Mykola Zhuravel

APIARY Paintings, sculpture, works on paper

Apiary, a unique project by Mykola Zhuravel goes on view at the Zorya Fine Art gallery on October 27, 2005. The exhibition is curated by Sam Hunter, Emeritus Professor, Princeton University along with, contributing curators Oleh Sydor-Hibelynda, Senior Research Associate of the Contemporary Art Research Institute, Kyiv Academy of Art, Ukraine and Christian Gusewski, Director of Gallery ARTRÜ, Rünenberg, Switzerland.

The Apiary exhibition draws upon the ancient principles of beekeeping to produce a wide ranging project with highly detailed preparatory sketches, monumental paintings, photographs and mixed-media documents that track each step of the measured creation. At the heart of the project is the iconic sculptural beehive. The meanings and messages swirl around the hive itself, a skillfully carved wooden structure. Zhuravel artistically re-interprets the beehive structure choosing an organic, slightly tilted pyramidal form as opposed to the standard cubic hive structure favored by Petro Ivanovych Prokopovych, the 19th-century Ukrainian scientist to whom the artist dedicates the Apiary exhibition. Zhuravel painstakingly layers, planes, carves, welds and, finally, ornaments with curving ribs and hatched lines that resemble primitive art. The “apiary” becomes a singular form, all the more striking in its voluminous context.

Zhuravel constructs his Contemporary Beehive Sculpture to attract and shelter honeybees and his design makes possible the work’s lyrical underlying raison d’etre: its central role in the harmonious balance between man and the natural, undomesticated world. Bees inhabiting the apiary sculpture build a wax hive and produce honey. Once the bees are safely relocated the remaining hive becomes an integral part of the sculpture fusing art and nature. The spirit of the bees is the enduring facet of the sculpture.

Apiary is one of the most extensive and profound of Zhuravel’s projects, a challenging visual proposal connecting art with nature. In the realm of contemporary art, Zhuravel’s work redefines certain aspects of the avant-garde, particularly what is known as “Conceptual Art”. Apiary dramatically and poetically breaks new ground by connecting contemporary art with nature in a fresh, compelling manner.

Zhuravel graduated from the Kyiv State Arts Academy just as the former Soviet Union collapsed, in 1989. The artist’s family has raised bees for generations and it is only natural that he adapted the occupation’s gentle, hands-on vocabulary to express his concern for the environment and for the man-made structures and strictures that impose themselves on it.

Zorya Fine Art specializes in Contemporary Art and Twentieth-Century Masters. Working with distinguished curators, art historians, and art critics, Zorya Fine Art brings a bold new perspective to the art world. The gallery's strong curatorial direction and focus on the art of Ukraine expand the borders of our knowledge of contemporary art.

Publication
The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with a foreword by Sam Hunter. The book contains full color illustrations of the works in the exhibition as well as contributions by Oleh Sydor-Hibelynda, Senior Research Associate of the Contemporary Art Research Institute, Kyiv Academy of Art, Ukraine and Christian Gusewski, Director of Gallery ARTRÜ, Rünenberg, Switzerland. It is published by Zorya Fine Art, LLC.

Documentary
A short documentary offering an inside look into the preparatory and
interactive stages of work that is produced by Insite Media group of Kyiv, Ukraine
in collaboration with Zorya Fine Art, LLC.


Lectures
Lecture series by Professor Sam Hunter. For further information please contact the gallery.

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