Exhibition by Vladimir Budnikov

extended until September 12

Vladimir Budnikov

Vladimir Budnikov was born in 1947 in Kyiv. In 1965 he graduated from the Republican Art School. T.G. Shevchenko, and in 1971 – Kyiv State Art Institute (workshop of Tatiana Yablonskaya). Personal exhibitions were held in Germany, France, and Austria, and are held annually in Ukrainian museums and galleries. Honored Art Worker of Ukraine, Professor of the National Academy of Arts. He currently lives and works in Kyiv.


“When we want to communicate something important not in the role of information, but the sense of value, the first question is how to do it so as not to lose the main thing. There is a continuous strange game between what is said and how it is said. The result of this contradictory relationship determines how securely the idea, which has to be resolved in language from time to time, will be preserved.

As I worked, I focused on the circumstances in which the speech may take place, as well as what threatens or hinders it. Moreover, I set about “writing”, as if returning the painting to its literal essence – the principle according to which language becomes a living, “living writing”. The inscription forms the boundary between the image and the narrative, being in both areas at the same time, revealing in its perspective how the abstract image holds meaning.

The artist’s work is always exposed to language, it must deal with language. Of course, it is a language itself, so it affects itself. Written, according to Boyce, in a sense turns into a picture. Following this correct statement, I drew the words and thus shook out the usual meaning of them, so that the inscription was again and again alone with its form. Something similar happens when the voice is heard in singing when words are difficult to understand not only because of the peculiarities of pronunciation but also because the everyday meaning attached to them becomes unimportant. In musical language, the phrase seems to be turned inside out, it brings itself to light. In the musical sound, the words continue to be turned into meaning through their separation from the verbal shell, their abstraction from the plot, in which they seem to be firmly embedded.

It was important for me to focus on the duration of writing, on the process in the sense of progress, as growth or coming to the surface when the inscription reveals itself in fluidity. I focused on the inscription as an incomplete action to understand how the word is spoken when it is said.

From the text of Vladimir Budnikov’s “Inscription”, 2019

“The inscription in Budnikov’s paintings is realized as an abstraction, breaking the habit of seeing in it a narrative, information, concreteness. The artist raises the very concept of language and speech to the level of a philosophical category, a multidimensional phenomenon, a living organism that changes, leaves traces, undergoes metamorphosis, and sheds old skin. Displays an inscription, a word from usability.

Budnikov emphasizes the freedom of interpretation, returning to art the right to life through co-creation with those who perceive, ignoring the question “What did the artist want to say?”. Because the artist’s job is not to say but to speak. Encourage others to work to hear, to live, to think, and perhaps to say something to themselves. Or the world.”

From the text of Konstantin Doroshenko’s “What the artist wanted to say”, 2019