About the exhibition

Please join for the opening reception December 14, 6-8pm.

The resolve of Ukrainian artists fighting to keep, make, and perpetuate Ukrainian culture is unwavering. This exhibition brings the presence of 51 artworks by 40 Ukrainian artists (late 1980s–2022) to New York audiences through projections, an array of anti-war posters made in the past several months, and a concise selection of key historical works on paper. This collaborative project is conceived and curated by Ukrainian artists Oleksiy Sai, Nikita Kadan, filmmaker Tetiana Khodakivska, curator Ksenia Malykh, James Gallery curator Katherine Carl, and Inga Lāce, C-MAP Central and Eastern Europe Fellow at the Museum of Modern Art.

Pinpointing art historical moments in the fight for freedom in Ukraine of the 1990s, 2004, 2014, and 2022, this exhibition is the largest gathering of contemporary Ukrainian art in the United States in the last twenty years. The gathering of artworks draws a lineage of Ukrainian art created from iconic Ukrainian sources in connection to international art discourse. These artistic practices do not accept imperial reality and actively created a new reality with trailblazing vision, social commentary, and often nonconformist approaches. The selection highlights cultural resistance and heroism of everyday creative perspectives of curiosity and ingenuity.

Conjuring the artworks as an immersive environment of projections points out the real danger of the erasure and loss of this cultural production because of Russia’s war of aggression. The artworks are simultaneously present and absent highlighting the liminal space between existence and loss during the ongoing war. The physicality of exhibition visitors’ bodies as they walk amidst the space is consequential: the viewers cast shadows as they walk amidst the works, at times fully obscuring the projections or being faced with an alarming glare of the flash of the artwork. As viewers become aware of their own bodily presence and their implication in the narrative of presence loss and resistance of the exhibition, they can make choices about how to move through the labyrinth of pedestals.

The changeability and fleeting nature of the projections is contrasted with the physicality of historical artworks from the late 1960s to late 1980s, though these works on paper too are fragile. This special selection includes a colorful sketch for a public mosaic by dissident artist from the Sixtiers movement Alla Horska (1929–1970), and Fedir Tetyanych’s (1942–2007) fantastical renderings for technological inventions for the future inspired by science-fiction literature, cybernetics, and natural environmental processes fused into his own version of rural cosmism.

Since the war escalated last spring, Ukrainian artists have indefatigably produced scores of posters. During the exhibition, a selection is visible to passersby along Fifth Avenue. In some of the graphics, the use of the Russian flag, its colors, and symbols associated with the Russian state and state-sponsored sport and culture voice protest against Russia’s war of aggression. The imagery and text are pungent and full of raw absurd humor, conveying a mix anger and sorrow stirred by violence and war.

Every day Ukrainians act on their resolution to defend and keep Ukrainian culture flourishing, creating with every step the mutual support, social structures and art that make their culture prosperous and strong.

Guardian article about Oleksiy Sai

Graduate Center article: "The Art of the Ukraine War"

If you would like to make a donation directly to the people of Ukraine for heat and warm clothing this winter you can do so here.

For further resources, please check this list compiled by BU Students and Faculty in Support of Ukraine | Center for the Study of Europe.

Click here or below to read or download the exhibition's accompanying booklet.

Hi Resolution Updated Cover

This collaborative project was created and curated by Oleksiy Sai, Tetiana Khodakivska, Nikita Kadan, Ksenia Malykh, Katherine Carl, and Inga Lāce (C-MAP Central and Eastern Europe Fellow at the Museum of Modern Art) over the past ten months.

Exhibition production and preparation with Chris Lowery, LanningSmith, Whitney Evanson, and Lauren Rosenblum. Special thanks to Lizaveta German, Pavlo Tretiakov, Maria Lanko at Naked Room, Kyiv; Tetiana Khodakivska; Yuri Kostvenko; Natalia Sielewicz, Agnieszka Tarasiuk, Joanna Mytkowska, Adam Gut, Joanna DziewanowskaStefańczyk at the Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw; Bohdan Tetyanych-Bublyk; and Kateryna Lazarevych at Research Platform PinchukArtCentre, Kyiv for their dedication to the project. Thanks to program partners Ukrainian Institute, New York; Polish Cultural Institute, New York.

Wheelchair Accessibility