Art & Ukraine (Part 3)

Bottega Gallery, KievMonday, 16 August 2010

Dear Diary,

[… continued from Art & Ukraine (Part 1) and Art & Ukraine (Part 2)]

Among the major developments on the Ukrainian (post-Soviet) art scene is the appearance of commercial art galleries. While further research is required to ascertain which was the first commercial gallery to open post-1992, in less than twenty years over fifty have sprung up around Kiev where there used to be none. Most of them are located around the older parts of Kiev, which are traditionally associated with art and history.

Collections Gallery. KievJust like on the Australian art scene, galleries divide between those who focus the avant-garde contemporary art, and those who represent contemporary artists working in a more traditional way. Interestingly – and unlike commercial galleries in Australia – the majority of the galleries (and especially more traditionally focused galleries) operate as multi-tasking, multi-purpose community art centres.

Apart from regular changing exhibitions and artist representation, they actively participate in art projects; offer studios to artists of various disciplines; run art classes for children and adults; host regular lectures and educational workshops; publish books, magazines, and catalogues; run their websites as e-zines and newsletters; offer framing and interior design, etc. This is perhaps a reflection of the small and developing art market that forces gallery owners and directors to rely financially on more than just art sales.

Sergei Mihalchuk @ Brucie CollectionVita Buoyvid @ Karas GalleryWhile the breakdown of the Soviet system has liberated the minds of Ukrainian artists, their art still remains predominantly figurative. As observed by Larissa Babij, ‘ young Ukrainian artists generally receive very traditional training that does not incorporate current art world trends’. It also reflects the predominant tastes of Ukrainian art collectors (as well as the gallery-going public in general), who are perhaps not versed as well as the Western European and American public in the visual and pictorial language of abstract and alternative art movements.

Yevgeni Petrov @ Zeh Gallery, KievOf the commercial galleries currently operating in Kiev, the following stand out in terms of quality of art, artist representation, and gallery management: Bottega Gallery [www.bottega-gallery.com];  Collections Gallery [www.collectiongallery.com.ua]; Karas Gallery [www.karasgallery.com], perhaps among the first contemporary art galleries to opened in Kiev in 1995; Kyiv Fine Art Gallery [www.kyivfineartgallery.org];  Ya Gallery [www.yagallery.com.au]; and internationally renowned Zeh Contemporary Art Gallery [www.zeh.com.ua]. The Berlin-based Bereznitsky Gallery [www.bereznitsky-gallery.com], which specialises in contemporary Ukrainian art, has a branch in Kiev. There is also a specialist contemporary photography gallery, Brucie Collections [www.bruciecollections.com], and an art auction house, Korners Gallery [www.korners.com.ua] that broadly specialised in Ukrainian and as well as international fine and decorative art.

… to be continued …

[© Eugene Barilo v. Reisberg 2010. This article is copyright, but the full or partial use is WELCOME with the full and proper acknowledgement.]

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Eugene Barilo v. Reisberg

August 2010


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