Category: Reflections


Women and war: contemporary Ukrainian art in Berlin

The preparation of an art project is usually very demanding and exciting. But the project being prepared these days by the online contemporary art platform G.ART Gallery is particularly challenging. Today, when millions of people are asking “How can I help Ukraine?”, G.ART is helping with art. The exhibition “Hardened. The Ukrainian phenomenon’ which the gallery will present in Berlin at the beginning of 2023 will be devoted to Ukrainian women and their strength and endurance in times of trial.

The german online art platform GART Gallery cooperates with popular and talented artists from 23 countries of Eastern Europe, but first of all they have strong professional, family and friendly ties with Ukraine. In spring, the online art platform created the “support Ukraine” section, where one can buy online artworks donated by famous painters from different countries for the support of Ukraine, which is at war.

Olga Berezyuk. Lovers in Ukrainian Crimea
Olga Berezyuk. Lovers in Ukrainian Crimea

The Ukrainian female character: delicacy and strength

When we say ‘war’, the first image that comes to mind is that of a warrior, a defender – a man. But today there are many women in the Ukrainian army, in territorial defence, in military medicine and among volunteers. The ability of women to defend their land alongside men has been shaped by Ukraine’s difficult history, a thousand-year struggle with different conquerors for their land. And, of course, the social freedom that Ukrainian women have.

The exhibition in Berlin will be devoted to the study of the phenomenon of Ukrainian female character through art. Why can we talk about a special character and the special role of women in this country? The 20th century was very difficult for Ukraine. Two world wars, revolution and civil war, deprivation of independence and Soviet occupation in 1921, the terrible famine of the 1930s, deportations, repressions, GULAG, hard labour on “building sites of communism”, difficulties of the consequences of perestroika, poverty and shortage of essential goods – all this was endured by Ukrainian women, who had to support their homes and families, to protect and feed their children in the darkest days. The Ukrainian woman – both kind and tough, generous and thrifty, gentle and determined – is hardened by hardship.

Ganna Kryvolap. Unbreakable Kyiv
Ganna Kryvolap. Unbreakable Kyiv

Fighting for the country, fighting for art

In 2022, most Ukrainian female artists experienced the hardships of war in one way or another. Some became Ukrainian refugees, abandoning their homes, their studios and their works. Some ended up in occupied or front-line territories, waiting in bomb shelters, freezing, starving, hearing the sound of explosions and seeing the catastrophic destruction. Some became volunteers: collecting money, buying ammunition and medicine, preparing food for the soldiers, doing charity work. Many had family and friends who had gone to the front. Fear for their lives, for their children and parents, kept them awake at night.

But as the past months have shown, Ukrainian art has not only survived, but also received a huge boost to further development – with new ideas and images. Ukrainian art for sale has appeared in offline and online galleries, free art exhibitions and charity auctions of traditional and modern pieces take place in various countries. And great credit must be given to the artists who have been fighting for the future of the country and Ukrainian art all this time.

Polina Kuznietsova. Sickness
Polina Kuznietsova. Sickness

Open-call “Hardened. Ukrainian phenomenon”. 

Observing all these processes, G.ART Gallery realized – it is necessary to give female painting artists, photographers, sculptors a forum for expression, a common exhibition space, where they can accumulate ideas, create new meanings and demonstrate vivid symbols. What will Ukrainian contemporary artists in Berlin talk about? What is the most important thing for them today? How will they depict the war and the woman inside it? How is it possible to talk about such heavy and complicated things? Is there a special female visual language and system of images? The answers to these questions are sure to come.

And now G.ART Gallery is holding an open-call for the project “Hardened. Ukrainian phenomenon”. Till December 31 Ukrainian artists are welcome to send their works of art in different media (painting, graphics, sculpture, video, photos, installations, objects). The G.ART team will consider works that:

  • were created after 24 February 2022
  • directly or indirectly reflect what Ukraine is experiencing
  • fit the theme and content of the exhibition
  • are original and timely
  • are performed professionally and qualitatively
Co-founder of G.Art Gallery Dzhemma Grebenko and Creative director of G.Art Gallery Anastasiia Arakelian
Co-founder of G.Art Gallery Dzhemma Grebenko and Creative director of G.Art Gallery Anastasiia Arakelian

P.S.: Art is the way to everyone’s heart

The attention of the world is now fixed on Ukraine, whose men and women are fighting desperately for their freedom. And it is clear that art often speaks louder than politicians and the media about political peripeteia and people’s suffering. It speaks to the heart and soul, it has a special aesthetic and makes an impression on the viewer that does not fade over the years.

Berlin is one of the world’s capitals of contemporary art. The online art platform GART Gallery, preparing the exhibition “Hardened”, believes that the Ukrainian women’s contemporary art in Berlin will shine brightly and distinctively. In addition, the works will be available in NFT format for the opening event.

The project “Hardened. Ukrainian phenomenon” is a research of the historical and cultural phenomenon of Ukrainian women, a panorama of contemporary Ukrainian women’s art in all its diversity of directions and, at the same time, a possibility to help contemporary artists to buy Ukrainian art. GART Gallery continues to support Ukraine and believes in its victory.


Based on an article from the magazine ELLE

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