First Kiev International Biennale of Contemporary Art Announced

ARSENALE 2012:  24 May – 31 July 2012

ARSENALE 2012 will be the first Biennale to take place in Kiev, Ukraine. Under the Direction of Commissioner, Nataliia Zabolotna and artistic direction of renowned British Curator, David Elliott,  the Biennale will be entitled The Best of Times, The Worst of Times. Rebirth and Apocalypse in Contemporary Art, based on an idea inspired by Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities (1859). On display in the historic Mystetskyi Arsenal, a magnificent former military building in the heart of Kiev, ARSENALE 2012 will feature works by over 100 leading and emerging international and Ukrainian contemporary artists, including over 40 new works previously unseen or made especially for the exhibition.

The First Kiev Biennale will provide an opportunity to showcase both Ukraine’s rich culture and its relatively unknown legacy of producing leading international contemporary artists such as Boris Mikhailov, Oleg Kulik and Ilya Kabakov. Ukraine once shared a common cultural history with the Soviet Union  and  many leading figures of the 20th Century avant-garde  such as Kazimir Malevich, David Burliuk or Vladimir Tatlin worked there. However with Ukraine’s independence in 1991, Ukrainian contemporary art has now found a unique cultural voice.

In recent years the city of Kiev has become home to a thriving artistic community and has welcomed major new cultural institutions, such the PinchukArtCentre which opened in 2006. ARSENALE 2012 will bring a wide range of established and emerging contemporary art to the capital, providing a platform for some of the best international artists and establishing  Kiev as a leading cultural city. The Biennale will also enable Ukrainian artists to see their work more clearly within an international context and create new international cultural links.

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