruslan Tymofieiev Tymofeev Foundation.