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Press release


First Major Exhibition of Early 20th Century Ukrainian Art in the U.S.

Coming to the Chicago Cultural Center July 22--October 15, 2006

The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs announces the first major exhibition of early 20th century Ukrainian art in the United States. Crossroads: Modernism in Ukraine, 1910-1930 will be on display at the Chicago Cultural Center in the fourth floor Exhibit Hall, 78 E. Washington Street, from July 22 through October 15, 2006. Admission to the exhibition is free.

Vsevolod Maksymovych. Kiss. 1913. 39 3/8x39 3/8 in. (100x100 cm). Oil on canvas. NAMU, Kyiv.

This outstanding exhibit of 21 Ukrainian avant-garde artists includes approximately over 70 works gathered by Professor Dmitirii Dmytro Horbachov, an international expert on this period and Nikita Lobanov-Rostovsky, from private collections, the National Art Museum of Ukraine, the Theatre Museum, the Museum of Folk Art of the Ukraine, and the Art Museum of Dnipropetrovsk. Anatolii Melnyk, General Director of the National Art Museum of Ukraine, provided organizational assistance in Ukraine and John Bowlt, Professor at the University of Southern California, served as editor of the exhibition catalog.

The exhibition has been organized by the Foundation for International Arts and Education with the National Art Museum of Ukraine. It is presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and the Kyiv Committee of the Chicago Sister Cities International Program. The national tour is sponsored by The Boeing Company, Tthe Trust for Mutual Understanding, Nour USA Ltd., Konstantin Grigorishin and Aerosvit Airlines. Additional financial support has been provided by Oleksandr Tabalov, Mykola M. Shymone, Dean Buntrock and Chadbourne and Park, LLP. and

"Crossroads explores the role of Ukraine in the development of the avant-garde movement," said Gregory Knight, Deputy Commissioner/Visual Arts of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs. "It includes works by well-known artists like Kazimir Malevich, Alexandra Exter and David Burliuk and introduces American audiences to previously unknown Ukrainian artists including Yasyl Yermylov and Oleksandr Bohomazov."

The international avant-garde movement that reached its peak during the first three decades of the twentieth century included many influential and innovative artists from Ukraine. As elsewhere in the former Soviet Union, these artists were often persecuted and executed in the 1930s and their works were banned or destroyed. According to local experts, nearly 2,000 of these works were confiscated by the government during the late 1930s, and only 300 remain today. This exhibition presents the best of these works, many of which have only recently been viewed outside of Ukraine.

Writing in the exhibition catalog, Mr, Lobanov-Rostovsky noted: "This exhibit is designed to show an American audience the talent and unique nature of Ukrainian avant-garde art and to help understand that the artists are, indeed, Ukrainian, not Russian, a difference not always appreciated in the West. Moreover, the exhibition is equally important because it will also help Ukrainians acquaint themselves with their own cultural heritage."

The public is invited to learn more about the exhibition with a full schedule of events listed below that have been organized to accompany the exhibition. All are free, unless otherwise noted.


Crossroads: Modernism in Ukraine, 1910-1930 is accompanied by a four-color catalog, which will be available for sale at the Shop at the Cultural Center. A complimentary brochure will be on hand at the exhibition. Teacher materials are offered for local educators, and school groups are encouraged to visit by calling 312.744.8032.

Following its premiere in Chicago, the exhibition will travel to The Ukrainian Museum in New York. After concluding its American tour, the exhibition will be displayed at the National Art Museum of Ukraine in Kyiv.

Expanded hours for summer at the Chicago Cultural Center began on April 1 and run through October 31. Viewing hours for Crossroads: Modernism in Ukraine, 1910-1930 at the Chicago Cultural Center are Mondays through Thursdays, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Fridays, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturdays 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Chicago Cultural Center is closed on holidays.

Iin Chicago, the exhibition is sponsored in part by generous support from UA-TV, LLC, Selfreliance Ukrainian American Federal Credit Union, The Heritage Foundation at First Security Federal Savings Bank, Hyatt International Corporation and an anonymous donor. This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and Humanities. Additional support has been provided by the Mission of Ukraine to the United Nations, the Embassy Ukraine in Washington DC and the Consulate General of Ukraine in Chicago.

Exhibitions and related educational programming presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs at the Chicago Cultural Center are partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. Transportation support is generously provided by United, Official Airline for the Chicago Cultural Center.

For more information about Crossroads: Modernism in Ukraine, 1910-1930, call 312.744.6630. (TTY: 312.744.2947) or visit www.chicagoculturalcenter.org. For information about the Chicago Sister Cities International Program, visit chicagosistercities.com.

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