Ukrainian art finds refuge in Spain

Ukrainian art has found refuge in Madrid away from Russian bombing. Moreover, the country’s early 20th-century avant-garde art pieces, previously not showcased recently, are now displayed to the general public.

On Tuesday, the Spanish Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum inaugurated the “In the Eye of the Storm. Modernism in Ukraine, 1900-1930s” exhibition, showcasing a collection of about 70 artworks in various formats representing different trends, from figurative art to futurism and constructivism.

But aside from vindicating a little-known period in the history of Ukrainian art, the exhibition takes on particular relevance amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of the country.

“The primary objective is to make sure that this artworks are in safety but another very important one for us was to show the richness and the diversity of Ukrainian art and culture and kind of share it with European and international audience and show that Ukraine have a lot to contribute or it had contributed to European culture in many ways and this art is an important chapter of the development of European art not just regional Ukrainian or Easter European art,” Katia Denysova, one of the exhibit’s three curators, told Reuters.

“So I think we wanted to share this with Europeans, this is an integral part of our heritage, our culture in Ukraine and this is what Ukrainians are fighting for right now,” she added.

A challenging journey

The curator, describing the journey out of Ukraine as a “rollercoaster”, said that transporting the works from Kyiv to the European Union through a country at war was not without its many challenges.

One such example was the temporary closure of border controls in response to the impact of a stray missile on Polish soil, which sparked fears of an escalation two weeks ago.

“The day when we were bringing the artworks out of Ukraine was the 15th of November which was the day of the biggest missile attack,” Denysova said.

She expressed how she was “beyond delighted” when seeing all the art pieces arrive at the Spanish museum.