The Zimmerli Art Museum in New Brunswick will host an exhibition of Ukrainian art, “Painting in Excess”

New Brunswick

On November 6, the Zimmerli Art Museum launches a new exhibition, “Painting in Excess: Kyiv’s Art Revival, 1985-1993”, about Ukraine during the so-called period of Perestroika (the 1980s) and the first years of the independence of the country.

These years seriously influenced the formation of modern Ukrainian art and, in particular, Kyiv art and brought it to the world level.

Artists freed themselves from the dictatorship of withering communist ideology and the constraints of late socialist realism. The art of this era combined a large number of styles and created the effect of baroque exaggeration.

The exhibition presents a variety of artistic manifestations of these transitional years in Kyiv as well as earlier works of art by Ukrainian authors to create the right context.

“This exhibition is largely based on my thesis, which was devoted to the art of Ukrainian perestroika,” said exhibition curator, Ph.D. in art history Olena Martynyuk, a declared.

“Therefore, for me, this is a rather personal project, one that I’ve been dreaming about since my days working at the Zimmerli Museum as a graduate student at Rutgers University School of Arts.”

The exhibition will include works from the Norton and Nancy Dodge collection held at the Zimmerli Museum and paintings from well-known Ukrainian collections.

Visitors will be able to get acquainted with the paintings of Olexandr Roydburd, Tiberiy Silvashi, Arsen Savadov, Alla Gorska, Florian Yuriev, Alexander Dubovik, Valery Lamakh, Grigory Gavrilenko and many other artists.

The exhibition will notably include a monumental four-meter work by Georgy Senchenko, “The Sacred Landscape of Pieter Bruegel” (1988).

The project is supported by the Abramovych Foundation and the Tymofieiev Foundation.

Advisor to the director of the Institute of Contemporary Art Problems of the National Academy of Arts of Ukraine, Igor Abramovych, notes that Ukrainian cultural heritage shapes the image of the country and the way it is perceived in the world . The exhibition therefore implements missions that are both aesthetic and transcultural.

“Artists’ works reflect the peculiarities of the time when they were created. And if we talk about a transitional period, a time of transformations, it becomes twice as interesting,” said Igor Abramovych.

“The world cultural community receives information about Ukrainian art episodically and piecemeal, but we have something to show and share. It is strategically important for each country to promote its art in the world.”

Ruslan Tymofieiev (Ruslan Timofeev), founder of the Tymofieiev Foundation and the Adventures Lab investment fund, emphasizes that the exhibition reflects an important stage in the development phase of Ukrainian art since the country’s independence.

“It is very important to exhibit the exhibition. The paintings presented here reflect a significant stage in the development phase of modern Ukrainian art created at the junction of two eras,” said Ruslan Tymofieiev.

“They allow us to learn more about the state of mind of artists and society at that time. These works mark the beginning of the globalization of Ukrainian art, its entry into the world market.”

In fall 2021, a book based on the exhibit works will be published by Rutgers University Press with support from the Ukrainian Institute.

The exhibition will be on display at the Zimmerli Museum until March 13.

Mildred D. Field