Through the exhibition "Born in Ukraine", the Basel Art Museum presents works by
31 Ukrainian artists from the National Museum of Art in Kyiv. No less than 49 paintings from the 18th to the 20th century will be temporarily displayed in Switzerland until April 30, 2023, to the delight of a public eager to discover these little-known painters.
In the spring of 2022, representatives of the Kyiv National Art Gallery addressed the Basel Kunstmuseum. In the context of the conflict with Russia, there is a lack of shelters in Ukraine to protect the works in the collections. The idea was not only to move the works out of the country and put them in safety, but also to share them with many amateurs.
The "Born in Ukraine" project traces the particular history of what was at the time of the Soviet Union the Museum of Russian Art in Kyiv. Since 2014, the establishment has been committed to a critical reading of the works in its collections, which challenges the idea of a "homogeneous" Russian art. The war waged by Russia against Ukraine since February 2022 gives this initiative a singular relief and a new topicality.
Among the artists featured in the "Born in Ukraine" exhibition are Ilya Repin,
Dmytro Levytsky, Volodymyr Borovykovsky, Archyp Kuyinji, Mykola Yaroshenko
and Dawyd Burliuk. All these painters were born on Ukrainian territory.
However, many of them were educated in Russia and therefore culturally assimilated to representatives of the Russian Empire and later the Soviet Union. Some of them settled in Western Europe or the United States.
Beyond artists with Ukrainian roots, painters of Jewish, Polish, Armenian or Greek origin are also exhibited, with a style shaped by their own traditions. These include Ivan Aivazovsky, Lev Lagorio, Kostiantyn Kryschytsky, Isaak Brodsky and Dawyd Schterenberg.
The National Museum of Art in Kyiv is one of the most famous art museums
from Ukraine. Founded in 1922, it is housed in a 19th-century architectural building dedicated to Ukrainian businessman and patron Fedir Terechtchenko.
Works of art owned by his family and other private Ukrainian donations formed the basis of the museum's collections. The museum houses over 14,000 pieces that cover a wide range of works, from unique icons of the 13th century to masterpieces of the 20th and 21st centuries.
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