The Ukrainian Avant-garde, Fall 2022 Lecture Series

The Ukrainian Museum of Canada is proud to host a Fall lecture series highlighting the creativity, inspiration, and leadership of Ukrainian artists in the first half of the 20th century. Many of these artists were at the forefront of stylistic innovation and the development of Modern art.

Presented by Ukrainian-Canadian art historian, John Koenig, The Ukrainian Avant-garde lecture series covers three broad topics:

Thursday, Thursday September 29, at 7 PM: Ukrainian Artists in the Vanguard

In the past, Ukrainian artists were often subsumed into the art histories of the Russian empire. But in reality many of these artists self-identified as Ukrainian or drew substantially from their Ukrainian heritage in their pursuit of innovation and style. Dr. Koenig’s first lecture features Alexander Archipenko, one of the most renowned cubist sculptors of the 20th century; Oleksandr Bohomazov, the “Ukrainian Picasso”; and Kazimir Malevich, founder of an artistic movement called Suprematism. These and other Ukrainian artists were instrumental in the foundation and fluorescence of Europe’s artistic avant-garde in the early 20th century.

Thursday, October 13, 2022, at 7 PM: Ukrainian Artists in Paris

In the first half of the 20th century, Paris was the leading metropolis for the development of Modern art in Europe. While there were other cities of note — including Munich, Prague, Berlin, and Zurich — most avant-garde artists migrated to the “City of Lights” to stay abreast of innovative styles and emerging movements. This lecture focuses on émigré Ukrainian artists in Paris, where they congregated in Montparnasse at a workshop called La Ruche (“The Beehive”) and participated in the first Ukrainian association in Paris, the Hromada.

Thursday, November 17, 2022, at 7 PM: Ukrainian Women of the Avant-Garde

Ukrainian women have featured prominently not just in the Ukrainian avant-garde, but also in the general development and trajectory of Modern art in Europe. They include Sonia Delauney-Terk, a painter of colourful abstractions; Baroness Oettingen (the “magnificent muse of Paris” ); and Alexandra Exter, the Cubist costume designer. The careers of these women provided inspiration for other Ukrainian women artists including folk artist Maria Prymachenko, whom Picasso once called an “artistic miracle.” This lecture, about the indispensable role of Ukrainian women in the Modern avant-garde is presented in honour of the Ukrainian Women’s Association of Canada and the enduring legacy of the museum they created.

Admission to each lecture is free for Members; $5 for non-Members. Please arrive early to permit the lectures to begin on time.