T h e U k r a i n i a n M u s e u m
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December 11, 2016 September 24, 2017 (EXTENDED!)
CIM is an exhibition that plays on the notion of the collective, and what cultural and ethnic topographies bind first and second generation Ukrainian-American and Ukrainian born artists from the New York City area. The word "CIM" means "seven" in Ukrainian, and this exhibition convenes seven individual experiences as a collective of artists working in a wide range of styles and media. The seven contemporary artists participating in this group exhibition are Luba Drozd, Adriana Farmiga, Maya Hayuk, Roman M. Hrab, Yuri Masnyj, Christina Shmigel, and Marko Shuhan. CIM will be open to the public from December 11, 2016 through September 3, 2017.
Finding a thread to connect the artists and their practices can sometimes prove to be elusive in group shows. The artists in this show produce work that ranges from the abstract to the representational to the conceptual, from object-based to installation scale work, incorporating drawing, painting, sculpture, and video and sound. Despite this variance, a dialogue bridging the aesthetic, the figurative, the tangible and the intangible is established between the artists and the works chosen for this exhibition by guest curator Roman Hrab.
"It's exciting to be in an exhibition of fellow artists who are alive, young, and full of next-generation vitality," said exhibiting artist Maya Hayuk. "It's one of the most innovative, progressive, and conceptually challenging exhibitions The Ukrainian Museum has ever seen, thanks to the incredible curatorial vision of Roman Hrab and Museum Director Maria Shust. This exhibition also happens to come at a time when our world and the most basic paradigms of 'reality' seem to be in a free fall. To celebrate what we've accomplished as well as those generations before us gives me peace and hope for the future as simply a human."
Luba Drozd is a Ukraine-born artist living in New York. Her work "Solipsism" derives its name from the idea that only one's own mind is sure to exist. The piece examines our trust in the knowledge we receive from the outside, the belief in things we don't experience yet we are convinced one way or another that they are around us. Drozd's site-specific video and sound installations address how systems of control are manifested and echoed in restrictive architectural and geopolitical environments. Her work touches on architecture and institutions that influence and surround, as well as how intangible spaces within us - such as memory space, knowledge, and the perception of time - are controlled and regimented. A graduate of Bard College and the Pratt Institute, the artist has been exhibited at BRIC, Smack Mellon, Apexart, Anthology Film Archives, the New York Video Festival at Lincoln Center, and Art in General.
Adriana Farmiga presents a site-specific diptych installation, a group of hybrid sculpture-drawings, and a video documentary. Raised in a tightly knit Ukrainian immigrant community, Farmiga's travels between the United States and the former Soviet Union provided the artist with parallel yet contrasting exposures to both a dominant consumerist society and a failed communist state. Often combining elements of still life and assemblage, Farmiga's work gives heed to the handmade coexisting alongside the manufactured. Her drawings and mixed-media sculptures aim to uncover hidden or overlooked relationships between seemingly disparate subjects. Farmiga's work has been exhibited in the US and abroad. An interdisciplinary artist and a first-generation Ukrainian American, Farmiga received a BFA from The Cooper Union School of Art and an MFA from the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College. She is on the faculty of The Cooper Union, and in 2016, she was an artist-in-residence at the Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans.
Based in New York, Maya Hayuk is a Ukrainian American artist with an extensive background in a wide and generative range of art and social practices. Hayuk weaves visual information from her immediate surroundings into elaborate, painterly abstractions, thus creating an engaging mix of referents from popular culture and advanced painting practices alike. Her large-scale improvised murals speak to the artist's obsession with symmetry, perfect imperfection, and outer/inner space. Ultimately, the traditional and the contemporary blend into new harmonic, dissonant, optimistic, experimental compositions. Hayuk graduated from the Massachusetts College of Art and has studied at Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond), the Ontario College of Art and Design (Toronto), the University of Odessa (Ukraine), and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (Maine). Hayuk's work has been the subject of one-person exhibitions and commissions. Her work is represented in several public and private collections internationally, including MIMA (the Millennium Iconoclast Museum of Art, in Brussels), MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art, Jacksonville, Florida), the Embassy of the United States of America (Sanaa, Yemen), the Embassy of the United States of America Residence (Costa Rica), and the Ullens Foundation (Brussels).
Roman Hrab has been documenting and reinterpreting the patterns found on the surfaces of roads he travels upon patterns he calls "road squiggles." These ready-made calligraphies are translated into new topographies in a selection of paintings, sculpture, and video from this body of work, as well as other notions of landscape and geography. Hrab's work has always been the product of observation, extraction, and recombination. Hrab is a first-generation Ukrainian American artist residing in the Catskills in upstate New York. He received a BFA in Sculpture from New York's School of Visual Arts in 1990 and pursued graduate studies in Painting from 1993 to 1995 at Janus Pannonius University in Pécs, Hungary. He is a fellow of the 2009 NYFA (New York Foundation for the Arts) MARK program, and the recipient of a 2006 Saltonstall Foundation fellowship and residency. He is also the Director of Operations for the Studio Arts program at Bard College, New York. Hrab has exhibited widely, both in the United States and overseas; his work has recently appeared in solo and group exhibitions at the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art (Chicago), Roos Arts (Rosendale, NY), the Byrdcliffe Colony (Woodstock, NY), the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz (NY), the Ukrainian Institute of America (New York City), the Pera Museum (Istanbul), the John Davis Gallery (Hudson, NY), as well as at other galleries and venues.
Yuri Masnyj makes drawings and sculptures that depict austere architectural spaces populated by a personal iconography of objects and symbols. At The Ukrainian Museum, Masnyj is exhibiting a new body of drawings that are composed as inventories of architectural fragments, everyday objects, and abstract forms. Taking visual cues from his surroundings, Masnyj catalogs shapes, structures, and forms of building and unbuilding in a city undergoing rapid change. Yuri Masnyj is a graduate of The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, and has taught drawing at Cooper Union since 2007. His work has been shown throughout the United States and Europe in solo and group exhibitions, and is found in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in NYC, the Whitney Museum of American Art in NYC, the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, and the Contemporary Museum in Honolulu.
Christina Shmigel's installation, Dream of the Red Chamber, is composed of various distillations of her experiences as an expatriate living in Shanghai, China. Her Foreigner's Cabinet of Chinese Curiosities is a playful taxonomy of current material culture in Shanghai; it sits surrounded by Garden for Borrowing the View from Afar, which considers the strategies of artifice in Eastern garden design. Altogether, Shmigel's installation gives the viewer an opportunity to engage physically and imaginatively with how we come to make sense of that which is foreign to us. Shmigel received a BFA in Painting from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1980, an MFA in Sculpture from Brooklyn College, and an MFA in Blacksmithing/Metals from Southern Illinois University - Carbondale. She maintains a studio practice in Shanghai, China, and in Bakersville, North Carolina, where she has long been associated with the Penland School of Crafts, as a former Resident Artist, board member, and frequent instructor. Shmigel has exhibited nationally and internationally, including solo exhibitions at the Saint Louis Art Museum, the Laumeier Sculpture Park in St. Louis, and the Duolun Museum of Modern Art in Shanghai.
It is the central irony of Shmigel's life that she, the child of Ukrainian immigrants, who learned English as a second language in the New York public school system, finds herself an immigrant in China, albeit one called an "expatriate." As a first-generation American, growing up between cultures and languages, she became an observer of cultural cues. It is this habit of being that informs her artistic practice; as she moves from place to place, she engages in collecting and interpreting the elements of the locality's material culture that reveal its particular character. Early on, it occurred to Shmigel that life could be made meaningful only through an imaginative engagement with the quotidian; in response, her work repurposes the vernacular of the "real world" to give form to her internal experience. She seeks to capture those moments when ordinary reality opens up, revealing something intangible beneath its surface. Through her objects and installations, she strives to create a space of playfulness and engagement for the viewer, stimulating curiosity and wonder.
Marko Shuhan's installation is a re-creation of a portion of his studio. It is 1/6 of the wall space, and the shelves were "invented" to hold a body of approximately 500 small paintings. The shelves must continue to be utilitarian as well because space is limited. This is an agglomeration of necessity, desire, uncertainty and love, while representing a miniature retrospective into the various facets and mediums with which Shuhan works. Shuhan graduated from the School of Visual Arts in New York City, and for more than 30 years has maintained a studio and has continued to draw and paint. He has had numerous solo exhibitions and has been involved in a large number of group shows. His paintings are represented in many private collections throughout the United States. Most of Shuhan's painting is manifested in the subconscious, usually while contemplating the metaphysical. Generating the first layers while daydreaming allows a theme, or a certain vibe, to come to life. Once a mood occurs, subsequent layers and markings respond, react, and reflect, causing a drama to unfold. While most in tune with oil painting, Shuhan employs other media - whether drawing, painting, printmaking, or screen printing to influence and communicate with each other.
CIM was proposed and organized by guest curator Roman Hrab, one of the participating artists. The exhibition is funded by the generous donations of individual sponsors.
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