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‘UKRAINIAN ART NOW: SPACES OF IDENTITY’ reviewed by Julia Secklehner

Focussing on Ukrainian contemporary art at this moment of crisis, the symposium ‘Ukrainian Art Now’ at the Courtauld Institute centred on the events of Maidan, with insights too into the cultural situation in Eastern Ukraine. The first speaker Roman Minin, an artist from that very region around Donetsk, showed his images of miners in various…

Julia Secklehner | March 7, 2015
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Contemporary Ukrainian Art at the Darren Baker Gallery, reviewed by Jo Varney

Since the revolutionary Maidan events in Kiev from November 2013 to February 2014, there’s been unprecedented interest in Ukrainian contemporary art, both in London and worldwide. Perhaps no comparable event in the recent past has seen artists playing such a central role: from the start, they were at the centre of the protests – painting…

Jo Varney | March 5, 2015
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Jan Kaplický: Drawings, reviewed by Jo Varney

Drawings by the Czech architect Jan Kaplický (1937–2009) hang in the sumptuous front room at the Architectural Association  for the first time since he exhibited there as a teacher in the 1970s. The exhibition embodies Kaplický’s belief in the power of drawing as a way of problem-solving and working through ideas, and there are 23…

Jo Varney | March 3, 2015
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Olha Pryymak’s ‘Ukrainian Diaries’ reviewed by Julia Secklehner

The grey concrete floors and whitewashed walls of the industrial exhibition space at Krilova Stelfox Gallery give full prominence to Olha Pryymak’s work. Her show is a series of small square paintings in nine groups of nine, neatly arranged in chronological order. They illustrate the first year of the crisis in Ukraine, intermixed with personal…

Julia Secklehner | February 26, 2015
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Nikita Kadan – ‘Limits of Responsibility’ at the Waterside Contemporary Gallery, reviewed by Eugenia Ellanskaya

Nikita Kadan – a young conceptual artist from Kiev, Ukraine – is nationally renowned for his social art projects. In 2014 Forbes listed this 31-year-old as one of Ukraine’s 25 most successful artists, based on the commercial success of some 20% of his fine art pieces. But it’s Kadan’s non-commercial works, exploring human conflict and…

Eugenia Ellanskaya | February 20, 2015
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‘Akhmatova. Anrep. Berlin.’ at Pushkin House, reviewed by Jo Varney

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At Pushkin House,  until 29th April 2015, is an installation by the acclaimed Russian artists Vitaly Pushnitsky and Olga Jurgenson.  Curated by Elena Zaytseva, Akhmatova. Anrep. Berlin. is an exhibition that explores Silver Age poetess Anna Akhmatova’s relationship with two fellow countrymen, the philosopher-historian Isaiah Berlin and the artist Boris Anrep. The archives of Pushkin…

Jo Varney | February 14, 2015
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‘Unexpected Encounters: Stanisław Wejman and Kasia Depta-Garapich, A conversation between artists of two generations’ at the Belmacz Gallery, 45 Davies Street, until 21 February 2015

In Belmacz’s small gallery space Stanisław Wejman’s painted cigarette packs are stacked against stark white walls, their colours enhanced by the bright lighting. Every single one of them – and there are many – is painted first in a single colour and then decorated with curious shapes, mostly round and in shades that don’t necessarily…

Julia Secklehner | January 30, 2015
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‘Adventures of the Black Square: Abstract Art and Society 1915–2015’ at the Whitechapel Gallery, reviewed by Julia Secklehner

Though it may not seem much more than a black square on a white background, Malevich’s Black Quadrilateral signifies a game-changing step towards pure abstraction in the art of the early twentieth century. ‘Adventures of the Black Square’ explores the legacy of Malevich’s experiments with an abundance of works that range from traditional fine art…

Julia Secklehner | January 26, 2015
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‘Post Pop: East Meets West’ at the Saatchi Gallery, reviewed by Patricia Manos

The idea of home or homeland, in the last 25 years,  has figured heavily in interpretations of Cold War-era and ‘post-Socialist’ art. The reasons for this lie in several things: the steering of that conversation by emigrés, the developed world’s pornographic fascination with the ruin left by a failed utopia, and US pop culture’s love…

Patricia Manos | January 11, 2015

Photographer Ellie Yonova at the BCI, reviewed by Evgeniya Yarkova

The dreamlike photography of Ellie Yonova is exhibited at the Sofia Gallery as a part of the 3rd London Festival of Bulgarian Culture. Inspired by Bob Fosse’s bold and dynamic Cabaret, a series of Opuses seems to awaken musical associations. Using primarily light, glass, water and natural objects like flowers, Yonova uncovers her own technique and style: one characterized…

Evgeniya Yarkova | December 27, 2014