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“In the Eye of the Storm” - New Exhibition at the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza

For the forthcoming exhibition In the Eye of the Storm: Modernism in Ukraine, 1900-1930s, a convoy of two trucks carrying 51 rare and unique artworks, representing the core of Ukraine’s Avant-Garde movement, made their way from Kyiv to Madrid’s Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza. The secret convoy left Ukraine’s capital city early on November 15, 2022, just hours before what was to become one of the worst days of bombing in Kyiv since the beginning of the war. The trucks were packed in secrecy to safeguard the largest export of Ukraine’s cultural heritage to date and faced a treacherous journey as they passed through areas of unexpected heavy missile fire. The convoy arrived safely at the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid on Sunday, November 21, and remains the largest legal art transport from a war-torn country to date.

In the Eye of the Storm: Modernism in Ukraine, 1900-1930s will open November 28, 2022 at the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza with a video message by President Zelensky.

Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza, chairwoman of TBA21 and founder of Museums for Ukraine, said: “It is becoming clearer day by day that this war against Ukraine is not only about stealing territory but it is also about controlling the nation’s narrative and its cultural heritage. Ukraine needs European imagination and joint European cultural responses. This is why I founded Museums for Ukraine, as a platform for all in the cultural sector of Europe to make every effort possible to be there for Ukraine –in the spirit of generosity, inclusivity, and collaboration that is a genuine manifestation of our true European values. This is urgent and timely, and a strong reminder of the transformative power of art. We need art and culture to take a stance and clarify the historical and political contexts of canon-creation and cultural identity. This exhibition aims to recover the history of modernism in Ukraine and acknowledge Ukraine's huge influence and participation in the Avant-Garde that shaped the future of Europe's Modernist art movement.”

The exhibition In the Eye of the Storm: Modernism in Ukraine, 1900–1930s presents ground-breaking art produced in Ukraine in the first decades of the 20th century, showcasing trends that range from figurative art to futurism and constructivism. In the most comprehensive survey of Ukrainian modern art to date – with many previously unseen works on loan from the National Art Museum of Ukraine, the Museum of Theatre, Music and Cinema of Ukraine, the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, and other private collections. The exhibition celebrates the dynamism and diversity of the artistic scene in Ukraine and recontextualizes the distinct role of Ukrainian artists within the broader European Avant-Garde.

In a seminal exhibition catalogue published by Thames & Hudson, twelve internationally renowned scholars, including curators from the National Art Museum of Ukraine, bring to life this astonishing period of creativity in Ukraine and all the movements it encompassed.

The exhibition is on view at Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, from November 29, 2022 to April 30, 2023. Curated by Konstantin Akinsha, Katia Denysova, Olena Kashuba-Volvach, and under the high patronage of the Office of the President of Ukraine and the Spanish Ministry of Culture, supported by the Embassy of Ukraine in Spain, PinchukArtCentre and Museums for Ukraine.








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  • Vadym Meller Composition, 1919-20 Oil on canvas, 74 x 60 cm National Art Museum of Ukraine
    Vadym Meller Composition, 1919-20 Oil on canvas, 74 x 60 cm National Art Museum of Ukraine
    Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary Privatstiftung