Dnipro. Dnipro Art Museum
11.03.2017 – 09.04.2017
A long time ago, in the city of Lviv, a musical instruments department got closed in a store that once sold guitars. Instead, a commission store was opened where the locals were bringing their antique and not that old things to sell.
When I came there to buy some strings, I was surprised as there was no music there. Even more so, I was struck by the scene that caught my eye: a wingless angel was standing in the antique armchair of the nineteenth century and was looking at me with its wide-open eyes. I could not but buy it, and it was the first wooden sculpture in my future collection.
I noticed one peculiarity: the sculptures made by craftsmen or by small guilds (I was interested most in this very tendency) are very close to the modern plastics.This style was already characteristic of the transition period in contemporary art when it was transformed and deformed from a realistic image to an expressionistic sculpture.
In general, the folk art has many hidden things that jump through time and get perceived in a very different way in the future. For example, that same Kosovan ceramics with genre scenes are close to "Picasso and companies", the simplified graphic arts item made in the mid-20th century.
As a curator, I had long thought of how my findings in sacred sculpture can be actualized and get closer to a modern audience.The first project called "Mixture. A mixed museum ", where I showcased artifacts of the past along with contemporary art, was held in the Kyiv Ya Gallery Art Center in 2008.The exhibition was hardly noticed in the metropolitan space but it turned out to be very important for my curatorial experience. However, the "Folk wooden sculpture" project held in the Ukrainian House as a part of the Grand Antique Salon 2008, received a vivid reaction of artists who saw my choice of exhibits and reacted to the exhibition not as to just a representation of folk and professional arts, but as to a modern installation.Then there was a life-changing trip to London, where I got inspired by a new exhibition concept at the Tate Modern. I realized that it is not only the present that has a right to be shown within contemporary art. Any dialogue is commended if it helps to better cover the subject.For example, a large-scale project "Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors. The exhibition" held in 2016 had an ethnographic nature which was communicated particularly through folk sculptures of angels.
So I suggested the concept of a dialogue to artist Ihor Yanovych. And as early as in 2009 Kyiv Ya Gallery hosted the "Dialogue" exhibition where the contemporary artist's abstract paintings shared the same space with sacral sculptures.
A fragment of that exhibition is actually part of the "Guests" project. Other works, which became part of the "Guests", are several successive series by artist Albina Yaloza. Here the dialogue is occurring at different levels, including that with early printed books.The third component is the creative work of artist Mykola Malyshko who is working today with an inspiring material, namely wood, containing lots of themes and archetypes by itself.
Perhaps the "Guests" exhibition is of particular interest as there is no actually a sculptural tradition in Dnipropetrovsk region, as well as it gives a possibility to have a new, pure look at both amazing artifacts of the past and contemporary artists' reflections.The "Guests" are coming to the Dnipro Art Museum, and they state that the collection of this establishment has no sacred wooden sculpture which, in turn, increases an interest to the exhibition in the territory where it is absent. The explanation for this fact is simple: while Catholicism was spreading with sculptural images, the Orthodox Church paid more attention to iconography. Such works as icons, photographs, and graphics naturally compliment the themes of the project's dialogue.
The curator: Pavlo Gudimov