Voloshyn Gallery is pleased to present Exhibition, a solo show by Oleksiy Sai. Curated by Natalia Matsenko. The exhibition will run from August 17th to October 8th, 2023.
This project is very special for us, as it was scheduled to start on February 24, 2022, the day when Russia’s gruesome invasion of Ukraine began. The exhibition has actually opened, though for a very limited audience, namely the artist himself, his friends, and his family, all of whom have been using the gallery as a bomb shelter at the time. Displayed in the historical center of Kyiv, these works both witnessed the moment when an eight-year-long simmering conflict turned into a full-scale war and participated in it. The exhibition has been covered by a number of publications, with editorials in the likes of The New York Times, Miami Herald, W Magazine, NPR, and Glass Magazine telling the world about the events taking place in Ukraine.
In 2023, Oleksiy Sai’s Exhibition finally opens for public, offering the artist’s outlook on historical processes. While it is true that our reality has changed drastically in the last seventeen months, the Bombed series remains very on-point in reflecting it.
The series comprises bird’s-eye-view images of landscapes of the east of Ukraine pockmarked by explosion craters left by the war. Using a disc grinder, drill, and abrasives, the artist almost completely ruins his previous works from the Excel-Art series, transforming them into textured maps of destruction, nearly abstract but still clearly meaningful. It was started back in 2014 as Sai’s reaction to then-current events unfolding in the country. He viewed working on it as a kind of therapy that would allow him to deal with harsh emotions triggered by the situation. The artist has been building it up through a meditative process combining both creation and destruction. By 2018, the works accumulated into a series featuring imagery that assembles into an abstract pattern barely yielding to recognition.
About Oleksiy Sai
Oleksiy Sai (b. 1975, Kyiv, Ukraine) is the artist who uses different media, but is mostly known for his personal invention – the praxis of Exel-Art. Sai has been working with Excel software as a visual language resource since 2004. Besides the fact that Sai sees the means of Excel as the most appropriate mode of addressing the office life realities, the artist’s choice to embrace the software developed to process large corpuses of data is also an attempt to demystify art practice as such. He graduated from the Kyiv College of Arts and Industries with a degree in graphic design in 1993, and from the Department of Easel Graphic Art at the National Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture in 2001. Sai showed in the PinchukArtCentre Prize (2009), the nationwide contemporary art prize for young Ukrainian artists.
Oleksiy Sai took part in many group and solo exhibitions in Ukraine and abroad. Recent group exhibitions include: A Letter from the Front – Лист з фронту at Haus der Kunst (DE); Hi-Resolution: Ukrainian Culture and Contemporary Art Now!, The James Gallery, NYC, US; She Asked, I Followed. Her Name Is After, Fredric Snitzer Gallery, Miami, FL, (US); Worth Fighting For at PinchukArtCentre, Cologne (DE); Permanent Revolution, Ludwig Museum, Budapest, Hungary; MAXXI - Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo in Rome (IT). His work forms part of collections both public and private, including Ludwig Museum in Budapest, (HU), Museum of Odesa Modern Art (UA). Sai’s works have been covered and reviewed by The New York Times, The Gurdian and others.
Opening reception: August 17, 6–8pm
August 17th - October 8th, 2023
Voloshyn Gallery, Tereshchenkivska Str. 13, Kyiv, Ukraine, 01004