Lviv. Ya Gallery
10.08.2022 – 25.09.2022
Dmytro Moldovanov is active in both peacetime and wartime. This is his rhythm, his creative metabolism, his civic position. In the Kyiv art center Ya Gallery, the war interrupted Moldovanov's "Wall Rug" exhibition. When the premises were equipped as a bomb shelter, the paintings continued to hang on the walls, existing in a new context of events. Everything gradually became clear: both images of bears and images of deer - a general feeling of change and anticipation of aggression - which we saw in the works, organically fit into the history of the new war. When the Kyiv Art Center resumed work, the exhibition continued its gallery life, and in July it visited Vilnius as part of the "Spaces. Ukrainian exhibition".
Moldovanov was one of those who, with his creativity, encouraged me not to delay the exhibition about art during the war, and his letters with new works arrived almost every week and fueled my interest in his interpretation of events.
At the exhibition "Muses are Not Silent" in the Powder Tower, his "Hopak from Uncle Chornobai" became almost the central work that cannot be missed. Brazenly colored, dynamic and witty naive interpretation of the combat dance of the multi-armed Chornobai, who in tongues of flame passionately and attentively destroys enemy equipment stylized as ugly creatures with an expressive Z, became one of the advertising images of the exhibition. The artist's creative restlessness was provoked by the immediate proximity to the combat events in the village of Chornobayivka, the echo of which reached the fishing settlement of Parutine on the shore of the estuary near ancient Olbia, where the artist has been working for several seasons, fleeing from the hustle and bustle of the city. The news of recent months about the constant shelling of Mykolaiv and the region, Dmytro's phone stories about what happened and is happening in his native city, reinforce the state of anxiety and imbalance. While preparing the exhibition, we communicated every two or three days. Forwarding works, questions about materials and collecting information for the texts of the exhibition are far from all the topics we discussed. Suddenly, the artist did not answer my calls for three days. I was worried, my imagination was drawing complex plots. However, on the fourth day, my excitement was interrupted by a call from Moldovanov. There were simply problems with communication - explained the artist.
This exhibition gave the author the opportunity - for the first time since the beginning of the war and the pandemic - to come from Mykolaiv to Lviv. This exhibition is an opportunity to meet the best modern Ukrainian naive on the sharp edge of today without delays and expectations.
New works that were created during the war dominate, but there is also a selection of several previous projects that we now see differently. The beast is now completely human. Dirty (as Moldovanov calls his painting "Suddenly") is now epic and precise. The victim is now ordinary torn or wounded human flesh without any metaphors, as in the works "There is No Boogie Woogie in This Park" and "There is Only One Rabbit Left" (an allusion to the bombing of the station in Kramatorsk).
But for some reason, I often see Moldovanov's self-portraiture in various guises: from the recognizable image of a pensive gray-bearded artist with a tail on his head to a sad dog or a lion fighting a cobra. And who is this Chornobai? Perhaps this is Moldovanov himself - a warrior-superhero?
Moldovanov is a fundamental, consistent, large-scale artist who always finds a theme. His new works are expected as good news. He cannot help but write. He is charged with creation. The invincible Moldovanov-Chornobai brings us light, color and an original view of war.
Glory to Ukraine and glory to the Armed Forces, which give us the opportunity to engage in culture: to build the future in wartime!
curator, Pavlo Gudimov