MODERNITAS recommends: Exhibition "In the Eye of the Storm: Modernism in Ukraine 1900-1930s"

Explore Ukrainian modernism at the current exhibition in Brussels!

The exhibition "In the Eye of the Storm" at the Musées royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique offers a captivating view of art from 1900 to the 1930s, showcasing over sixty artworks from the National Art Museum of Ukraine (NAMU) and the Museum of Theatre, Music, and Cinema of Ukraine. These works, brought during the ongoing war, provide a unique chance to view them in Brussels.

From the emergence of early modernism to the innovative avant-garde, this exhibition unveils a vibrant artistic narrative shaped by a unique multinational landscape, local folklore traditions, and the turbulent history of the XX century. The entrance timeline contextualizes key Ukrainian cultural milestones — from its time as part of the Russian Empire, through the fight for independence, to its founding as a republic within the USSR.

The exhibition walks us through various sections, such as Cubo-futurism, Theater design, the impact of the Kultur Lige advocating for Yiddish language literature and culture, the Boichukists, and Ukraine's notable representation at the Venice Biennale in 1928 and 1930. It also illustrates the transition of the last generation of modernists into the realm of social realism, that was followed by the rejection of their works and repressions.

Spotlighting both renowned artists like El Lissitzky, Alexandra Exter, David Burliuk and lesser-known yet impactful figures such as Oleksandr Bohomazov and Mykhailo Boichuk, the exhibition presents various visual arts, including paintings, graphics, and scenography sketches. It showcases the diversity and richness of Ukraine's national school, tracing the formation of its identity from the XIX century and illustrating vibrant local art communities across the country, notably in Kyiv and Kharkiv.

Written by Elizaveta Berquin

Event Details: Date: 19.10.2023 - 28.01.2024 Location: Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels

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