Dnipro School of Painting
Lucy Ivanova

Have you ever seen a rocket? Lucy Ivanova's father has, according to the title of one of her works. The artist was born in Dnipro, a large industrial city in the east of Ukraine, known as an important centre of rocket construction since the Soviet times. It is also known in much narrower circles for the specific painterly manner taught in the local art college. The “Dnipro school of painting”, a point of departure for many artistic careers in Ukraine, has always stood out for its loose shapes, silverish colour palette and crispy brush strokes. Or maybe it is just another myth similar to the one cherished in the country’s conservative alma maters, proclaiming painting to be “the heart and soul” of Ukrainian art forever and ever.

Lucy Ivanova’s practice does not ruin this myth but rather complements it with more diverse shades. While the artist has never completely abandoned her academic approach, she nevertheless constantly undermines it. Her practice can be summed up as an open-ended negotiation with the medium of painting. The exhibition attempts to overview this very process, in a somewhat academic-like mockery manner of dense and excessive layout of “all important works”.

While the exhibition is not a retrospective in the usual sense, there is a certain regressive view at the milestones of the past 15 years of her work through the lens of private biography, as well as external influences of artistic and political nature. It starts with a glimpse of the Dnipro landscape, painted back in the student years when “a rocket” meant nothing else but a spaceship for peaceful exploration of the cosmos. And it ends with her recent etudes of the same city, living through a completely different reality with Russian missiles flying above in the sky, altering the natural and mental landscape of the artist’s work. 

Artist: Lucy Ivanova was born in 1989 in Dnipro. In 2009 she graduated from Dnipropetrovsk Theater and Arts College (G. Cherneta studio) and in 2015 the National Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture in Kyiv. Lucy is a member of the Montage collective. She participated in the Festival of Young Ukrainian Artists (Mystetskyi Arsenal, 2017; as a member of Montage) and Biennial of Young Art (Kharkiv, 2019). She’s been a regular participant in the Mohrytsia International Land Art symposium. Together with Yegor Antsygin she also curated a visual arts residency program in ArtSvit Gallery (Dnipro, 2019). In 2022, she was a resident at Vienna Art Academy, and in 2022—23 at MAXXI L’Acquila residency. Ivanonva lives and works in Vienna.

Curators: Lizaveta German and Maria Lanko are curators and co-founders of The Naked Room gallery, Kyiv. They were co-curators of the Ukrainian Pavilion, 59th La Biennale di Venezia (2022). In 2008–2012, they worked separately as art managers at several institutions in Kyiv. In 2012–2013, Lizaveta and Maria participated in the Curatorial Platform program at PinchukArtCentre. Since 2014, they have been working together as a curatorial collective. The duo has organised more than 30 exhibitions and collaborated with the leading art institutions in Ukraine, including the National Art Museum of Ukraine, Mystetskyi Arsenal, Goethe-Institut, British Council, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Ukrainian Institute. In 2022, they presented the National Pavilion of Ukraine at Harvard and also co-curated Piazza Ucraina project and Decolonising Art. The curators are based between Kyiv and Vienna.


Vernissage: Tuesday, September 6th, 6pm-8pm

Artist’s Talk: Friday, September 8th, 11am