Pinchuk Art Centre awards best Ukrainian artists

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Visitors of the Pinchuk Art Centre Prize ceremony have a conversation before the show on Dec. 11 at Pinchuk Art Centre.

Pinchuk Art Centre, a Kyiv center for contemporary art, awarded young Ukrainian artists during the fourth annual Pinchuk Art Centre Prize ceremony on Dec. 11.

The art group Open Group (Vidkryta Grupa) from Lviv won the main prize and Hr 250,000 for their art performance “For Internal Use Only.”

The second special prize and Hr 60,000 went to the 24-year-old artist from Kharkiv Alina Kleitman for her provocative video art piece “Super A: Shave Your Heart”.

An artist and sculptor Anna Zvyagintseva got two prizes – first special prize and Hr 60,000 and Hr 25,000 audience favorite award for her “The Way It Is” metal sculptures.

Three finalists were chosen among the 800 participants by the international jury. The jury included Bart de Baere, the director of the Hedendaagse Contemporary art museum in Antwerp, Belgium, Bjorn Geldhof, Artistic Director, PinchukArtCentre, and Artistic and Strategic Director, Yarat Contemporary Art Space, Baku, Azerbeijan, Martin Kiefer, curator of the Modern Art department in Louvre, Ukrainian artist and writer Yuri Linderman, and Anna Smolyak from BWA SOKÓŁ art gallery in Poland.

“I think (the winners) are the voice of the generation of the Ukrainian nation,” Smolyak told the Kyiv Post.

“In their works, they deepen in the political situation. But on the other hand, there is a deep search for the return to normality. I mean normal, everyday life,” she added.

Kiefer said that in their work, artists used a variety of genres and proved that “art is not individualistic, it involves the whole society.”

The performance artist who won the award for the “For Internal Use Only” video project said they tried to show the diversity of Ukrainian characters by involving as many people as they could and filming them.

Zvyagintseva bewitched jury and audience by her subtle paintings-sculptures made from metal and wires. “The Way It Is” features contour portraits and scenes from everyday life. The works are displayed against the white walls.

Kleitman’s “Super A: Shave Your Heart” video story is a realistic tale of a girl and her drunken father and demonstrates the stereotypic woman’s figure of modern society. The artist featured her own grandmother in this video artwork.

Oleh Pinchuk, Ukrainian sculpture and artist, who was present at the ceremony, told the Kyiv Post that all the three winners have pretty good chances in the world of modern art.

“All they need is a generous investor and provocative ideas,” said Pinchuk.

“There are so many talented artists today,” he said. “But to become really famous and to make millions from art like Damien Hirst does, one doesn’t even need to have perfect technique. It is all about the provocative controversial idea and a business talent.”

The exhibition of Pinchuk Art Center Prize 16 finalists will last till Jan. 10, 2016 in the Pinchuk Art Centre (1/3-2 Velyka Vasylkivska St.) in Kyiv. Open Tue – Sun, 12 p.m. – 9 p.m. Admission is free.

Story by Veronika Melkozerova.

Kyiv Post staff writer Veronika Melkozerova can be reached at

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