Ivan Marchuk. Archetype of Freedom

Temporary exhibitions

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  • Thursday, February 23, 2023, 6:00 PM - Sunday, March 19, 2023

The retrospective exhibition of works by this Ukrainian artist includes paintings from 15 cycles and explores different themes of his works, from philosophical, figurative surrealism to abstract surrealism.

A major part of the exhibition comprises works made using his own technique known as “plyontanism” – tens and hundreds of fine intertwining lines, giving the illusion of gleaming and a hyperrealistic level of detail.

The exhibition opens, markedly, on 23 February 2023 – a day before the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The term “Freedom” in the title is no accident: Ivan Marchuk has spent his entire life and life’s work fighting Soviet authorities and, later, restrictions placed on freedom in people’s lives and art. The events of last year can be described as roars of Russia’s “bear” wounded by Ukraine. Today, Marchuk is no longer in the minority – his strength and courage are followed by several generations taking up arms to fight for our freedom and yours.

“Archetype of Freedom” is also a starting point for a broad discussion: what is freedom in today’s world? Why do some people desire freedom so powerfully, whereas other see it as dangerous? Is freedom simply a right, or does it have an inherent value? How can freedom be expressed? We will search for answers during the competition “Archetype of Freedom 2023” accompanying the exhibition. The vernissage will be accompanied by a concert by artists from Poland and Ukraine.

Ivan Marchuk was born in 1936 in the village of Moskalivka. He is the best known contemporary Ukrainian artist, author of thousands of artworks, inventor of the “plyontanism” technique, and the only Ukrainian to make it on the Daily Telegraph’s list of “Top 100 Living Geniuses”. His political views led to his persecution by the KB during the Soviet era, and eventually forced him to emigrate. His work continues to break down boundaries and challenge authority, and is acclaimed all over the world. He never stops learning and perfecting his innovative techniques, which also step beyond the majority of styles and canons. Marchuk’s talent, courage and dedication have turned him into a national symbol of Ukraine.



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