|Diamond Jam SoHo Art Exhibition November 4-12 2023||Opening reception: Fri. Nov. 3, at 6 P.M. 425 W. Broadway New York, NY 10012||thefirstukrainiangallery.com|
Art-Territory Ukraine presents “Diamond Jam” — an art show featuring works by 21 prominent and emerging artists. The exhibition will be on display in Soho, November 4-12 at “The First Ukrainian Gallery US” — a newly opened showroom that brings contemporary Ukrainian art to the American audience.
“Diamond Jam” will showcase Ukrainian artists who shined at the Venice Biennale Programme and the Design Museum of Barcelona. Creatives featured in the show received the highest of praises from the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz during an exhibition in Potsdam. A piece by one of the artists in the show was personally presented to Pope Francis by Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
“Ukraine is bigger than war!” — the organizers say. “The conflict made our country a headline, but Ukraine is so much more than just a constant newsfeed of battles, tragedies, and courage. We wanted to show Ukraine the way we saw it before the invasion and the way we see it still, despite the pain and devastation — a country bursting with creativity, passion, tenderness, tolerance, and a thirst for life”.
Anna Moskalets, Lacuna
The exhibit will kick off a series of consecutive art shows that will make for an ambitious
12-month-long event chain designed as a launching platform for artists and curators from Ukraine. The aim is to bring Ukrainian artists into the global network of today’s creatives, to introduce American audiences to the richness and diversity of Ukrainian culture, and to put “The First Ukrainian Gallery US” on the map at the art hub of The City That Never Sleeps.
“Diamond Jam” is a radiant mix of technique and artistic flair that is grounded in skill and mastery of creative expression. The show curators Mariia Manuilenko and Polina Kuznetsova were faced with the challenge of bringing together artists with contrasting visual aesthetics working in various media, who interweave the long-established traditions of classical art with a vibrant mosaic of contemporary creative styles. The wide-ranged stylistic variety became a driving impulse behind the exhibit’s main concept of eclectic artworks being similar to different sides of a diamond where each one is bright on its own, but in unison, they truly shine.
To that effect, curators selected 50+ artworks by some of the most renowned contemporary Ukrainian creatives who narrate their stories on canvas, in stone, on textiles, and in clay, sharing with their viewers the feelings of serenity and fearlessness, sensuality and virtue, disharmony and bliss.
Despite their individuality, where each of the artists has their own, unique and yet instantly recognizable visual language, some elements of their work unmistakably identify the art as Ukrainian. A prominent example of such ethnic detail that is distinctly Ukrainian is an ornamental scarf in Anna Moskalets’ painting “Lacuna”, 2023, which is a tribute to traditional costumes worn by Ukrainian women throughout the generations. Similar references to Ukrainian ancestry can be found in Yevhenii Shapovalov’s painting “Trypils Culture” 2023, and Ukrainian landscapes of Nastya Hasan’s diptych “Wheatfield with crows”.
In addition to archetypal Ukrainian references, the artists often draw from European masterpieces of the Renaissance, Baroque period, and Victorian era, creating art that is rich with wondrous and fabled imagery. This use of folklore ties Ukrainian art to European history, art, and culture making it easily recognized and understood by the audience worldwide. At the same time, the innovative techniques employed by Ukrainian artists, give these pieces a tangible sense of the modern, bringing them into the domain of contemporary art.
One such artist, who has established himself in the American market is Vachagan Narazyan. He has created an enchanted world infused with whimsical and nostalgic lore that radiates an ephemeral ambiance of magic. Using tempera paint and oil glazing, Vachagan manages to achieve the effect of a dynamic, complex, and vibrant image that changes with the viewer’s mood, movement, or even thought. This style follows the European traditions of Durer and Rembrandt, bringing Narazyan’s audience face-to-face with the artist’s palpable allusions to the Dutch masters of the XVII century.
Just like the works of Vachagan Narazyan, hand-stitched still lifes by Anastasiia Podervyanska also pay homage to the Dutch Golden Age. At the same time, Anastasiia’s visual narratives take the observer far beyond the confines of the classical composition to explore the new-age frontiers of true contemporary art.
Vachagan Narazyan, Venice
Another creative known for her magical realism is a young but already well-recognized artist Polina Kuznetsova whose works are an amalgamation of surreal and dreamlike images that immediately resonate with the audience. Inspired by visionaries like Rene Magritte and Egon Schiele, Polina’s artworks are complex and profoundly philosophical. The artist shares her moments of catharsis with the audience, luring the viewers into a maze of elaborate fantasies filled with ornate symbolism that both captivate and intrigue.
Diamond Jam will be the eleventh charity event produced by Art-Territory Ukraine after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022. During this time Art-Territory has exhibited over 200 works by Ukrainian artists in 8 cities across the US. Together these exhibitions have raised over $500,000. 100% of the proceeds were used to provide humanitarian aid, which was distributed with the help of non-profit organizations that purchased and sent to Ukraine medical supplies, personal hygiene products, and clothing for the military.
Andrii Bludov, Voices series
Diamond Jam exhibition is organized with the support of a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that focuses on providing direct and essential aid to Ukrainians in need. They have already delivered over $3,000,000 worth of humanitarian aid, which included things like vehicles, ambulances, and medical supplies. 100% of “The First Ukrainian Gallery US” sales will go to support the artists, help the Ukrainian Children’s Hospital in Lviv (Western Ukraine), and to the development of the gallery.
Check out “The First Ukrainian Gallery US” Instagram page for magnificent works of art, exhibition previews, art history facts, and backstage inner workings of putting together an art show in The Big Apple.
November 4-12, 12-6 PM, Address: 425 W. Broadway, Soho, NY, 10012
RSVP for Private Pre-view reception is here
Cover picture: Nina Murashkina, Help yourself