Russia-Ukraine war

On the first anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, The Art Newspaper looks at the human and cultural costs of the conflict, the art world’s efforts to support displaced institutions and individuals, and how Ukraine’s built and artistic heritage has been used to tell the opposing narratives of war.

Special investigation: Serious concerns over fate of Ukraine’s museum works taken by Russians

The Art Newspaper probes the complex issues arising from the removal of the Kherson Museum’s collection, sent to Crimea for “safekeeping”

Opinion

'Scythian gold is at the heart of Russia’s identity war'

Art historian and curator Konstantin Akinsha asserts that Russian attempts to claim succession from the ancient Scythians date back to the 18th century

Farewell to contemporary art in Russia: the cancellation of the Moscow Biennale marks the end of an era

Dozens of contemporary art shows have been forced to close since the outset of the war with Ukraine—but this one was meant to serve Putinist propaganda

Art in the shadow of war: curating a show at Latvia's Mark Rothko Art Centre

Signs of the Russia-Ukraine conflict are everywhere in Latvia—and there's a growing number of culturally disenfranchised citizens, too

Podcasts

What will happen to Ukraine's museum collections after the war?

Plus, Okwui Enwezor’s Sharjah Biennial and Ming Smith at New York's Museum of Modern Art

Hosted by Ben Luke. With guest speakers Martin Bailey and Nadine Khalil. Produced by David Clack and Aimee Dawson
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Saving Ukraine’s heritage: an eyewitness account of relief efforts

Plus, the Cezanne blockbuster at The Art Institute of Chicago and Nicola L.’s Gold Femme Commode at Alison Jacques

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Ukraine: the response of the art community and the risks of photojournalism

Plus, Chris Burden's unrealised projects and an in-depth look at F.N. Souza's Mr Sebastian at the Barbican in London

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What can the arts do to help Ukrainian refugees?

Plus, NFTs and more at Art Dubai, and Felix Gonzalez-Torres’s golden curtain in Toronto

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Artists

Heritage

Getty Trust pledges $1m to help protect Ukrainian cultural heritage

The International Alliance for the Protection of Heritage in Conflict Areas is partnering with the Getty to save Ukraine’s museums and monuments

Vladimir Putin’s martial law decree has given Russian forces ‘legal’ cover to loot art in Ukraine

In a move similar to the Nazis’ self-legalised art thefts, ancient gold treasure, paintings and Prince Potemkin’s mummified remains all risk being “preserved” by “evacuation”

Unesco adds Ukrainian city of Odesa to World Heritage List of endangered sites

The decision "recognises the outstanding universal value of the site and the duty of all humanity to protect it", the UN cultural organisation states

Banksy

Banksy in Ukraine: seven new works appear in war-torn sites

The pieces are located throughout the country, from Kyiv to Borodyanka

High-tech security systems installed on Banksy’s Ukraine murals

Ajax Systems has deployed $13,000 worth of security and monitoring apparatuses at four Banksy murals in and around Kyiv

Ringleader of group who attempted to steal Banksy mural in Ukraine could face 12 years in prison

The suspect has not been identified by police, but is likely to be an environmental activist who told press that he intended to auction the work in support of the Ukrainian army

Banksy shares behind-the-scenes video of his Ukraine interventions

The secretive artist has dropped a short making-of documentary chronicling his guerilla interventions in war-torn Horenka

Banksy creates mural on bombed out building in Ukraine

The secretive artist apparently created a stencil of a gymnast amid the wreckage of a building in a city northwest of Kyiv

Exhibitions

Postponement of exhibition on Russian architecture school sparks accusations of ‘censorship and historical erasure’

New York’s Cooper Union postponed an exhibition on Vkhutemas, a school that operated in Moscow for ten years in the early 20th century before Stalin shut it down

Effects of war on young Ukrainian artists exposed in PinchukArtCentre Prize exhibition

Contemporary art prize, held in Kyiv, shows images of conflict and ideas for post-war reconstruction by 18 shortlisted artists aged 35 and under

Ukrainian artists’ monumental projection takes over Chicago riverfront

A projection by Kyiv-based studio PHOTINUS and based on composer Mykola Leontovych's work is taking over a building in Chicago, which is home to a large Ukrainian diaspora community

War-ravaged Ukrainian mosaics digitally recreated in London show

Exhibition builds on a project to document Ukraine's monumental and contested public art created during Soviet era

Art Market

Nefarious art world players: after Russian freeze out, will Saudi Arabia or China be next?

For decades Russian billionaires were feted for their free spending on the arts. Now, they are officially personae non gratae. But what of the other individuals and regimes with dubious reputations?

Art fairs have become a lifeline for Ukrainian galleries—even in Basel

Stands offered for free at Liste, while some gallery workers are living on the art fair circuit, unable to return home

Kabir Jhala. With additional reporting by Tom Seymour

Russian culture minister and a billionaire arts patron are included in latest lists of sanctions from the West

Olga Lyubimova has been sanctioned by the European Union and Vladimir Potanin is on the US list

Fabergé egg allegedly found by US officials on $300m yacht seized from Russia oligarch

A photograph of the "egg" has yet to be released, leading to heightened speculation

Interviews

'Art will go back underground': artist Emilia Kabakov on the war in Ukraine and the fate of the Russian art world

Born in the Soviet Union, the artist reflects on how works by her and husband Ilya have taken on new meaning since the war

Alexey Beliayev-Guintovt—a Putin supporter who is one of Russia's best-known artists—discusses why he is happy his country's art market is in ruins

The artist, who has widely been accused of being a fascist, believes that Russia's invasion of Ukraine will free the country from "a Nazi dictatorship”

Sunflowers: the symbol of Van Gogh—and Ukraine

Vincent’s beloved bloom will eventually flourish again in the war-torn country

a blog by Martin Bailey

‘We are not letting the horror be forgotten’: artists mark second anniversary of Ukraine invasion

A new Kyiv museum bringing together tales of the warzone and a marathon immersive video screening in London are two major projects taking place this weekend to acknowledge the occasion

Ukrainian dealer gives the country’s emerging artists a foothold in Hollywood

Lia Snisarenko launched Art Axcess in her home last September to showcase contemporary art from Ukraine

What's behind Russia’s new-found love of African art?

As Russia’s cultural venues are cut off from exchanges with Europe and the US—and in the wake of President Putin’s Russia-Africa summit—museums are filling the gaps with exhibitions of African art

‘In Miami, we are quite unique’: Ukrainian gallerists on their new Miami space

Allapattah outpost of Kyiv's Voloshyn Gallery aims to create dialogue between Eastern European, US and Latin American artists

Scythian gold artefacts returned to Ukraine after ten-year legal battle

The ancient objects were on loan to a Dutch museum from Russia-occupied Crimea before the Black Sea peninsula was annexed

‘It’s important to me to show what happened’: the Israeli artist drawing the traumatic events of 7 October

In the aftermath of Hamas’s attack on Israel, the Kyiv-born, Tel Aviv-based artist Zoya Cherkassky-Nnadi made drawings depicting victims and hostages

Russian artist Sasha Skochilenko jailed for anti-war protest

Skochilenko was charged for replacing supermarket price labels with pieces of information about the destruction of the Ukrainian city of Mariupol

Russian prosecutors seek eight-year prison sentence for artist who installed anti-war messages in grocery store

The St Petersburg artist Sasha Skochilenko was arrested in April 2022 for replacing a store's price labels with information about the war in Ukraine

Odesa Museum of Fine Arts rocked by Russian missile strike on 124th anniversary

Much of the collection was evacuated when Russia's invasion of Ukraine began last year

Kyiv Biennial 2023: a cross-European event put together ‘against all odds’

Plus, a project exploring the sounds of migration and Jem Perucchini’s Art on the Underground commission

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Kyiv Biennial's main exhibition in Vienna brings together the fragments of conflict

The show—the centrepiece of an event being hosted in several cities across Europe—features work addressing the Russia-Ukraine war as well as examples of authoritarian rule and political subjugation from further afield

Artist and Pussy Riot member describes how he joined Ukrainian armed forces in fight against Russia

Pyotr Verzilov was formerly the publisher of Mediazona, a human rights news site founded by Pussy Riot members Nadya Tolokonnikova and Masha Alekhina

Artist recreates historical war painting using a crowd of Ukrainian soldiers

Emeric Lhuisset presents a contemporary version of a 19th-century work by Ilya Repin that frames it in the context of the Russian invasion of Ukraine

Cosmoscow, once Russia’s premier international art fair, opens in building reportedly struck by drone last month

Only one of over 75 participating galleries this year is from abroad—but Russian dealers remain determined to continue business

Russia’s boycotted Hermitage Museum inks culture deal with Iranian research institute

Cooperation agreement follows Vladimir Putin’s foreign policy strategy to forge closer ties with Iran

Unesco adds sites in Kyiv and Lviv to list of world heritage in danger

Amid the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, Kyiv’s Saint Sophia Cathedral, the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra and the historic centre of Lviv join Odesa on Unesco’s endangered list

Heritage destruction brings Putin one step closer to prosecution, according to landmark report

Blue Shield workers have been able to access and gather evidence in destroyed cultural buildings and heritage sites in Ukraine. What have they found?

Unesco beefs up protection for 20 cultural heritage sites in Ukraine

Damaging any of the sites inscribed in the agency's new list qualifies as a ‘serious violation’ to the 1954 Hague Convention

Crimean museum director sanctioned by EU and Switzerland

Andrei Vitalievich Maglin is holding thousands of works from the Ukrainian city of Kherson

Canada imposes sanctions on director of Russia’s State Hermitage Museum

Canada is the first country other than Ukraine to sanction Mikhail Piotrovsky for his support of Russia’s invasion

State Tretyakov Gallery employee killed on frontline

Vladislav Polenov first made the news after he was drafted in the partial mobilisation launched by President Vladimir Putin last September

'Cancelled' St Petersburg show honouring Timur Novikov finally opens—with censorship

Artists accuse the Russian Museum—which blames technical issues for the delay—of covering up parts of their works

Historic Kherson cathedral struck by Russian shelling

Landmark site was the burial place of Prince Grigory Potemkin, whose bones were removed by Russian occupying forces last year

Kyiv Biennial 2023 to travel across Europe with focus on 'war and displacement'

This year's exhibition will first open in the capital and two other Ukrainian cities

Russian attacks on Odesa damage Orthodox cathedral

The bombing of several buildings including in the historic city centre—a World Heritage Site—has been strongly condemned by Unesco

Ukraine's historic sites under threat from dam burst

A new report confirms flooding adjacent to the house museum of the self-trained Ukrainian artist Polina Rayko in Oleshky

Riga biennial cancelled after outcry over organisers' Russian links

The third Riboca had already been delayed twice because of the war in Ukraine

Exhibitionsinterview

Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova on bringing her punk protest art and a prison cell to New Mexico

One of the Russian dissident collective’s co-founders, Tolokonnikova is showing Pussy Riot’s work and her own at Container, an art space in Santa Fe

Hermitage Amsterdam gets new name and three new museum partners

The museum, which broke ties with the St Petersburg museum after Russia's invasion of Ukraine, will now be known as H’art