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On 29 May 2018, at Kyiv gallery "Shcherbenko Art Centre", it was opened a solo exhibition of the Transcarpathian artist, member of the National Union of Artists of Ukraine Pavlo Kovach. The exhibition is entitled "Realism and Reality".

The exhibition impresses with its diversity: on the gallery walls, there are five paintings (oil on canvas) and photos covered with silicone. The exhibition is supplemented by the video performance and the artist's texts, each of which calls the viewers and readers for certain thoughts.

According to Pavlo Kovach, he was working on the project for two months after the New Year – it was then that an agreement with "Shcherbenko Art Centre" about the exposition was reached. It was a mystery what kind of project it would be, therefore the works "Realism and Reality" were presented to the public for the first time.

As the author himself said, the concept of the exposition is an imaginary dialogue with a colleague. "This is an impression of viewing the mosaic reproduction of the Italian painter Cimabue ‘Massacre of the Innocents’ in the album on the history of monumental art," Pavlo Kovach noted. “This is a dialogue with Olha Rozanova and her series of suprematist illustrations for the poetic collection ‘The Universal War’ by A. Kruchonykh. And – unexpectedly – the memory of the transferring the premises of the Uzhhorod National University to the Mukachevo Greek Catholic Diocese as well as the dismantling of the university medical and chemical laboratories."

As noted in the concept of the exhibition, the author refers to three personal recollections and impressions, which he finally brings together into a coherent matter. Three "stories", three "documentary facts", as they are called by Pavlo Kovach himself, were put in the basis of the logic of his own project. He refers to the question of correlating ‘art and suffering’, the artist's ability to create on the theme of war, to turn the terrible, painful reality into a new one – artistic.

The author sets a theme for reflections and decodes it himself, gives his answer. Thus, for example, in one of the presented texts, Pavlo Kovach says: "Almost all the history of art is a war and about the war." And he explains: "War is not a metaphor, not an abstract theme, but the everyday reality with informational messages, fake news – in fact, it touches thousands of families. The not reflex suffering of the past remains in the present."

The exhibition was highly appreciated by the numerous guests, who said that the works were young in spirit. "It confirms once again that I am still very young in my heart," P. Kovach says.

The well-known Ukrainian artist Oleksandr Babak, who was also at the opening, noted that the exposition was impressive: "Pavlo Kovach is a thoughtful person, a philosopher, but an artist cannot be another! Well, the exhibition, of course, is not simple. And in order to feel it – not to understand, but to feel it! – it's time to spend some time there. Let it be an hour or more, but in no case should one puzzle over it, but try to feel the environment. Then it becomes clear that this seemingly difficult for the perception exhibition is about us, about people, about different aspects of life."

The exhibition "Realism and Reality" will last at "Shcherbenko Art Centre" until 30 June inclusive.

Text: Denys Fazekash
Photos provided by "Shcherbenko Art Centre"