6 Ukrainian Contemporary Artists Opened a Group Exhibition in Geneva

SPACES is a group exhibition of recent contemporary art from Ukraine presented by independent art manager Kateryna Ivanova in Geneva Old Town/Galerie La Cave. It brings together six contemporary artists who explore the relationship between man and environment. Through experiments with form of physical objects and spatial illusions they challenge one’s ability to feel the world around. To sense what it’s like to be in a specific space and to experience the space within oneself – this is what the artists offer a spectator within the SPACES project.



Nazar Bilyk is a contemporary sculptor who explores the boundaries of the visible space by the potentiality of sculpture. He analyses properties of the form and its interaction with space. He experiments with different materials such as bronze, steel, glass, and various polymers. Analysing, form and light, Nazar Bilyk also studies their interaction with the consciousness of the viewer, which, along with other means, becomes a plastic material for a sculptor.


Intelligent mix of tradition and innovation is a peculiar Bilyk’s feature. In his works, he addresses a human exploring relations with society and environment. Nazar often uses a converse space technique and tries to get closer to the origins of substance and shape.


“Traditionally, sculpture works with timeless space. Contemporary sculpture rather speaks about pre-time space and its dissociation with time. [...] He explores the boundaries of the visible, which always slip away from him and remain undefined. The project unfolds like an eternal act of reflection, when one question becomes a departure point for the other one.” (Olga Balashova, PhD, art critic).



Kateryna Buchatska is concerned by the fact that contemporary man-made culture gradually replaces observations and feelings with theory, which makes us lose connection with a sensual experiences of the world. Through creating larger-than-life dewdrops Buchatska draws attention to the phenomena of nature using art as a lens for its appreciation. Before this work was represented in a landscape of the Kyiv Botanic garden; now we show it in a new environment. The earlier edition of the artwork won a Special Prize for the best young artist within Kyiv Sculpture Project 2012 in Ukraine.


Igor Gusev is represented by two of his latest works - a pair of murals made of plastic titled 'Prince of the Office' and 'Princess of the Office'. In these artworks Gusev continues the theme which he discovered through painting - a combination of abstraction and figurative art. Igor subtly and elegantly unites separate objects in a space using lines. This represents his vision of monotony from the point of view of eternity.


Gusev is one of the leading artists of his home-town and one of the most important art regions of Ukraine – Odesa. He works with performances, objects, and installations and a poet. In Odesa, Gusev headed an art-raiders movement, which became famous for its neo-Dadaist actions.



Zhanna Kadyrova works with various media such as sculpture, installation, intervention in public space and public art. Her artistic talent is localized in her ability to bring about a metaphorical transformation of various utilitarian materials – be it tile, cement, veneer panelling – into valuable objects, both literally and figuratively. 


Diamonds – Kadyrova’s trademark project – consists of cement forms resembling the standard cuts of precious gems, faced with shiny, coloured ceramic tiles. The exclusive, status-lending form of diamonds is manifested in one of the most commonplace materials.  Transforming tile from an everyday material into an artistic one, Kadyrova creates works, ambiguous in their duality, that question the hierarchy of values in contemporary society.



The series of works SHOTS represent ceramic tile plates shot from a smooth-bore gun. Bullets and hunting fraction pierce through surface, leaving a unique drawing of destruction.


Once seen as abstract compositions, these works became - in the context of chaos and war in which is now captured a part of Ukraine - a substantive comment on the destruction of buildings and infrastructures as the result of military operations.


Misha Zavalnyi's artworks are a wonderful combination of graphic techniques in the old tradition with observations of the modern material world. They express new content and meanings through the old style.


The series of etchings titled "Around" is dedicated to various objects that surround us in our everyday life.


These objects and shapes are united by a principle through which man imitates and learns from nature, and discovers the outside world. Indeed, people themselves seek this principle in various phenomena. We often borrow the mechanisms that operate in nature in artistic creations. This principle of creation and life was represented especially clearly in mandalas. These are ritual images that the ancient Oriental science of Tantra used to explain the various vital forces, the energies that make up the driving force of our thoughts and actions. Zavalnyi's theory was that even everyday objects embody this principle, since they are inseparable from our mind and body, and are the continuation and expression of any desire and action.



Ruslan Tremba represents the Transcarpathian school of painting, which is known for its strong and exquisite traditions. It is based on a mix of Western European painting style of the early 20th century and local aesthetic ideas. "For a significant period of time, the works of Transcarpathians painters were united in aiming by gravitation towards decorativeness, as well as by the principle of realistic painting and a complex paradigm of relations to the native art of the Carpathians region”. (Lyudmila Biksey, art critic).


Tremba transforms the customs of the Transcarpathian school of art using modern techniques. 


Even the most abstract Tremba's works always appeal to corporeality and sexuality. But this "sex" isn't sexual. Subtext in Tremba's pieces is just polemicizing about the physical nature of artwork itself.


The exhibition is hold with the support of the Ukrainian Embassy in Switzerland.


For more information, please visit www.spaces-expo.com


About the organizer:


Kateryna Ivanova is an independent cultural manager. She establishes partnerships between Ukrainian cultural institutions and actors and European institutions, organises projects with artists from Ukraine and beyond and advocates of Ukrainian contemporary art in Europe.


Kateryna has a background in government relations and public policy field and management of global projects. She is based in Geneva and Kyiv.

Opening hours: 

September 13 – 24, 2017

Monday – Sunday

11 am – 8 pm and also by appointment