Teofil Fryerman and Oleg Sokolov. Founder and Follower


Teofil Fryerman and Oleg Sokolov. Founder and Follower

On June 8, the Odesa Museum of Western and Easter Art celebrates its 100th anniversary.

This date is significant for many.

Together with the OMWEA, the MoOMA has prepared an exhibition project about the people without whom the story of the museum’s history is impossible: “’Teofil Fryerman and Oleh Sokolov. Founder and Follower”.

Teofil Fryerman was a man who, through his knowledge and actions, connected modernist Paris of the first decades of the twentieth century with Odesa of the 1960s, which was just awakening from totalitarianism. In the 1920s, T. Fryerman formed the collections of several Odesa museums, including the OMWEA. He was a professor at several educational institutions and educated many members of the Odesa Renaissance. A successful participant in the Paris Salons, he was one of the ideologists of the first wave of Odesa modernism.

At the same time, Fryerman was almost forgotten for a long time. Or rather, he was artificially forgotten. He did not fit into the canons of aggressive socialism at all. Everything he did and did under the communists was created not because of, but in spite of them. Only in the last 10-15 years has the legendary Theo Fra returned to Odesa’s art scene.

The second participant of our exhibition is Oleg Sokolov: a student of Fryerman, a representative of the artistic underground of the 60s and 80s, about whom we have heard a lot lately.
He was the first Soviet abstractionist in Odesa, the only Odesa artist-dissident, and the forerunner of Odesa Conceptualism. An intellectual and sensitive poet.

He spent most of his life in the outwardly unremarkable position of head of the exhibition department of the OMWEA. But it was not for nothing that his fellow museum workers called Sokolov “the Great” during his lifetime. In fact, he should have been called “The Keeper” – the one who preserves the ideas and principles of his Teacher, Theophilus Fryerman. He preserved the moral and creative views of the great, for some time forgotten, European culture. He did this not demonstratively, but very consistently. And he deserves the recognition that has come to him only in the last two decades.

Our exhibition project is about such people.

And this is a gift from the project team to the centenary Odesa Museum of Western and Eastern Art.

The exhibition features works from the collections of the MoOMA, OMWEA, Vadym Morokhovskyi, the Osadchykh family, the Artsvit Gallery, the Ukrainian Avant-Garde Foundation, and others.

🔸 Vernissage of the exhibition “Theophil Fryerman and Oleg Sokolov. Founder and Follower” will be held on June 6, 2024 at 15:00 in the halls of the Odesa Museum of Western and Eastern Art.

The project is dedicated to the person who kept the memory of these prominent Odesans for several decades and, when the time came, passed it on to us (the staff of the MoOMA) – Yevhen Mykhailovych Holubovsky.


Opening of the exhibition: June 6 at 15:00

The exhibition will last until September 3, 2024

Address: 9 Pushkinska St., Odesa Museum of Western and Eastern Art

Entrance fee: free on the opening day / then – 100 UAH

Project research team: Iryna Hlebova, Volodymyr Kudlach, Clarissa Bogdasar.

Project curatorial team: Eduard Poronik, Liubov Zaeva, Anna Morokhovska.

Project coordinator: Sem Kantor