«The era of romanticism»

The project involving leading Polish and Ukrainian contemporary artists was implemented with the support of the Polish Institute in Kiev in 2003-2004 at the Palace of Arts (Lviv) and the House of Artists (Kyiv).


This is a project for the study of basic intentions, vectors of development of contemporary art. The starting point of the curator's considerations was the hypothesis by culturologist Dmytro Chyzhevsky, who tries to explain the eclecticism of contemporary art, seeming absence of a common 'denominator' in it. Based on the fact that each style in the European art lasts about two hundred years, he suggests that romanticism, which according to the official version of the history of art, declared itself as a style in the first half of the 19th century and was quickly displaced by realism, in actual fact is still ongoing, meaning that it covers the 20th century onwards.


Why? Because all strategies of interaction between the artist and the audience, the artist and the society, which he discovered, are still relevant. The basic matrix of worldview and behavior of a romanticist is to go beyond the usual framework – habitual experience, traditional vision and understanding, to distance from the common truths and to immerse in the chaos of the unknown.


And as Susan Sontag once very aptly noted, the algorithm of development of contemporary art is a constant search, a constant escape from oneself, outgrowth, breaking through one's own boundaries and limits – that what was already existing and, relatively speaking, has already been called as the art. Romanticism as a specific optics of perception was very inquisitive, carefully observed life and discovered new continents of the visible, new types and genres in art, many things that are still of interest to us - dimension of the exotic, dimension of the historical and even dimensions of the marginal and the perverse… Romanticism gives rise to the figure of the artist as a lone genius and prophet, who teases and shocks the inflexible bourgeois consciousness, which does not deviate from permanent values - both ethical and aesthetic. For a romantic artist there is nothing stable and 'holy' - he is in the eternal search for a new meaning of life and art, in search for the majestic and real, that what is worthy of depiction, - that particular majestic which opposes the 'beautiful' (about the 'curse of the beautiful' in European aesthetics, which romanticism tried to overcome for the first time, later wrote both Newman and Rothko – messengers of the highest beauty), and makes the subject feel its own smallness in the face of the Absolute ...



Azorro Group, Bohna Burska, Piotr Wyrzykowski, Dorota Nieznalska, Paulina Olowska, Monika Sosnowska, Robert Maciejuk, Pawel Książek, Joanna Rajkowska, Zbigniew Rogalski, Grzegorz Sztwiertnia (Poland),

Arsen Savadov, Oleksandr Hnylytsky, Hlib Vysheslavsky, Andrii Sahaidakovskyi, Maksym Mamsikov, Hlib Katchuk, Zhanna Kadyrova, Ksenia Hnylytska, Igor Gusev, Volodymyr Kozhukhar, Oleksiy Katashynskyi, Vlada Ralko, Oleksiy Romanenko, Serhii Chaika (Ukraine).

Curator: Victoria Burlaka.