Flame heart

A selection of works from the Bereznitsky Art Foundation from the 1960s to the 1980s is devoted to the industrial theme of Soviet Ukrainian art and nonconformism.

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Exhibition of works of the 1960s - 1980s from the collection of Lyudmila Bereznitska


Socialist realism

The need to demonstrate the official socialist realist line was justified by the need to fix its main role on the official stage of the time. Thus, even an independent-minded artist, in order to remain in the artistic process, was doomed to participate in aesthetic propaganda. This layer became a kind of background for understanding the parallel unofficial artistic practices and methods of the seventies. The exhibition presents examples of works that had both direct and indirect influence on the formation of the phenomenon of "seventies". Labor, Industry, Recreation and Leisure in the socialist realist interpretation were the main ones in Soviet propaganda. The viewer can observe how the state, depicting the "greatness of the system", manipulated a person. Art was a kind of religion of that time - it revived, gave physicality to the slogans that artists created by order.


Strict style

The exposition is based on works belonging to the "strict style" - the first genre of Soviet painting, which officially allows deviations from the methods of socialist realism. This style moved away from "happy carelessness and heroic posturing" towards an uncompromising and merciless truth about man and his world. The works showed us the everyday life of industrial giants and the freedom of a simple, "ordinary" person to realize himself in work. Rigid cut, pasty line, open color, structure and architectonics are the features that distinguish the paintings of Fyodor Shevchenko, Grigory Tyshkevich, Yuri Zorko, Nikolai Kravtsov and Vladislav Mamsikov.


Conflict of values

But not only the industrial theme provided the artists of that time with freedom in search of formal elements. Disappointment in ideology led to a conflict of value structures. Despite external passive conformism, the avant-garde of the creative world in their workshop-laboratories created a new aesthetic platform, more formal, subtle and meaningful, concentrated on personal experiences, local and hermetic. This new aesthetic managed to get closer to the viewer, overcoming the ideological sieve and becoming a quasi-official creative method. The state was forced to accept these changes and, despite the presence of unauthorized techniques, gradually included the works of "non-aggressive" dissidents in the general stage circulation.


From December 20, 2019 to February 10, 2020.