An exhibition of heartbreaking works by Ukrainian artists opened in New York
In his studio in Kyiv, an artist named Burenko paints poignant landscapes of lifeless houses. In the basement of an art gallery turned bomb shelter, Nikita Kadan creates disorienting charcoal drawings. In a conflict zone, Dom Marker photographs life and loss. These and many other works created in the active war zone in Ukraine are now on display in Manhattan’s Hudson Square as part of an exhibition at Sonya Gallery. Time Out told us more.
The exhibition, in which contemporary Ukrainian artists take part, will benefit the non-profit organization Sunflower Network for the construction of a hospital in the city of Brody (Ukraine).
The exhibition is called “The Thousand Yard Stare: Ukraine 2023,” a reference to a World War II phrase that described the dissociated gaze of soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. The exhibition aims to explore the physical and psychological consequences of the war on Ukrainians at home and abroad.
Today, during the so-called “first social media war,” the “thousand-yard stare” may also apply to those helplessly watching war news on their phones and televisions, say event organizers.
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The exhibition features eight artists, many of whom created their work over the past year in an active war zone. The curatorial heart of the exhibition can be called Sasha Kurmaz’s installation “Russian Literature and Genocide”. The exhibition’s photograph of murdered civilians, framed on top of stacks of Russian novels, explores how Russia’s historical imperial plans led to the current invasion.
A digital print of the metal shield held by the Kiev statue of Mother Ukraine, made by artist Yulia Belyaeva, symbolizes the separation from the USSR. A suite of 24 watercolors by Maria Kulikovskaya carries the soul of the artist, reflecting the experience of war and resettlement as a refugee. Likewise, Katerina Ganchak’s abstract watercolors reflect the subconscious struggles of a New York artist living away from home. At the same time, Alyosha’s acrylic glass sculptures are dedicated to “bioism” – the search for new forms of life for an organic future that offers glimmers of hope.
All works are for sale with prices ranging from $1,500 to $19,000. Proceeds will go towards the Sunflower Network’s Project Horizon initiative, a public-private partnership to build a WHO-standard hospital in the city of Brody, located in northwestern Ukraine.
This is Sonya Gallery’s fourth fundraising exhibition. The first, held last fall in the East Village, marked the debut event for the Sunflower Network, founded by New York native Dustin Ross.
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To date, the Sunflower Network has raised more than $3.5 million to provide critical aid to Ukraine such as four-wheel drive vehicles, ambulances, power generators, medicine and hygiene products.
Following the Thousand Yard Stare: Ukraine 2023 exhibition, another art exhibition will open in the same space, featuring paintings by emerging artists from around the world in support of Ukraine. Both exhibitions were curated by Jack Chase and Dylan Siegel.
“By presenting the work of contemporary Ukrainian artists, Sonya Gallery strives not only to raise funds needed to provide immediate and long-term assistance, but also to foster a deep sense of human unity that transcends borders,” the curators said in a statement.
Sonya Gallery is located at 555 Greenwich Street, entrance on Charlton Street. The exhibition “Thousand Yard Stare: Ukraine 2023” will run until November 4. The gallery is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 11:00 to 18:00.