Voloshyn Gallery presents the project of Lesia Khomenko and Maria Sulymenko at Art Brussels.
The practice of both artists focuses on the study of deconstruction and chaos and their manifestations, turning it into a means of artistic expression. In her practice, Lesia Khomenko constantly rethinks the role of painting as a media and academic art education, using the methods of deconstruction of the figurative image as a tool. Deconstruction in the practice of Lesia Khomenko involves not only working with visual images, but also with all the components of the picture - its material carriers. Thus, in her new series, thanks to the use of synthetic canvas, biflex and synthetic acrylic paints, the author achieves a new maximum elasticity of the canvas. This allows the artist to turn one of her least favorite activities – stretching the canvas on the stretcher – into the main meaning-making part of the work, because it is the stretching of the canvas that becomes a tool for the deformation of the figures depicted in the paintings. In addition, the stretcher itself, as a rule, remains an invisible, marginal part of the picture. It is often subject to replacement, or stretching occurs without the participation of the author. The project draws the viewer's attention to the routine, technical process of creating and designing a picture, which turns into a self-sufficient author's gesture that ultimately defines the image.
Lesia Khomenko's painting goes beyond traditional understanding and acquires the character of painting as an object. Her works interact and transform space, while simultaneously entering the viewer's physical field, involving the latter in active communication.
"Modern painting has significantly transformed from the classical idea of painting. So I abandon social realism and choose to work with biflex material, which allows me to draw a figure and then warp and distort it as I stretch. This allows me to turn one of my favorite processes of mounting the canvas on the frame into a major sense-making piece, as it becomes a tool for deforming the depicted figures. In my work with painting, I have two parallel strategies: painting as an object and figurative representation. A picture as an object is always related to the space where it appears: the object can yield to the space, or vice versa, "collect" it together to form it in a new way. The figurative paintings I create are always subject to deconstruction.” — Lesia Khomenko
Maria Sulymenko's works enter into dialogue with Khomenko's works. Maria, in contrast to Lesia Khomenko, relays and constructs chaos in an orderly existence. Sulymenko's watercolors are imbued with existentialism in the expression of abstract concepts and an absurdist atmosphere. Landscapes are almost uninhabited. Nameless figures appear in them mostly alone, sometimes in groups of two or three. They are not characters as such, but simply creatures. Their environment refers more to the subconscious than to the usual reality.
"Every day reality confronts us, forcing people to interact with people, things with things and vice versa. This kind of interdependent interaction happens every day, and in this semi-automatic mutual influence there is some mystery, something not fully resolved, something that cannot be finally understood once and for all. No matter how confident and unique the "people in suits" feel, meeting the real world always brings an element of chaos to their orderly existence, because life is not just multifaceted: sometimes it is awkward, funny and funny. No matter how smooth reality may seem, it always goes beyond the picture of the world invented by "people in suits" driven by the desire to control and contain everything around them. - Maria Sulymenko
About Lesia Khomenko
Lesia Khomenko is author of paintings, installations, performances and videos. In her works she deconstruct narrative image and transforms paintings to the objects. The artist’s interest is in comparing history and myths and revealing tools of visual manipulation. With her skills from Ukrainian Art academy she is constructing complex critical statements.
Lesia Khomenko (was born 1980 in Kyiv, Ukraine). Graduated National academy of fine art and architecture at 2004. 2005-2006 – residency at Center for Contemporary Art at Kyiv-Mohyla academy, Kyiv; 2008 – residency at LIA (Leipzig International Art program) Leipzig. Co-founder and member of R.E.P. group (since 2004) and curatorial group Hudrada (since 2008). Her works have been shown in several solo and group exhibitions, among others at the main project of 1st Kyiv Biennale of contemporary art Arsenale 2012, Kyiv, at the National Art Museum of Ukraine, Kyiv, at the White Box Gallery, at the New-York, MUMOK, Vienna, and at the Zaheta gallery, Warsaw. She was in short list of PinchukArtPrize (2009, 2011 and 2013), Future Generations Art Price with group R.E.P. (2012) founded by Victor Pinchuk and Kazimir Malevich Artist Award (2012 and 2016). Lives and works in Kyiv, Ukraine.
About Maria Sulymenko
Maria Sulymenko (1981, Kyiv, Ukraine) was born in a family of artists. After graduating from the Academy of Fine Arts in Stuttgart (Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Stuttgart), she continued her studies at the Hessen State University of Art and Design in Offenbach am Main (Hochschule für Gestaltung). Her recent group exhibitions include Shifting, Glances (Simone Subal Gallery, NYC, US, 2022), Is it time, yet? (Georg Kargl Fine Arts, Vienna, Austria, 2022), She Asked, I Followed. Her Name Is After (Fredric Snitzer Gallery & Voloshyn Gallery, Miami, FL, US, 2022), The Memory on Her Face: Part I and II (Voloshyn Gallery, Miami, FL, US, 2022) And i trust You (Miettinen Collection, Berlin, 2022) and the solo exhibition The Glass World of People and Things... (Voloshyn Gallery, Kyiv, Ukraine, 2017).
About Voloshyn Gallery
Founded in October 2016 by Max and Julia Voloshyn, Voloshyn Gallery specializes in contemporary art. It showcases a broad range of media in contemporary art, hosting solo and group exhibitions and participating in leading contemporary art fairs. Voloshyn Gallery participates in leading contemporary art fairs. Over the course of the last two years, the gallery has participated in The Armory Show, Liste Basel, Vienna Contemporary, Dallas Art Fair, Pulse Art Fair, Nada Miami, Untitled Art, Art Athina, Expo Chicago etc. Zhanna Kadyrova's solo presentation from Voloshyn Gallery was awarded the Pulse Prize (2018) at the Pulse Art Fair. The project was also noted by the curators of the Perez Art Museum Miami.Voloshyn Gallery is a member of The New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA).
About Art Brussels
Founded in 1968, Art Brussels is one of the most renowned contemporary art fairs in Europe and a must-see in the international art calendar. Art Brussels represents a unique opportunity to discover the richness of the artistic and cultural scene of the European capital, and attracts a growing number of collectors, gallerists, curators, art professionals and art lovers from around the world. Every year in April, the fair welcomes around 25,000 visitors. Since 2016, Art Brussels had been held in the emblematic Tour & Taxis building, in the heart of Brussels. This year, the fair is moving back to the Brussels Expo site where the fair will be held in Halls 5 and 6, Art Deco icon built for the 1935 Brussels International Exposition.