Visual arts

“Before the war” new exhibition at the National Museum of Fine Arts in Odessa

Today, July 30, a new exhibition opened at the State Museum of Fine Arts in Odessa for the first time since the beginning of the war. “Before the war” is the name of the exhibition, prepared before February 24.

Before the war, this was how millions of Ukrainians at the end of winter marked the beginning of a full-scale Russian invasion. This gap in the linear perception of historical and personal time is associated with the experience of the loss of loved ones, of forced flight; destruction of Ukrainian towns by the aggressor; the heroism of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. But despite this traumatic caesura – the experience consciously transmitted by the community – there remain constant processes that restore their weight to the torn fabric of life.

The museum has experienced several major waves of new additions to its collection. Donation of the Drawing School of the Odessa Society of Fine Arts; distribution of private collections expropriated by the museum fund; reconstruction of losses after years of occupation and evacuation during World War II. Each of these waves has radically changed the image of the museum.

We were preparing for a new wave in this “pre-war” year of 2021. Donations from artists and collectors, the unwavering support of the Marazli Club and the targeted budget program that Alexander Roytburd organized two months before his death enriched the museum with six hundred and seventy new exhibits. The public has already seen some of it in the new exhibition “From the 20s to the 20s”. According to the dry expression of the museum, “new storage unit” means months of research and negotiations, documentary support for transparent procurement, restoration, storage and scientific work.

The corpus of new arrivals considerably widens the field of museum media. To the traditional triad of visual arts – painting, graphic design, sculpture – the newcomers add artistic and documentary photography, video and digital art, installation and non-object art. The orientation of the Museum’s collection has expanded from local art to the national scale, which corresponds to the new status of the museum and to the issues of the time.

The corpus of new arrivals testifies to an attempt to bring the museum collection closer to the serial artistic practices of contemporary art. After all, this is not just a chronological section of contemporary Ukrainian art and the diversity of its practices. It is a premonition of a daily existence shared by Ukrainians today. The incomprehensible prophetic language of art, you hear “after”, not “before”.

The exhibition presents:

  • APL315
  • Oleksandre Atsmanchuk
  • Polina Verbytska
  • Oleg Holosiy
  • Alisa Gotz
  • Igor Gusev
  • Vasyl Dmytryk
  • Dmytro Erlikh
  • Nikita Kadan
  • Taras Kobylyuk
  • Anastasia Kolybabchuk
  • Nikita Kravtsov
  • Alexander Kurmaz
  • Sergei Lykov
  • Kateryna Lysovenko
  • Mykola Lucine
  • Yevgeny Nikiforov
  • Alexa Mann
  • Viktor Pokidanets
  • Vlada Ralko
  • Nina Savenko
  • Andriy Sagaydakovskyi
  • Denis Salivanov
  • Tatiana Sklyar

You can visit the exhibition according to the updated museum schedule: Thursday – Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturday – Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Personal tours of the exhibition can be ordered at the museum ticket office. In the event of an air alert, all visitors will be asked to descend to the cave (the safest place in the museum complex).