Two works by Maria Prymachenko are exhibited for the first time in the USA at the “Beast of War, Bird of Hope” exhibition

The Aspen Campus of the Aspen Meadows Aspen Institute, Colorado (USA) hosts the “Beast of War, Bird of Hope” exhibition. In the United States, for the first time, two works by Maria Prymachenko – “Beast of War” and “Bird” are being exhibited. The exhibition also presents the works created already during the Russian full-scale invasion by 11 Ukrainian modern artists.

The exhibition “Beast of War, Bird of Hope” was organized by the Aspen Institute (USA) and Aspen Institute Kyiv. Over 40 works exhibited at the Aspen Meadows campus are Ukrainian artists’ views of the war.

Elliott Gerson, an executive Vice President of the Aspen Institute Notes that art was central to the founding of the Aspen Institute 70 years ago. He tells about its meaning now:

—  As Ukraine faces the existential threat of Russian aggression, few things convey what is at stake — to them, to us, and the world — with more power and passion than the work of Ukrainian artists.

The exhibition presents the works of 11 artists created during the war. Participants of the exhibition: Alexandr Chekmenev Kinder Album, Maria Kulikovska, Piotr Armianovski, Igor Gusev, Oleksiy Sai, Yefim Lukatsky, Darya Koltsova, Danylo MovchanAnatoly Gankevich, Olena Naumenko.

— In all historical eras, art has had its language, which showed the context of human existence. The sphere of artistic practice is a catalyst for reflective processes that show pain and suffering, but at the same time allow Ukrainians not to lose hope, show courage, and build a future, – Yuliya Tychkivska, Executive Director of Aspen Institute Kyiv, says about the exhibited works.

Also at the exhibition are the works of Maria Primachenko – “Bird” and “Beast of War”. These paintings are from the private collection of Lidia Lykhach These works have not previously been exhibited in the United States. The “Beast of War” never left the territory of Ukraine during the 50 years of its existence. “Bird” was presented only in Toronto (Canada) in 2007-2008. The titles of Prymachenko’s works became the basis for the title of the exhibition.

Some of the presented works are photographs. For example, Oleksandr Chekmenyev’s works show the residents of Kyiv who supported the life of the city and defended it in the first months of the active phase of the war. The heroine of one of Chekmenyev’s works is Kateryna Hryshchenko. Until the end of February, she worked as a sous chef and waiter in a restaurant, and 12 hours after the start of the full-scale military invasion of Russia, she joined the ranks of the territorial defense.

Works of fine art are also presented. Olena Naumenko is among the authors of such works. The artist created the painting “Uncertainty” after the evacuation to Poland. Reflecting on her work, Olena notes: “Unbearable emotional pain every day. A terrible dream from which it is impossible to wake up. Anger that breaks the heart. Rethinking life. Rethinking Death. Rethinking the power of human potential. Rethinking the meaning of fate. Hope. The desire for freedom above all else. All-encompassing love is a force that overcomes all obstacles. This is a war for me now.”

The curator of the exhibition is art critic Alisa Lozhkina. Previously, she worked as the deputy director and curator of the Mystetskyi Arsenal museum and exhibition complex and was the editor-in-chief of Art Ukraine.

 I dream that the bird of hope will bring good news to Ukraine soon but it is tortured by the beast of war.

The “Beast of War, Bird of Hope” exhibition will last until October. Works can be seen from Monday to Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Aspen Meadows campus in Aspen, Colorado (USA).