Today, our conversation is with a well-known art dealer, the founder of the international art platform ABRAMOVYCH.ART, which is aimed at popularizing Ukrainian contemporary art on the world cultural arena.
Could you please tell us about your FrontArt Charitable Foundation? How and when did the idea of its creation appear? What is the main activity of the Foundation? What has been done so far?
Genocide against the Ukrainian people, the devastating war waged by Russia on the territory of Ukraine, has been going on in the territory of our country for over four months. We, Ukrainians, are a passionate and freedom-loving nation, so we must unite for the sake of our country’s victory. The idea to create FrontArt and involve interested collectors and philanthropists who are able to help appeared back in 2014.
After a large-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, we expanded the format of our team. The volunteer group included Anatoliy Kryvolap, Sergei Sviatchenko, Oleg Tistol,
Pavlo Makov, Nazar Bilyk, Oleksii Zolotariov, Daniil Shumikhin, Egor Zigura and Nikita Zigura, Roman Minin, Dmytro Grek.
These artists, who are able to create even during the war and donate, give more than 50% of their profit to the fight against the invader.
We work for the needs of civilians and the army, we buy ambulances, SUVs for the military, we order medicines and equipment, we organize the transfer of humanitarian goods to support military personnel, the civilian population, and provide emergency help in conditions of martial law.
We believe the support of Ukrainian soldiers, who at this moment are fighting against the aggressor to restore peace, sovereignty, independence and peace in the country is the best investment in the future victory.We thank to the Armed Forces of Ukraine and all the respected people who defend our lives and help our country.
Your exhibitions are successful in different countries. One of them has recently ended in Denmark and moved to Belgium. What is unique about this exhibition and what is its main focus? How long will it be open in Belgium?
The exhibition titled, UNFOLDING LANDSCAPES — Landscape and Poetics in Contemporary Ukrainian Art, became available to visitors of Art Center Silkeborg Bad in Denmark early this year. This event brought together more than 40 completely different artists of three generations, it is curated by Faye Dowling (London) and Natalia Matsenko (Kyiv) and the idea was generated by my friend, Ukrainian-Danish artist Sergei Sviatchenko.
Three key themes covered in
UNFOLDING LANDSCAPES are ‘Station to Station’ (journeys through Ukrainian culture); ‘Topology’ (abstractions and observation of a changing landscape); ’Vanishing Landscapes’ (a study of ancient and modern landscapes of Ukraine).
This exhibition is an opportunity for the European community to get a unique insight into the current artistic practices and modern traditions of Ukraine. This is an opportunity to learn about the extremely rich artistic scene of this huge country and the culture of the modern Ukrainian landscape in the vision of different generations of artists.
This project will soon be unveiled at the Royal Museums of Art and History in Brussels.
A fairly large-scale exhibition is currently taking place in Miami. Could you please elaborate on it?
The Zimmerli Art Museum in New Jersey, where the exhibition of Ukrainian artists, Painting in Excess: Kyiv’s Art Revival,
1985-1993, was on display this year, has supported us, and the exhibits moved to the Coral Gables Museum in Florida. The exhibition is dedicated to the monumental changes that took place in Kyiv art during the late Soviet era. Partly due to the politics of perestroika, changes in society inevitably affected art. The exhibition was curated by Olena Martynyuk, who holds a doctoral degree in art history.
The project tells Americans and the rest of the international public about the birth of Ukrainian modern art, informing the cultural community about its foundations, prerequisites for its emergence and main characteristics during the formation of an independent Ukrainian state. A selection of works is drawn primarily from the Zimmerli’s Norton and Nancy Dodge Collection of Nonconformist Art from the Soviet Union and paintings from Ukrainian collections: mine, Volodymyr Shpilfogel, Ruslan Tymofeyev, Ihor Voronov, Andrii Pyshnyi.
The Painting in Excess project brought together the works of Oleksandr Roitburd, Oleg Tistol, Kostiantyn Reunov, Tiberiy Silvashi, Arsen Savadov, Oleksander Hnylytskyj, Oleg Holosiy, Anatoly Kryvolap, Yana Bystrova, Florian Yuryev, and others – all in all, 65 works of representatives of well-known artistic groups, namely the Paris Commune, A Resolute Edge of National Post-Eclecticism, and the Art Reserve.
The global cultural community is still familiar with Ukrainian art episodically and fragmentarily. Therefore, such museum exhibitions are important for the promotion of national culture on the world stage.
Now we are engaged in another important project – the curatorial team selected four Ukrainian sculptures for display at Sculpture by the Sea in Sydney, which is one of the world’s largest open-air exhibitions. It is a great honor for our team and artists to be part of such an event, to receive support in this difficult time.
The Abramovych.Art platform’s third landmark book, 30 Years of Presence, about the contemporary art of Ukraine has been released. Its release is a notable event in the cultural life of Ukraine. It was preceded by 20 Years of Presence and 25 Years of Presence. It is true that the book is not for a broad public audience, but this makes it especially valuable. How would you describe its uniqueness?
When creating the book, the main task — primarily for the team of art connoisseurs —
was to tell as meaningfully as possible to the broadest possible audience about the generation of artists who are as old as our country is.
This time, a format was chosen for the book, in which each of the participants is represented by one project or a separate work. Alongside, under one cover, there are works that are iconic and those that are not typical for their authors; works with significant provenance and museum status but there are also works that mark the path of research and experimentation.
This edition is in no way a rating publication, it is a cross section, chosen by the curators, a sector in the wide spectrum of contemporary Ukrainian art. Competent analysis of works was performed by Tetyana Voloshyna, Tetyana Kochubinska, Viktoria Kulikova, Natalia Matsenko, Kateryna Ray, Roksana Rublevska, Halyna Sklyarenko.
It is worth noting that during that period Ukraine saw not only a new circle of artists, but also a young generation of collectors interested in modern art, for whom collecting artworks is a rare opportunity to join the latest history of art, which is being unfolded in front of our eyes.
Such a cultural archive is a precious heritage, designed for preservation and analysis, as well as for integration into the global artistic process.