More than 150 works of Ukrainian photographers appeared in one of the most prestigious cultural centers in the world – the Pompidou Centre in Paris, France.
Borys Grynyov, the collector and co-founder of the Grynyov Art Collection, believes that this is a real recognition and a lot of efforts have been made to gain it. It was necessary not only to acquaint the Centre’s representative office with contemporary Ukrainian art but also to promote the interests of national artists internationally.
Mr. Grynyov recalls that an exhibition which was held at the Pompidou Center was supposed to represent the photography of Russia. And somehow the works of Ukrainian artists appeared there.
“The aggressive policy of our neighbors manifests itself everywhere, including art. There was a Russian project for the Pompidou Center, Russia donated 400 works. And that gift included 30 percent of the Ukrainian artists’ works. We began to explain to the Pompidou Center that this is not actually Russia. And they got interested in our works,” says the collector.
It is very difficult to get into the exhibition halls of the Center, even if the artist gives works for free. All photographs are strictly selected. So, 131 photographs of the Kharkiv School of Photography covering the life of the country from 1970 to 2010, as well as the work of the Ukrainian photographer and artist Stas Volyazlovsky were selected.
According to Mr. Grynyov, it’s a great victory because this is the worldwide recognition of the Kharkiv School of Photography. What is more, it shows that there is art worthy of the world’s leading museums in Kharkiv, Kyiv and Odesa.
“Against the background of the general artistic map of Ukraine, the Kharkiv School of Photography appears to be a surprisingly striking phenomenon,” Oleksandra Osadcha, the researcher of the Kharkiv School of Photography Museum, states. “It began to form in the late 1960s. And for almost half a century, interest in the Kharkiv School of Photography has not faded away: on the one hand, its art has become a historical heritage, and on the other, photographs resonate with the needs of modern society,” she continues.
Oleksandra believes that the fact the photographs got into the world’s most prestigious art center is a significant step in the implementation of the country’s cultural policy.
Text: Natalia Ivanova