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Daria Koltsova at Museum Ludwig, Cologne

The Ruskin is delighted to announce that MFA student Daria Koltsova has new work on show as part of the exhibition 'HERE AND NOW: Modernism in Ukraine 1900–1930s & Daria Koltsova'.

Glass installation by Daria Koltsova. Image by Daria Koltsova.

"The ex­hi­bi­tion re­cre­ates the po­lyphony of artis­tic styles and cul­tu­r­al iden­ti­ties that ex­ist­ed in Ukraine in the ear­ly twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry. By fo­cus­ing on the ci­ties of Kyiv and Kharkiv, it tells the sto­ry of Ukrai­nian mod­er­nist artists and their at­tempts to estab­lish a na­tio­n­al school of art in a bid for Ukrai­nian state­hood and cul­tu­r­al auton­o­my.

The mod­er­nist move­ment in Ukraine un­fold­ed against a com­pli­cat­ed so­cio-po­lit­i­cal back­drop of col­laps­ing em­pires, World War I, the rev­o­lu­tions of 1917 with the en­su­ing short-lived in­de­pen­dence of the Ukrai­nian Peo­ple’s Re­public (1917–20), and the even­tu­al estab­lish­ment of So­vi­et Ukraine."

"De­spite such po­lit­i­cal tur­moil, this be­came a pe­ri­od of true flour­ish­ing in Ukrai­nian art, lit­er­a­ture, the­ater, and cin­e­ma. Ukraine’s com­plex his­tor­i­cal back­ground re­sult­ed in a vi­brant amalga­ma­tion of en­coun­ters, com­bin­ing Ukrai­nian, Pol­ish, Rus­sian and Jew­ish el­e­ments to cre­ate a dist­inct­ly lo­cal cul­tu­r­al pro­file."

-Excerpts from the exhibition introduction

Daria Koltsova is showing a magnificent stained glass installation as part of the exhibition. She says: "The stained-glass installation 'Tessellated Self' is my psychological inner landscape, my attempt to analyse my intrapersonal identity conflict tessellating my new Self together interweaving the symbols of Kharkiv soviet time architecture, Ukrainian ritual objects and modernism in Ukraine which influence my art practice. I was born in Kharkiv, 40 kilometres from the border with Russia. I’m familiar with all the contradictions of identity in borderlands which have been absorbing opposites for centuries."

"The medium of stained glass emphasises the fragility of everything around. On the other hand it is my protest against indoctrination and propaganda in art. Monumental art of stained glass windows, mosaics and public sculptures were widely used by Soviets as a tool of propaganda to promote ideology. I
consciously use this medium to tell a deeply personal story, almost a confession, which is something that has almost never had a place in the monumental art before." "..." "I want to figure out how history was experienced by individuals." 

3rd June - 24th September 2023
Further information can be found here.

Daria Koltsova is currently undertaking a Master of Fine Art at the Ruskin and is a Ukraine Scholarship holder.