Kyiv. Ya Gallery Art Center

Outside the Brackets

12.04.2017 – 21.05.2017

Mykhailo Vainshtein (1940 – 1981) is a prominent painter, an author of narrative paintings, portraits, landscapes, still life and his works also include graphics and sculptures. He is one of the key personalities in the Ukrainian art of 1960-1970s. A collection of photographs which was outside the brackets of our ideas about his work up to this day attests to an extraordinary manifold gift of the artist.

Exhibition Kyiv Ya Gallery Art Center
Schedule: 10:00 - 19:00

A photo album by Mykhailo Vainshtein was published in 2016 which came as a total surprise for the professionals. It features a portion of a unique photo archive numbering around four thousand pictures made in 1960-1970s. Only the artist's wife, Nina, and their son knew about the existence of these photos. They were focused on preserving and promoting Mykhailo's painting legacy and overlooked black and white negatives that had never been printed but for the few exceptions. The desire to share the findings became the main driving force in working with Weinstein's photo archive. The strict structure of the album based on reproducing the shot sequence in the films did not allow to include all the pictures. Many photos were left outside the brackets and did not become a part of his history. Some of them were printed as a set of postcards, the others were chosen to be printed and shown to the audience at the exhibition held by Pavlo Gudimov Ya Gallery Art Center. Those who had already seen the photos by Mykhailo Vainshtein emphasize on an exceptional compositional perfection of virtually every shot taken. The philosopher Volodymyr Babichev assumed that the artist discovered a new reality every time he pressed the shutter button. An air of mystics in this thesis may be justified by the photography conditions and shortcomings of Weinstein's camera – most of the pictures were shot from the knee, i.e. there was no time to stage the pictures.

Unlike the album, the exhibition has its own personalized structure comprising two sections. In the first section we may observe the presence of the photographer, his surroundings, his preferences, his professional interests, for instance, old gravestones, a sheet from Picasso's Vollard Suite photographed in the room of engravings at the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg (former Leningrad) and his daughter Dasha. And there are especially many children who radiate the space with their untameable emotions, noise and movement. The second section is non-personified, but it is recognizable by the characters, situations and mini stories. There are also photos printed by Mykhailo Vainshtein complimenting the exposition.

A special attention should be paid to the third dimension of the exhibition – photos placed outside the gallery in the city's public area. They intertwine with the networks of citylights and make Vainstein's photo legacy not only relevant to today but they also possessing a meaningful impact. Those who manage to find the third dimension will fully understand the original idea of the project creators.

Valerii Sakharuk


Mykhailo Vainshtein (1940 – 1981) is a prominent painter, an author of narrative paintings, portraits, landscapes, still life and his works also include graphics and sculptures. He is one of the key personalities in the Ukrainian art of 1960-1970s. A collection of photographs which was outside the brackets of our ideas about his work up to this day attests to an extraordinary manifold gift of the artist.


The project is implemented with the support of Yuri Oslamovskyi