Rescued photos: Ukrainian art on display in Munich | art | BR . culture stage

“Art must live,” says Katharina Fozyanova. With a small painting under her arm and a bag in her hand, a Ukrainian art dealer fled from Kyiv to Munich in February. Shortly before the Russian invasion, she returned to her hometown – risking her life to save art: “We managed to save the paintings from Kyiv. We were very afraid that the Russian army would come and would not only steal and take everything, but also completely destroy them, ”says Fouzyanova.

erasing culture

Because this is exactly the plan of the Russians: “They want to get rid of the Ukrainians, their culture and their existence. We were afraid that they would burn everything. But we managed to take art with us, first in Western Ukraine, and then little by little to Munich.

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Painting by Yevgen Petrov

A young antiques dealer stands proudly in an empty office in eastern Munich among salvaged paintings. You can see: a woman dragging her husband by a tie behind her, a emaciated dog in the shadow of a wall, a camel with a fat woman on his back. The images are colorful and imaginative, abstract or realistic, painted with chalk or watercolor. 40 paintings by contemporary Ukrainian artists arrived in Munich. Together with director Tobias Klose, Katerina Fozyanova saved art from Ukraine from destruction in order to give artists there a livelihood even during the war.

defense of art

Next to Vozianova, several large orange tubes are leaning against the wall: “As you can see, there are quite a few pictures,” she explains. “The best way to transport them safely was with these sewage pipes. I took pictures of the tires, rolled them up and then flew them to Munich in the pipes.” Katharina Fouzyanova made everything on her own, laden with art, first in a bus full of mothers and children, and then from Romania by plane to Munich. Nothing was damaged, she says – great feeling.

An antiques dealer points to a gigantic statue in the corner and talks about Ukrainian artist Nikolai Bilos, who has been separated from his family. His wife and daughter just managed to escape. Belos from central Ukraine, like many other artists, did not want to give up his studio: “And if someone came, he says, he would take the gavel and defend his house and studio.”

End of the world and peace pictures

All the artists whose works grace the gray carpet here cannot or do not want to leave their country. One of the images, still slightly rolling, shows a volcano with a yellow pool of lava on which a group of naked and obese people are throwing themselves, as in a swimming pool. “Evgen Petrov called it “last-minute tours,” says Katerina Vozyanova. “He painted it before the war. It’s kind of the end of the world. You don’t know, is this the end of the world they are jumping into or are they just taking a shower? Either way, it’s pretty cool!”

“November. Topless” by Evgen Petrov

The famous painter Evgen Petrov is stuck in his studio in Odessa. Nor does he want to leave his art and life behind. In one of his paintings in the room you can see a still peaceful Odessa and people gathering on the sea. With bright eyes, Katharina Vozyanova talks about the art scene in Ukraine – before the war: “Ukrainians are very artistic and creative. They have a long history of artists, writers and singers. This is our great cultural heritage, and it applies to to protect future generations. We were afraid that it would be destroyed, but Now it cannot be destroyed.”

Art is identity.

Katerina Fouzianova and Tobias Klose have now been able to attend ARTMUC in May and are already in talks with the city to facilitate a “pop-up fair” near Marienplatz. An “Art Hub” will be created here, which will present not only art but also audiovisual exchange with artists. In addition, there will be events to make Ukrainian art more visible. This is something worth paying attention to, says Tobias Klose: “If we now have a lot of young artists, and a few contemporary artists – this is all identity. This is all culture, and that must be protected. And it must be shown that Ukraine is an independent cultural state.

It’s about giving Ukrainian artists a perspective from afar. 10 percent of the purchase should also go to aid organizations and the Ukrainian military. As far as the situation allows, Katerina Fozyanova is in exchange with many cultural workers on the site and is constantly acquiring new workers. But in times of everyday war, dialogue about works of art is often difficult, and one can only hope that the colors of Ukrainian art will continue to shine, find their way out of the rubble and not fade: “Of course, the painting will also be affected by the war ”, says Catherine Fouzyanova. “I don’t know if we will find these bright colors in pictures in the future, it will probably take a long time.”

Artworks by Ukrainian artists rescued from war are on display from May 13th at Artmok to see. And hopefully then soon at Art Hub, the pop-up gallery for art from Ukraine.

Contribution to the kulturWelt program from April 29, 2022 on Bayern 2. You can watch the podcast of the program here participation in.

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