Ukrainian artists

This multidisciplinary exhibition by seven contemporary Ukrainian artists was curated by Yulia Sapiha and produced by The Nordic House in Reykjavik. Its display at the Rothko Centre has been supported by the Nordic Council of Ministers Office in Latvia. The artists use diverse visual mediums to explore themes related to their personal experiences of war during the Russian invasion of Ukraine, longing for peace and security, their paths towards survival and hopes for the future.

“How Did I Get to the Bomb Shelter” seeks to visualise the experiences of artists who came face to face with the war. Wartime is definitely about harshness, hatred and fear, but it is also about boundless courage, empathy and a heightened sense of love, which for many became a symbolic ‘bomb shelter’. We might then ask: what paths lead to each artist’s personal shelter?

The works explore these topics across several dimensions by creating a dialogue between the new reality in Ukraine and the experiences generated by this reality. The viewer is immersed in the abstract history of Ukraine to enable a vicarious experience of the breaking moment separating before and after. All this encourages several challenging questions: What will be left to restore and recreate when the war is over? How to find peace during these difficult times and keep hope alive for the future?

Featured artists: Kinder Album (1982), Mykhaylo Barabash (1980), Jaroslav Kostenko (1979), Sergiy Petlyuk (1981), Olena Subach (1980), Art Group Sviter (1982) and Maxim Finogeev (1987).

Detailed information about individual artist projects.

Curator: Yulia Sapiha
Graphic Design: Olenka Zahorodnyk

Exhibition period: 02 June 2023 – 27 August 2023