Dear colleagues, Museum of Odessa Modern Art invites you on June 12 to the National Art Museum of Ukraine to the opening of the large-scale project «ENFANT TERRIBLE. Odessa conceptualism". The project explores the origins of the Odessa conceptualism, its influence on the formation and the subsequent wave of contemporary art in Ukraine. In seven halls of the first floor of NAMU will be presented the way realized by artists of Odessa in the search for a new language of art from the mid 50s to the present day.
It is well known that the history of the Ukrainian contemporary art begins with the flow in the visual arts in Odessa, later named "Odessa conceptualism". This happened because Odessa artists applied a new methodology of creating a works of art, with a paradigm shift in relation to what is considered art. Artists turned from images to the language, partly included in the general movement of a text and literary focused intellectual culture of its time, a kind of intuitive, obeying some inner impulse. This reference to the text is not nothing but a realization that language is the meta-level, which may interact with the audience and the right to operate cultural codes, bypassing the image. To do this they started to include characters, items slogans, scraps and fragments of sentences of mass culture, local folklore, a play on words and language cliches.
The exposition includes unusual for Ukrainian museums space works, often requiring no comments for immersion in the context of the time. These works are already classics of conceptual art. The exhibition is structured in such a way to enable the viewer to visualize this phenomenon from a historical perspective from the first pre-conceptual works of art of 50s and to the works of contemporary art of the present day. The exhibition will feature the works of conceptualism masters: Leonid Voytsehov, Yuri Leiderman, Sergei Anufriev, Igor Chatskin, group "Peppers", Vladimir Naumetz, "Martynchiki" and many other artists, which implicitly or explicitly influenced Odessa conceptual movement.
The exhibition was formed by specialists of the Museum of Odessa Modern Art on the basis of private collections and archives of Odessa Museum of Western and Eastern Art, galleries and foundations. They were found rare paintings and graphics, documents, text, photographs, slides, videos, and many other materials that will be presented to the public for the first time. A separate important feature of the exhibition will coverage of the documentation 80s and 90s shares, the first video and performances. Obviously, conceptualism in Odessa did not arise suddenly, but did not remain entirely in the past, and has become a cultural foundation and source of artistic genes to contemporary trends of visual art in Ukraine. ENFANT TERRIBLE project develops the basis for the fundamental study of the formation of the cultural life of Ukraine.
The team of Museum of Odessa Modern Art devotes this project to its curator Miroslav KULCHITSKY, suddenly passed away.
Maxim Kovalchuk, curator assistant;
Semen Kantor, Project Coordinator, Director of
Museum of Odessa Modern Art