“Art distracts and gives strength. Art will always be against war.”
War is destructive to people and their cultural heritage. Living Through War: Works from Kharkiv by Bella Logachova is a reaction against the war in Ukraine as it is actively taking place. Each work gives unique insight into the perspective of an artist living through the violence and destruction of her homeland. With this exhibition, the Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University (CAM) strives to bring empathy and awareness to the war in Ukraine while supporting an artist and her country embroiled in conflict. Living Through War is generously sponsored by KeyBank in partnership with First Niagara Foundation.
Combining imagery that is traditional to Ukrainian folk art along with military icons and symbols, Bella Logachova creates complex and narrative digital images. Through her intricate works, she describes various international events including the current conflict in Ukraine starting with the 2014 Euromaidan Revolution: “Each work is a documentary story told by means of ornament. War time is difficult…but we need to do something, to create new things—it’s our responsibility.”
This exhibition offers the incredibly rare opportunity to see through the eyes of a person in an active combat zone. The Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University (CAM) strives to bring empathy and awareness to the war in Ukraine while supporting an artist and her country embroiled in conflict. The exhibition will feature nineteen of Bella Logachova’s artworks from the ARtNUO (New Ukrainian Ornaments) Series, produced from 2014 through 2022, along with a video of the artist.
Bella Logachova is a Ukrainian artist and photographer, born in Mariupol in 1973. She graduated from the Kharkiv State Academy of Design and Art, where she currently teaches Media Arts and is a co-founder of SOSka art group, including the Excess film group, in Kharkiv. She has exhibited her work throughout Europe and Ukraine.
Bella Logachova received wide recognition after the presentation of posters titled ARtNUO – New Ukrainian Ornaments at the IX International Triennale “4th Block” in 2015 for which she received the Grand Prix award of the festival. The “4th Block” is an association of contemporary graphic designers. “In 2014, when the war in Ukraine started, I began the ARtNUO series…as the war only escalates, this series is still ongoing.”
This exhibition will be co-curated with Sabine Kutt of Sabine Kutt Photography. Sabine Kutt is a photographer, art curator, choreographer, and ballet master. Born and raised in East Germany, she has resided in the United States since 2001. Sabine Kutt curates international exhibitions and special events, and currently represents women artists, including Bella Logachova. “The natural, joyful elements of the embroidery stand in sharp contrast to the military symbols Bella Logachova inserts into her images. Her art is like news. She is one of the few artists who are able to immediately implement what she has experienced in a creative way.“
VASA Journal of Images and Culture published an interview with Bella Logachova and Sabine Kutt this week announcing the CAM's upcoming exhibition. Sabine Kutt is also the author of the accompanying essay titled "Only Women Can Do That—The Feminine Element in Photography."
The Dnipro Ukrainian Cultural Center in Buffalo, an important exhibition partner, is providing project support and lending traditional Ukrainian needlework for visual reference in the exhibition. The gallery will feature a QR code that allows CAM visitors to donate directly to Dnipro’s Ukrainian Humanitarian and Medical Aid charity fund.
Smaller Bella Logachova prints will be editioned and sold through our partner, The Print Center, to support the artist and Ukrainian organizations she selects for donations. You can purchase a Bella Logachova print here.
During a time of many global conflicts, the CAM supports creativity across borders and recognizes the deep contributions of immigrant, refugee, and BIPOC communities to the cultural fabric of the Buffalo-Niagara region. Additional programs referencing these powerful works will be hosted during the run of the exhibition for Niagara University students, local school districts, and the general public.
The exhibition will be on view Thursday, July 28, 2022 with an opening reception from 4:30–7:30 p.m. on July 28, with RSVP required. The first hour, 4:30–5:30 p.m., is for Museum Members and features a special tour. From 5:30-7:30 p.m., the public can explore the exhibition, hear remarks from co-curator Sabine Kutt and leadership from the Dnipro Ukrainian Cultural Center, and attend a short public gallery tour.
Bella Logachova, DNR (Donetskaya Narodnaya Respublica) from the ARtNUO (New Ukrainian Ornaments) Series, 2022, archival print, Courtesy of the artist and Sabine Kutt Photography
Bella Logachova, WARWARWARWAR from the ARtNUO (New Ukrainian Ornaments) Series, 2022, archival print. Courtesy of the artist and Sabine Kutt Photography
Bella Logachova in Kharkiv with Boing 777, from the ARtNUO (New Ukrainian Ornaments) Series, 2022, archival print, Courtesy of the artist and Sabine Kutt Photography
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