Women at War – Artists' Biographies

Curated by Monika Fabijanska

July 6 - August 26, 2022



Dana Kavelina, a still from Letter to a Turtledove, 2020, film, 20:55 min.

©Dana Kavelina. Courtesy of the artist

Yevgenia Belorusets (b. 1980 in Kyiv) works at the intersection of visual art, literature, journalism, and social activism, pursuing document as artistic language, and calling attention to the most vulnerable groups of Ukrainian society. She is a co-founder of the literary-artistic-political journal Prostory, and a member of the interdisciplinary curatorial collective Hudrada. Belorusets is best known for her photo series Victories of the Defeated, (2014-2017), and books Lucky Breaks (International Literature Award, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, 2020; a translation published by New Directions, NY, 2022), and Series of Lectures on the Modern Life of Animals. Her War Diary (2022) was published day by day in Artforum, and presented by PinchukArtCentre at the 59th Venice Biennale. Belorusets’ works were shown at the Museo Nacional de las Culturas del Mundo, Mexico City, 2019; Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, 2019; Izolyatsia, Kyiv, 2019; PinchukArtCentre, Kyiv, 2018, 2015, 2013 (twice nominated for the PinchukArtCentre Price); Odessa Biennial, 2017; Gasteig, Munich, 2016; National Shevchenko Museum, Kyiv, 2016; Ukrainian Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennial, 2015; Artspace, New Haven, CT, 2015; ICA Philadelphia, 2015; Museumsquartier, Vienna, 2014; National Museum at Krolikarnia, Warsaw, 2014; ZKM, Karlsruhe, 2012; and many literature museums. She lives and works in Kyiv and Berlin.

| belorusets.com

Oksana Chepelyk (b. 1961 in Kyiv) pioneered media art and feminist art in Ukraine in the 1990s. She graduated from the Kyiv State Art Institute (currently, National Academy of Visual Arts and Architecture), and did postgraduate studies in Moscow. Solo exhibitions include: Kuandu Museum, Taipei, 2018; The UCLA Broad Art Center and The UCLA Art|Sci Center, Los Angeles, CA, 2011; Museum of Modern Art, Kyiv, 2011; Art Arsenal, Kyiv, 2009; Bauhaus-Kolleg, Dessau, 2000; and Banff Centre for the Arts, Canada, 1998. Group Exhibitions include: PinchukArtCentre, Kyiv, 2018; National Art Museum, Kyiv, 2013; Documenta, Hauptbahnhof, Kassel, 2002; Kunsthistorische Museum, Vienna, 2001; Espace Cardin, Paris, 1999; Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, 1999; and The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, 1998. Chepelyk received Cinemadamare Award at the Venice International Film Festival, Final Cut, 2013; and Special Werkleitz Award at the European Media Art Festival, Osnabruck, 2003. Her films and videos were screened at International Short Film Festival, Oberhausen, Karlovy Vary IFF; Molodist IFF, Kyiv; IFF Stuttgart; International Experimental Short Film Festival, Santa Fe, NM; Videozone Biennial, Tel Aviv; and Ars Electronica, Linz. She received Fulbright Research Award twice, grants from Soros Foundation, ArtsLink, ProHelvetia, Bauhaus Dessau Foundation, C.I.E.S. (France), and many other. In 2007, she founded the International Festival of Social Sculpture, Kyiv. She temporarily lives and works in Marseille, France. 

| oksanachepelyk.wixsite.com | www.instagram.com/oksanachepelyk 

Olia Fedorova (b. 1994 in Kharkiv) is a conceptual artist who works with performance, photography, video, and text. She graduated from the Kharkiv State Academy of Design and Fine Arts in 2016. She was the winner of the Nathan Altman Contemporary Visual Art Contest, Vinnytsia, 2017; a finalist of Ukrainian Biennale of Young Art, Kharkiv, 2019; and MUHi (Young Ukrainian Artists), Kyiv, 2017. Solo exhibitions include: Municipal gallery, Kharkiv, 2021, 2017; Contemporary Art Center Tea Factory, Odessa, 2017; and several galleries in Kharkiv, Kyiv, and Dnipro. Group exhibitions include Eye/View II organized by Videocity, Electronic Billboard at the Congress Center Basel, 2022; Association for Contemporary Art, Graz, 2020; Brüdershaft project, supported by the German Embassy in Ukraine (Kyiv, Kharkiv, Dnipro), 2020; International Winter Land Art Festival Mythogenesis (Nemyriv, Ukraine, 2017-2020; and Museum of Ideas, Lviv, 2017. Fedorova participated in many artist residency programs, including in Mariupol, Ukraine; in the UK, Austria, Germany, and Poland; as well as online during the covid-19 pandemic, including Co-iki Arts Living Space (Tokyo), and American Art Incubator residency (Isolation Fund, Kyiv/Zero1, San-Francisco). Fedorova lives and works in Kharkiv – since May 2022, she has been temporarily based in Graz, Austria.  

| oliafedorova.com | instagram.com/olia_off

Alena Grom (b. 1976 in Donetsk) works at the intersection of social reporting and conceptual photography. Her projects documenting the lives of people who find themselves in a “gray zone” close to military action are each a separate story with its own narrative, and often employ portraiture and landscape photography. In 2014, the outbreak of war in Donbas forced Grom to leave her home and professional life behind. Since 2015, as an internal refugee, she has been studying at Bird in Flight and Viktor Marushchenko Photography Schools. Photography allowed her to cope with trauma and return to Donbas while working on projects. Since 2017 she has lived in Bucha, Kyiv oblast. As a result of the full-scale invasion of Russia in February 2022, Grom and her family became refugees for the second time. 

Her photography was shown in Palestine—Ukraine, eastFOTO gallery, Gruenewald, Germany, 2022; Mystetskyi Arsenal, Kyiv, 2021; PHOTO KYIV, 2020; Kolga Tbilisi Photo, Georgia, 2020 and 2017; Modern Art Research Institute of NAAU, Kyiv, 2019; Slovak Press Photo, 2018; Black Box Gallery, Portland, OR, 2018; Bronx Documentary Center, Bronx, NY 2018; PhotOn Festival – International Festival of Photojournalism, Valencia, Spain, 2017; LivePressPhoto Ukraine, 2016; Grand Photo Salon Ukraine, 2016; and published in L’Œil de la Photographie, 2018 and #EuroMaidan: Rising for Freedom and Democracy in Ukraine (Brine Books, Canada, 2014). 

| alenagrom.com | instagram.com/grom_alena

Alla Horska (1929, Yalta, Crimea – 1970, Vasylkiv, Kyiv oblast) was a Ukrainian artist, human rights activist, and dissident. She studied at the Kyiv Art Institute (currently the National Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture), 1948-54. Following the Khrushchev Thaw, in 1960, she co-founded Shistdesyatnyky (The Sixtiers) – a group of literati, artists and scholars who spoke to the criminal nature of the Soviet communist system and rejected socialist realism. Their aim was to preserve Ukraine’s culture and language through art and literature. The group laid the foundations for the realization of the rights of the Ukrainian people to their own statehood. From 1960-64 she co-created the Creative Youth Club Suchasnyk (Contemporary), the center of Ukrainian culture in Kyiv. First admitted to the Union of Artists of the Ukrainian SSR in 1959 for her paintings of Donbas miners, she was expelled twice—in 1964, for depicting Taras Shevchenko in a stained-glass panel for the Kyiv University, and for her principled civic stance regarding political trials of 1967-70. Professionally blacklisted in Kyiv, Horska collaborated with other artists on a series of monumental mosaics and frescos on public buildings in Donetsk, 1965-69. Some served as “monumental propaganda” of the builders of Communism, other were interpretations of the Ukrainian folk art. In 1970, at the age of 41, Horska was murdered by KGB. 

| Alla Horska’s biogram by Andrew Horodysky

Zhanna Kadyrova (b. 1981 in Brovary, Kyiv oblast) works in sculpture, installation, and public art, and is a member of R.E.P. collective. Her practice focuses on the context, site and space, and often references Soviet building materials, aesthetics, and symbols that shaped Ukrainian public space. She graduated from the Taras Shevchenko State Art School. She received PinchukArtCentre Main Prize, 2013, and Special Prize, 2011, as well as the Kazimir Malevich Artist Award, the Sergey Kuryokhin Contemporary Art Award for Public Art, and the Grand Prix of the Kyiv Sculpture Project (all 2012). Kadyrova's works were featured in the 58th Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition curated by Ralph Rugoff, 2019, and twice in the Ukrainian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, in 2015 and 2013. Her works were shown at the M17 Contemporary Art Centre, Kyiv, 2021; the Shanghai International Sculpture Project JISP, 2020; Kunsthalle Mulhouse, France, 2020; the Ludwig Museum, Budapest, 2018; Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2016; Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2013; Bureau for Cultural Translations, Leipzig, 2016 (solo); the Kunstraum Innsbruck, Austria, 2015 (solo); Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw, 2013; the National Art Museum of Ukraine, 2010, Zacheta National Art Gallery, Warsaw, 2008; De Appel, Amsterdam, 2008; and several times at the PinchukArtCentre in Kyiv, where her first major retrospective will be held in 2023. She lives and works in Kyiv; in 2022, she relocated to a village in Western Ukraine. 

| kadyrova.com | instagram.com/jannkad

Alevtina Kakhidze (b. 1973 in Zhdanivka, Donetsk oblast) is an artist, performer, curator, and gardener who focuses on drawing, and social and ecofeminist practice. Since 2018, she has served as the United Nations (UNDP) Tolerance Envoy in Ukraine. Kakhidze graduated from the National Academy of Fine Arts in Kyiv, 2004, and Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht, 2006, and was awarded the Kazimir Malevich Artist Award in 2008. She presented her performances and lectures at the UNWomen Conference, 2020; PinchukArtCentre, Kyiv, 2019; Whitechapel Gallery, London, 2016; Manifesta 10, 2014; The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, 2015; 7th Berlin Biennale: KW Institute for Contemporary Art, 2012; and The New Theatre in the New Great World, Warsaw, 2010. Her solo exhibitions include rum24, Aarhus, Denmark, 2020; Bozar, Brussels, 2017; PinchukArtCentre, Kyiv, 2014; FUTURA Centre for Contemporary Art, Prague, 2013; and Iaspis, Stockholm, 2009. Her works were featured in group shows at the M17 Contemporary Art Center, Kyiv, 2021; Elisabeth Jones Art Center, Portland, OR, 2021; Ludwig Museum, Budapest, 2018; M HKA, Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp, 2018; Wurttembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart, 2017; Kunsthall Trondheim, Norway, 2016; National Museum of Modern Art, Kyiv, 2014; CCA Zamek Ujazdowski, Warsaw, 2013; Moroccan Pavilion project at the 54th Venice Biennial, 2012; MOCAK, Krakow; Galeria Arsenał, Białystok, Poland; and Mystetskyi Arsenal, Kyiv, all 2011. Since 2009, Kakhidze has lived and worked in Muzychi village near Kyiv. 

| www.alevtinakakhidze.com | instagram.com/truealevtina

Dana Kavelina (b. 1995 in Melitopol) works primarily with animation and video, but also installation, painting and graphics. She graduated from the Department of Graphics at the National Technical University of Ukraine. Her works often address military violence and war, seen from gender perspective—especially with regard to the position of a victim as a political subject—as well as the distance between historical and individual trauma, and memory and misrepresentation. Her works were exhibited at the Museum Folkwang Essen, 2022; MAXXI – Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, Rome, 2022; Zionskirche, Berlin, 2022; Kristianstad Kunsthalle, Sweden, 2021; Kmytiv Museum of Soviet Art, Ukraine, 2019; and Closer, Kyiv, 2019. Kavelina’s films were screened at the Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Rivoli-Turin, 2022; HKW, Berlin, 2022; ICA LA, Los Angeles, CA, 2022; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, 2022; and e-flux, New York, NY, 2021. Her animated film Mark Tulip, who spoke with flowers received the Special Jury Mention at the 2019 Odessa International Film Festival, and the Grand Prix of the 2018 KROK animation festival, Kyiv. Kavelina was based in Kyiv and Lviv, Ukraine – since March 2022, she has been a refugee in Germany.

| instagram.com/frau.hiroshima

Lesia Khomenko (b. 1980 in Kyiv) is a multidisciplinary artist who reconsiders the role of painting – she deconstructs narrative images and transforms paintings into objects, installations, performances, or videos. Her interest lies in revealing tools of visual manipulation in the context of history-making and myth-making. She graduated from the National Academy of Fine Art and Architecture in Kyiv, 2004. A member of R.E.P. group since 2004, she is also a co-founder of curatorial union HUDRADA, a self-educational community based on interdisciplinary cooperation, 2008. Khomenko is an initiator and program director of the “Contemporary Art” course at the Kyiv Academy of Media Arts. Her works were shown in many exhibitions, including at the Lviv Municipal Art Center, 2021 (solo); PinchukArtCentre, Kyiv, 2018 (solo); MNAC, Bucharest, 2016; The Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki, 2015; CCA Zamek Ujazdowski, Warsaw, 2014; The Future Generation Art Prize@Venice2013; Kyiv Biennial 2012 (main project); National Art Museum of Ukraine, 2012; Mystetskyi Arsenal, Kyiv, 2011 (solo); Kalmar Konstmuseum, Sweden, 2011; White Box, New York, 2010; MUMOK, Vienna, 2009; Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, 2008; De Appel, Amsterdam, 2008; Ukrainian pavilion at Venice Biennale, 2007 (a collaboration with Mark Titchner); and Kunsthalle Vienna, 2006. She was a finalist of the Pinchuk Art Prize in 2009, 2011, and 2013, and a 2016 finalist of the Kazimir Malevich Award, Kyiv. She lives and works in Kyiv – since March 2022, she has temporarily been in the West

| lesiakhomenko.com | instagram.com/lesia_khomenko

Vlada Ralko’s (b. 1969 in Kyiv) primary media are painting and drawing; she also creates installations and art books. With her emotional brushwork, Ralko probes the existential pain and the suffering of a collective body in the context of current social and political events. She graduated from the National Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture, 1994, and the Taras Shevchenko State Art School, 1987. She has been a member of the National Union of Artists of Ukraine since 1994. Ralko received the All-Ukrainian Painting Triennial Award in 2001, and the He for She: Women in Arts Award in 2019. Her solo exhibitions include: Kyiv National Picture Gallery, 2018; Odessa Art Museum, 2018; and The Museum of Kyiv History, 1997. Ralko’s works were presented at the Kmytiv Museum of Soviet Art, Ukraine, 2019; Pinchuk Art Centre, Kyiv, 2018 and 2015; Ludvig Museum, Budapest, 2018; The National Museum of Taras Shevchenko, Kyiv, 2016, 2014; Kyiv Biennale 2015; The Ukrainian National Museum, Kyiv, 2015; The Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw, 2015; The DAAD gallery, Berlin, 2014; Kunstlerhaus, Vienna, 2014; and The Art Arsenal, Kyiv, 2014. She lives and works in Kyiv ‐ since April 2022, she has been a refugee in Berlin.

| instagram.com/ralkovlada

Anna Scherbyna (b. 1988 in Zaporizhzhia) is artist, curator, and illustrator. Her artistic practice examines the critical potential of mediums such as installation and video, drawing and painting, exploring the visual traditions of Ukraine’s painting school, political aspects of a landscape, historical memory, and gender performativity. She graduated from the National Academy of Visual Art and Architecture (2015) and Contemporary Art Course (2015). She participated in numerous exhibitions and projects, including The Portal, VBKÖ, Vienna, 2021; Armed and Dangerous, 2019; A Space of One’s Own, Pinchuk Art Centre, Kyiv, 2017; Edenia, the city if the future, Kharkiv, 2017; Socialist Realism. Seeming to Be Another, Kyiv, 2017; TEXTUS. Embroidery, textile, feminism, Kyiv, 2017; In a shelter, Paris, 2015. 

Scherbyna’s curatorial practice is driven by the feminist approach to building artistic communities and collaborations. As a member of curatorial groups, she organized a reading club for artists and theoreticians Chytanka (2020), international feminist exhibition The Cave of the Golden Rose, Kyiv, 2019, and Sabber, Deer and Spining Wheel in Stanica Luhanska, 2018. She was a co-founder of the Concrete Dates Collective (2015–17), and a member of the art-group “Iod” (2013–15). Since 2009, she has lived and worked in Kyiv; and since March 2022 in Germany.

| scherbynaanna.com | instagram.com/annascherbynaaaa 

Kateryna Yermolaeva (b. 1985 in Donetsk) is a multimedia artist, who works with graphics, installations, photography, and video. She graduated from the Donbas National Academy of Civil Engineering and Architecture with a major in architecture in 2007, and completed the Contemporary Art Course at the School of Visual Communications in 2014. From 2011-13, she authored several street-art projects under the alias of Mikhalych in Donetsk in Kyiv, including at The First Kyiv International Biennale of Contemporary Art ARSENALE 2012. In 2015, she was shortlisted for the Serhii Kurokhin Contemporary Art Award (Saint Petersburg) and PinchukArtCentre Prize — for the latter, she was again nominated in 2018. Solo exhibitions include: Psyburo, Kyiv, 2020; Closer Art Centre, Kyiv, 2017; Transcarpathia Hotel, Uzhhorod, 2016; Mala Galereya of Mystetskyi Arsenal, Kyiv, 2014. Group exhibitions include: Kmytiv Museum of Soviet Art, Kmytiv, 2019; Mystetskyi Arsenal, Kyiv, 2019, 2017, 2015; PinchukArtCentre, Kyiv, 2019, 2018, and 2015 (including two PinchukArtCentre Prize exhibitions); Equality Festival, Kyiv, 2016; and Le Praticable, Rennes, France, 2015. She lives and works in Kyiv.

| instagram.com/kate_has_some