• From 14 July, Saatchi Gallery will showcase the works of the late Ukrainian artist Maria Prymachenko (1908 – 1997).
• 23 artworks by Maria Prymachenko to be exhibited in the UK for the first time.
• Created in conjunction with the Prymachenko Family Foundation and the Embassy of Ukraine.
This July, Saatchi Gallery will showcase paintings by Ukrainian folk artist Maria Prymachenko (1908 – 1997), one of the country’s best-loved artists. These works will be shown in the UK for the first time, having been preserved by the artist’s family for more than fifty years.
The Ukrainian museum where many of Prymachenko’s artworks were previously held was destroyed when Russian forces occupied the local village. Though concerned locals rescued some of her paintings from the blazing museum, it is now only possible to encounter Prymachenko’s work through exhibitions like this one. At a time when sharing and amplifying Ukrainian artistic voices has never been more important, Prymachenko’s artworks remind us of the beauty in everyday existence and are a vibrant and affirming symbol of hope.
This exhibition will showcase 23 works by Prymachenko. Many are double-sided, providing an insight into the self-taught artist’s working processes and methods. The works, originally conceived as illustrations for a children’s book, reflect life in a small village in the Kyiv region through magical and naïve imagery. Prymachenko drew inspiration and subject matter from various sources: observing nature, interacting with people around her, and delving into her own inner world.
Saatchi Gallery is delighted to work in partnership with the Prymachenko Family Foundation and the Ukrainian Embassy on this project. The conditions of war present new challenges for the preservation of cultural heritage in Ukraine, and the Foundation is working to safeguard Prymachenko’s legacy through the creation of a new museum complex on the site of the artist’s house. We are grateful for the support of Maria’s granddaughter Anastasia Prymachenko.
Anastasiya Prymachenko, granddaughter of Maria Prymachenko adds: “In this exhibition, it is important for us to convey not only the artist that Maria Prymachenko was but also the strength of her personality. Maria was very wise, kind, determined, and open to the world. She incorporated her worldview and philosophy into the paintings she created. However, I would like to emphasize that her artworks reflect not only her inner world but also the external world. With all its everyday life, problems, and concerns that were important to Maria. That’s why her art is filled with such sincerity, which transcends time and borders.”
Natalia Gnatiuk, partner of the Prymachenko Family Foundation and co-curator: “We are working hard to create a museum complex on the premises of the house where Maria Prymachenko lived. It will include a museum section where her artworks and personal belongings will be exhibited, as well as a residency for contemporary artists. They will have the opportunity to stay there for a certain period, drawing inspiration from this atmosphere and embodying their own creative ideas. It will be a place of strength, capable of welcoming guests from around the world after Ukraine’s victory.”
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NOTES TO EDITORS
For all press inquiries, please contact:
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Press Preview: Wednesday 12th July, 10 AM – 1 PM. RSVP Essential: www.saatchigallery.com/rsvps/prymachenko_press_preview
Dates & Opening Hours:
Open to the public: 13th July – 20 September 2023
10am – 6pm (last admission 5.30pm), Monday – Sunday
Saatchi Lates: Dates to be announced
Free entry, Pre-booking not required.
By downloading the images, you acknowledge and accept the terms and conditions found within the link. These images can only be reproduced to illustrate a review or criticism of a work or report as defined by section 30 (i) and (ii) of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
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School Visits & Community Groups:
With the generous support of all our patrons, for each major exhibition there are opportunities to engage with creative projects and workshops whether that be in-gallery, virtually, in the classroom or at home.
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ABOUT MARIA PRYMACHENKO
Maria Prymachenko grew up in Polissya, a picturesque region near Kyiv. With no formal artistic training, she took inspiration from nature. Regardless of floods or droughts, she continued to work amidst adversity, and was fortified by an inner light. Maria Prymachenko spent almost her entire life in her native village, rarely venturing far away. But in her imagination, she created a universe that audiences can explore and delight in today. Since the destruction by Russian forces of a local museum housing Pyrmachneko’s works, it has only been possible to see the artist’s paintings through exhibitions such as this. During times of war, Prymachenko’s art became a source of strength for Ukrainians, reminding them of their own power, their incredible past, and what the future could hold.
ABOUT THE PRYMACHENKO FAMILY FOUNDATION
The Prymachenko Family Foundation was established by the artist’s family and friends. It is focused on spreading the spirit and art of Maria Prymachenko worldwide. The Foundation conducts research into Maria Prymachenko and works to preserve her artwork, as well as provide copyright protection for the artist. The Foundation is currently working to create a catalogue raisonné. Currently, the main goal of Foundation is to open the Maria Prymachenko Museum Complex in the artist’s native village in Bolotnya, Kyiv region. The complex will provide a museum, as well as a space for inspiration and creation for contemporary artists.
SUPPORTED BY EMBASSY OF UKRAINE
ABOUT SAATCHI GALLERY Since 1985, Saatchi Gallery has provided an innovative platform for contemporary art. Exhibitions have presented works by largely unseen young artists, or by international artists whose work has rarely or never been exhibited in the UK. This approach has made the Gallery one of the most recognised names in contemporary art. Since moving to its current 70,000 square feet space in the Duke of York’s Headquarters in Chelsea, London, the Gallery has welcomed over 10 million visitors. The Gallery hosts over 5,000 school visits annually and has over 6 million followers on social media. In 2019 Saatchi Gallery became a charity, beginning a new chapter in its history. www.saatchigallery.com
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