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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Albertinum: Kaleidoscope of History(s). Ukrainian Art 1912-2023 | 06.05.-10.09.2023

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It is the first exhibition of its kind in Germany: from 6 May to 10 September 2023, the Albertinum of the Dresden State Art Collections (SKD) is dedicating a comprehensive overview presentation to modern Ukrainian art. Paintings, sculptures, photographs, installations, video works, graphics and archives by around 50 artists represent Ukrainian art from the beginning of the 20th century to the present on 1,200 square metres and provide insights into the country’s turbulent history as well as its constant struggle for its own self-image.

Fig. above: Dana Kavelina, It cannot be that nothings can returned, 2022, Video Still, Courtesy Dana Kavelina

The exhibition “Kaleidoscope of History(s). Ukrainian Art 1912-2023” deals with four main themes that overlap: Practices of Resistance, Culture of Memory, Spaces of Freedom and Thoughts on the Future. In them, the current situation combines with historical events, showing individual experiences and personal stories. Each position represents a particular microcosm interwoven with the history of the country and its heritage. This unfolds the complexity and diversity of today’s Ukrainian art scene. It deals with self-knowledge in Ukrainian history, takes an introspective look at its contemporary culture, analyses and describes the country in its complexity and resistance with the means of modern and contemporary art.

DEEDS NEWS - Courtesy of Albertinum - Tetiana Yablonska, Samen, 1969, Öl auf Leinwand, 75 cm x 90 cm, Courtesy of the National
Tetiana Yablonska, Samen, 1969 Öl auf Leinwand, 75 cm x 90 cm, Courtesy of the National Art Museum of Ukraine (NAMU)

The exhibition illustrates a cultural federalism that is essential to Ukrainian culture: it has not developed centrally in Kyiv alone, but in parallel in many unique cultural centres, such as Dnipro, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kharkiv, Lviv and Odessa. Among others, the post-independence period in the 1990s, the Revolution of Dignity from 2013 to 2014 and the period after the Russian annexation of Crimea are highlighted. With the Russian invasion since 24 February 2022, Ukrainian culture is experiencing a renewed decentralisation and nomadism. Many artists from these important cultural centres are forced to leave their cities and live as migrants scattered around the world.

Marion Ackermann, Director General of the SKD: “I see the sustainable protection of cultural assets as one of our main museum tasks, which is of existential importance in view of the war-related situation in Ukraine. This is especially true for the protection of the people, the artists. Making their stories visible through art as a mediator between the past and the future and highlighting them in their individuality is a special need for us.”

To promote art production, new works by the artists Nikita Kadan, Kateryna Lysovenko, Lada Nakonechna and Masha Reva will be presented. In this context, the SKD’s Kupferstich-Kabinett has also purchased five drawings and a carbon copy on carbon paper from the series “Drawing on Maidan” by the artist Lesia Khomenko. Paintings by the artist Kateryna Bilokur as well as numerous new productions travel outside the country for the first time. In dialogue, they show the continuity of culture and the sources of contemporary art in Ukraine since its beginnings from the avant-garde to the present.

DEEDS NEWS - Courtesy of Albertinum - Kateryna Bilokur, Blumen und Nüsse, 1948, Öl auf Leinwand. 48 cm x 56 cm,  Courtesy of the
Kateryna Bilokur, Blumen und Nüsse, 1948, Öl auf Leinwand. 48 cm x 56 cm, Courtesy of the National Folk Decorative Art Museum

The exhibition is drawn from private collections and museums including the National Art Museum of Ukraine (Kyiv), Odessa Art Museum, National Museum of Decorative Folk Art (Kyiv), Stedley Art Foundation (Kyiv), Prymachenko Family Foundation, Dovzhenko Centre, MOCA NGO, Artsvit Gallery (Dnipro) and Ya Gallery Art Center (Kyiv-Lviv). Loans from the Art Collection Telekom, the Akademie der Künste (Berlin), the Artothek of the German Bundestag and the Thyssen Bornemisza Art Collection 21 complete the show. After its run in Dresden, the exhibition will be on view at Museum de Fondatie in Zwolle, the Netherlands, from October 2023 to January 2024.


Tzschirnerplatz 2
01067 Dresden


Exhibition dates:

Saturday, 06 May – Sunday, 10 September 2023

Opening hours:

Daily 10-18 h
Monday closed


Regular €12, reduced €9, under 17 free, from 10 pers. €11

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