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Special Fund. Repressed art
21.IX.2018 – 27.XI.2018
Special Fund. Repressed art
The Odesa Fine Arts Museum, in partnership with the National Art Museum of Ukraine and with the support Ukrainian Cultural Foundation, presents the exhibition project "Open collection in the open museum" – Special Fund. Repressed art
The exhibition presents 80 works from the National Art Museum of Ukraine collection, which was preserved in the late 1930s and was hidden from the public for many decades. The Special Fund was formed in the State Ukrainian Museum (now National Art Museum of Ukraine) from 1937-1939. It was a place where all the works of "enemies of the people," "formalists," "nationalists" - those who, according to party ideologues, "distorted reality" and was a threat to the new society, "were brought.
A significant part of the works presented in Odesa for the first time. Alexander Bogomazov and Tymofiy Boychuk, Vadym Meller and Antonina Ivanova, Oksana Pavlenko and David Burliuk, Pavlo Golubyatnykiv and Konstantin Eleva, Anatoliy Petritsky and Sukher-Ber Rybak, Viktor Palmov and Abram Cherkasky. More than three dozen names of artists, famous and forgotten, whose works in 1937 seemed to be forever hidden from the public: "they have no artistic or museum value as the works of the enemies are subject to destruction."

Thus, the Special Fund consists of the artist, most of whom have been erased from Ukrainian art history for a long. The fate of the masters was tragic, and many artists were shot in 1937. Despite their unique artistic style and view on life, all of them were shot dead on charges of counter-revolutionary nationalist activity. Some were sentenced to jail; only those who left Ukraine on time managed to survive. Those who stayed and escaped repression changed their lives and artistic manner forever.
Special Fund. Repressed art
The exhibition in Odesa is not the literal repetition of the National Art Museum exhibition. Works from the Odesa Fine Arts Museum collection complemented the exhibition, demonstrating the connection between the two museums. For example, next to Anatoliy Petrytskyi from Kyiv, his "Odesa" work "Rest" is displayed – the flavor of the Ukrainian avant-garde is recognizable in both works.
Along with the portrait of Mykola Bilyashivsky, director of the National Art Museum, there is a portrait of Mykhailo Kozyk by Mykhailo Zhuk, who lived and worked in Odesa from the 1920s until his last days. Next to the works of the Odesa artist Teofil Fraerman, the meeting with which will be a surprise for the visitors, there is the work "Interior" from the Odesa Fine Arts Museum collection.

Comparing the Ukrainian art of the 1920-1930's with Russian, you cannot ignore the noticeable differences. Peculiarly, if the artists of the most critical group in Soviet Russia, "OST", gravitated to the expressive means of their German contemporaries, who were declared degenerate art. Ukrainian artists of that time were stylistically closer to the art of early Mussolini's Italy, where there was a turn from futurism to neoclassicism. Therefore, we can use the term Ukrainian Novecento concerning Ukrainian art of that period and consider it in the pan-European context of the transformation of the avant-garde of the early 1920s into the totalitarian art of the 1930s and 1940s.
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