Malevich’s Days to be held in Kyiv for the first time, Mystetsky Arsenal to host the event – organizers


A series of cultural and educational events will be held in Kyiv as part of Malevich’s Days. The main target is Ukraine’s domestic audience. Awareness that Malevich is a Ukrainian-born artist who lived and worked in the country needs to be emphasized internationally, organizers add.

Kyiv, June 9, 2016. Malevich’s Days hosted by Mystetsky Arsenal will be held in Kyiv for the first time – on May 9-11. They comprise a series of cultural and educational events devoted to artistic legacy of the internationally renowned avant-garde artist Kazimir Malevich, said initiators and organizers of Malevich’s Days at a press-briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. Main aim of the cultural event is to bring back the artist to Kyiv’s mental map and familiarize the Ukrainian society with his artistic legacy. “It is important that we perceive this cultural layer as ours and realize it deeper. Next few days will be the time of powerful intellectual discussions, exchange of opinions as well as the time to better realize this avant-garde legacy – not only of the world’s most well-known Kyivite but of other artists of this period,” noted Natalia Popovych, co-founder of Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

The program of Malevich’s Days comprises three full days of discussions, pubic lectures, artistic expositions, performances, cinema screenings, theatrical plays and other events featuring representatives of expert and business communities, artists, civic activists and political actors. Today, on June 9, Mystetsky Arsenal will host the opening of expositions “Malevich+” and “Kazimir Malevich: the secret of my love…” at 14:00; at 16:00 a round table discussion dubbed “New paradigm: influence of Malevich upon the word art” will be held.

It is important for Ukraine to emphasize both internally and internationally that considering Kazimir Malevich a Russian avant-garde artist is incorrect, noted Natalia Zabolotna, general director of “Mystetsky Arsenal”. She reminded that the artist was born into a Polish-Ukrainian family in Kyiv, many of his works were created in Kyiv as well as in towns of Kharkiv and Chernihiv regions. It is worth noting that the ornaments used in decoration of traditional Ukrainian houses had a huge impact on Malevich’s suprematism and cubist arts. Malevich was a big fan of these ornaments and was trying to recreate these elements in his works.

One of his works has a daring mentioning of Holodomor, it is a pencil drawing entitled “Where the sickle and hammer are there is death and starvation”. The faces of the three portrayed figures are replaced with a sickle, hammer, cross and a coffin. “The square is a manifest of the artistic world, it is a new starting point. We also have to make a manifest of our own reminding that Kazimir Malevich is our co-national,” said Zabolotna.

Attention to the art of Kazimir Malevich in the light of events that are turning points in Ukraine’s history will also have a huge symbolic meaning. “What Malevich did to other avant-gardists is he changed the paradigm. Malevich is a bright metaphor of changes not only in terms of the colors but also in terms of producing a daring and powerful impact,” noted Oleksandr Savruk, Dean of Kyiv Mohyla Business School. “For us the legacy of Malevich and of the avant-garde artists is a layer that affirms that nothing is impossible. These people were in the avant-garde of freedom, they were creating and ruining the limits. These are the same challenges that we are now facing,” noted Natalia Popovych.

Organizers of Malevich’s Days also noted that they will be promoting the initiative to attribute the name of Kazimir Malevich to the Kyiv Boryspil airport. This idea has already got much positive feedback over just a few days. “Tourists do not come here not because it is not interesting in Ukraine, but because we are not developing our brands. If there is enough political will and the civil society is persistent enough then this lighthouse will be the brightest on the international cultural map. We will be known not only as a country where the Chornobyl catastrophe took place and where the war is on, but as a country where Kazimir Malevich was born,” emphasized Natalia Zabolotna.

Check out the events program of Malevich’s Days in Kyiv.