ERR in Ukraine: Ukraine sends avant-garde art exhibition to Kumu Art Museum

In April, the exhibition "Futuromarennia: Ukraine and Avant-Garde" will exhibit at the Kumu Art Museum in Tallinn artworks by Oleksandra Ekster, Davyd Burliuk and Vasyl Yermylov from the collections of museums in Ukraine that continue their work amidst ongoing attacks by the Russian aggressors.

Prior to the onset of war, "Futuromarennia: Ukraine and Avant-Garde" was on display at the Mystetskyi Arsenal, the leading cultural institution in Kyiv, Ukraine.

"In the 1920s, Ukrainian culture exploded. It did, however, end in great devastation, dubbed the "revival massacre," because nearly all of the authors were either killed or exiled, and their works were destroyed. A period of similar intensity and fertility will not return until the 2020s. In the Ukrainian cultural space, there was a lot of talk about it being 'our 20ies' again. Ukrainians believe that our culture is on the rise and that we are under attack once again," Olesia Ostrovska-Ljuta, head of the Mystetskyi Arsenal, told ERR.

Yulia Litvinets, head of the National Art Museum of Ukraine, said that the museum also sends about 30 works from their collection to Estonia, both paintings and prints.

"These are the most well-known pieces. These were the works that had to be destroyed during the 1940s and 1950s, but were preserved because they were in private collections," Litvinets said.

The Kumu Art museum will exhibit 110 works from multiple Ukrainian cultural institutions, including artworks from the Museum of Theater, Music and Cinema of Ukraine:

"The phenomenon of experimental theater, such as Marko Terechenko's 'The Art of Movement,' emerged in the 1920s. They defied the director, artist and writer's dictatorship. They did everything as a group and the outcome was whatever the group decided. These were futuristic experiments. They abandoned all past preconceptions and started from scratch," Tetjana Rudenko, head of the museum, explained.

"Organizing such exhibitions is a significant step forward in Ukraine's cultural policy," she added.

"We are once again embracing our culture and art as Ukrainians. We are refuting the idea that 'Russian avant-garde' and 'Russian art' were the sole artistic movements that existed at that time," Litvinets said.

The exhibition "Futuromarennia: Ukraine and Avant-Garde" opens in Kumu on April 8.


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Editor: Mari Peegel, Kristina Kersa

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