Apr 21, 2024

Voloshyn Gallery

Insomnia: Maria Sulymenko

Voloshyn Gallery is pleased to present Insomnia, Ukrainian artist Maria Sulymenko’sfirst solo exhibition in the United States.

There is something about Maria Sulymenko’s watercolors that captivates the viewer. In astyle of laconic simplicity, she depicts mysterious and enigmatic environments. These aremainly interiors, but also exteriors, narrow and enclosed, surrounded by walls that seem to betangible. In this silent atmosphere of transparent gray air, the eye does not reach the horizon—there seems to be none.

Sulymenko’s sceneries are barely inhabited. When nameless figures appear (notcharacters, only beings?), they are mostly alone, sometimes two or three of them. Crossroadsof human relationships are rare here. Despite a possible search for a connection, theinhabitants of Maria Sulymenko’s works do not really belong; they also never look directly atthe viewer but gaze away.

It is as if time has stood still. Captured in a moment that seems to be prolonged. A moment transforming into a state; not becoming, but rather—and only—being. Caught between ‘no longer’ and ‘not yet’, waiting for something to emerge, to happen, perhaps to change, Sulymenko’s surreal world is a liminal space, a frozen moment between reality and the imagination, between nostalgia and sadness, between comfort and unease. Like the insomniac state, her world exists in a perpetual ‘in-between’. Are we finally waking up from this bad dream, or are we falling asleep to rest from this madness?

“Something is missing, but what this is, one does not know,” writes Bertolt Brecht inMahagonny. Maria Sulymenko is not so much concerned with a particular loss ordisappearance, a distinctive pain or grief, as with the fragility of life and the inevitability ofdarkness. She depicts loneliness, but also deliberately chosen solitude; angst and traumatic fears, as well as contemporary distresses and anxieties that lead to absurd situations and theimaginary. She quietly and unpretentiously questions the difficulties of simply being, of merelyenduring in this world. There is no naive optimism, but there are shreds of hope, the artistclaims, an anticipation of a better time. “Each moment is a leap forwards from the brink of aninvisible cliff, where time’s keen edges are constantly renewed. We lift our foot from the solidground of all our lives lived thus far and take that perilous step out into the empty air. Notbecause we can claim any particular courage, but because there is no other way.”Hana Ostan Ožbolt, Curator and Writer

About Maria Sulymenko

Maria Sulymenko was born in 1981 (Kyiv, Ukraine). Graduated Academy of Fine Arts in Stuttgart (Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Stuttgart), and Hessen State University of Art and Design in Offenbach am Main (Hochschule für Gestaltung). Her recent exhibitions include Shifting, Glances (Simone Subal Gallery, NYC, US, 2022), Is it time, yet? (Georg Kargl Box, 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 Part 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). Lives and works in Fridingen an der Donau.

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. In 2015, the Voloshyns made it to the Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list. Voloshyn Gallery is a member of The New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA). Voloshyn Gallery fosters the integration of Ukrainian art into global cultural processes. It presents an exciting and diverse exhibition programme, as well as working in partnership with institutions, independent curators in realising both on and off-site projects. Voloshyn Gallery participates in leading contemporary art fairs. Over the course of the last two years, the gallery has participated in The Armory Show, ARCOmadrid, Liste Basel, Art Cologne, Vienna Contemporary, Dallas 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 cutting-edge exhibition space located in Kyiv’s cultural and historical center, on Tereshchenkivska Street, in a historic 1913 building formerly owned by a renowned entrepreneur and philanthropist N.A. Tereshchenko.
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