NAA of Ukraine NewsMemento Vitae: A Solo Exhibition by Olena Ovchynnikova

A collection of artworks by Olena Ovchynnikova (Ukraine-USA), a foreign full member of the National Academy of Arts of Ukraine, is presented in the exhibition in the city of Kyiv, Ukraine.


The Museum of the Ukrainian Diaspora in Kyiv opened a solo exhibition of Olena Ovchynnikova's artwork Memento Vitae. This event marks the first time that a retrospective of the artist's work is presented in her hometown since independence. The collection includes more than 50 works from the collections of the Museum of the History of Kyiv and the Museum of the Ukrainian Diaspora, the works created by the artist both in Ukraine and in emigration (the USA) from the late 1950s to the present day. 
Among the exhibited works are a series of linocuts "People from Verkhovyna" made in the late 1950s and early 1960s, inspired by travels in the Hutsul region, and many works inspired by the ancient village of Khalep'ya and its inhabitants. For the first time in the exhibition are the artist's sketches for a mural in the Kyiv Intourist Hotel, created in 1990. Later, the mural was destroyed and the watercolour sketches "Hopak" and "Krakowiak" are the only remaining pieces of the artist's outstanding monumental work. 
The exhibition culminates with the Decameron series, painted by Ovchynnikova in the United States in 2008-2020 and recently donated to the collection of the Museum of the Ukrainian Diaspora in Kyiv. On April 4, at the opening of the exhibition, Museum director Oksana Pidsukha noted that this project aims to rediscover an outstanding Ukrainian artist, still underestimated in her homeland, and to engrave her name and her creative heritage in the chronicle of the national revival of Ukrainian art, known as the Sixties movement.
***Olena Ovchynnikova was born in Kyiv, graduated from the Kyiv Art Institute (KAI) and taught at the KAI from 1969 to 1982. She is the author of various graphic series and individual works with Ukrainian motifs, marked by her individual "fresco-monumental" style. She has illustrated about 25 books, including Harald Bergstedt's The Feast of St. Jorgen (1967), Hryhoriy Tiutiunnyk's The Whirlpool (1972), and Yuriy Yanovsky's The Horsemen (1987). Since 2001, she has been living and working in the USA (Homestead, Pennsylvania). ***


The opening was attended by Vice-President of the National Academy of Arts of Ukraine Yuriy Vakulenko and Academic Secretary of the Department of Fine Arts of the National Academy of Arts of Ukraine Andriy Chebykin. In his welcoming remarks, Andriy Chebykin honoured the outstanding examples of Ukrainian graphic art presented in the exhibition, they impress with their virtuosity of technique and perfection of form. 
The exhibition will run until June 11, 2023
Museum of the Ukrainian Diaspora40 B, Kniaziv Ostrozkykh Str., Kyiv city

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