January 24, 2022 – April 2, 2022
MAPPA MUNDI is a large personal exhibition of Pavlo Makov, one of the main Ukrainian artists of our time, author of the National Pavilion of Ukraine at the Venice Biennale 2022, and winner of the Shevchenko Prize.
The exhibition presents new works by the artist, created during 2020-2021.
First, it is a great work with plants that dominate the (former) world of humans. The series combines a new image for Makov (humanized plant, the contrast of the scale of natural and man-made) and previously uncharacteristic formal language (combination of print and drawing, the involvement of color).
The city has always been an important topic for all of Makov’s creative practice. In new works, the steel structures of cities appear trivial and devoid of monolithic when we see them next to giant plants. These plants are the product of human cultivation. But now they rise above the shaky world of their creators and are no longer its hostages. Human has no place here. There is also no place for the until recently dominant human view. After all, it was this view from the standpoint of “the measure of all things” that made the plant small and fragile, and the house big and strong. Neither the artist nor the spectator feels symbolic of the image. Observers, at best.
Such reflections of the artist on the fate of the cities of the future continue in the central object of the exhibition. The new work MAPPA MUNDI is a large-scale model that reproduces the outlines of the modern political map of the world. This map is schematic and conditional, but the situation of the countries and the real borders between them are reproduced in detail. The only important difference is that in Makov’s geography the territories are not airtight, but are connected by a door-hole, which penetrates all the walls-borders. Separated in reality by customs and quarantine, the artist’s all states become neighbors. And the globe – one multi-room apartment.
Together, the object and the drawings tell about the new world order, which is changing before our eyes more and more intensely and unpredictably. Unrestrained and inevitable globalization has stopped in front of the glass ceiling of helplessness and fear of a pandemic. But in reality, the human community has never been so close symbolically as it is today.
Text: Elizabeth Herman, Maria Lanko
Pavlo Makov was born in 1958 in St. Petersburg. He studied at the Academy of Arts (St. Petersburg), Crimean Art School of М. S. Samokysh (Simferopol) and Kharkiv Art and Industrial Institute at the Faculty of Graphics. Since 1988 he has been a member of the Union of Artists of Ukraine, since 1994 a member of the Royal Society of Painters and Graphic Artists of Great Britain, and since 2006 a corresponding member of the Academy of Arts of Ukraine. Winner of the Silver Medal of the Academy of Arts of Ukraine (2009) and the Shevchenko Prize (2018). Author of the Ukrainian pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale (2022). Lives and works in Kharkiv.