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Yuriy Koval

One step ahead

The artistic practice of the painter Yuriy Koval is undoubtedly anthropocentric. The drama of the artist’s paintings is gradually unfolding: around the image of a person, through the portrayal of the body and its fragments, portraits and self-portraits, placed into different subject environments; as the story of observation and self-immersion, arguments about the integrity and harmony, conflict and destruction, the outline of zones of influence and comfort. Physicality in works of Koval acts not only as an aesthetic factor, but as a universal code, as an emphasis on the importance and vulnerability, the fragility of human life in general and the significance of each individual, their fears, aspirations, desires, taboos.

Just as a body can simultaneously symbolize defenselessness and strength, the artist builds his compositions on contrasts that increase the tension of a picturesque dance, he combines monochrome and warm nude colors, sharp angles of two-dimensional planes with soft and smooth volumes, a tumultuous object movements with a frozen void background.


 By collaging objects, the author creates a kind of theatrical entourage, dramatic and sometimes absurd, but one that reflects the paradox of the world and the variety of circumstances that a person faces throughout life. The naturalistic depiction gives robots an eerie persuasiveness, immersing in contrasting unions of incompatible. In today’s intensive flow of information, different realities overlap, and it becomes almost impossible to distinguish real and fictitious, to find where exactly the reality benchmark actually is. The flow of disassembled shots in the works of Koval is like a flicker of images in the mind, which we encounter every day and what the information background is formed from, which inevitably affects everyone.

   In his hyper-realistic paintings, Koval speaks of the body as a territory, as an alive space that has certain outlines and characteristics – with strengths and weaknesses, painful spots, injuries. Space can be common, controversial, open or isolated, with fixed or moving boundaries. Your own body is the only area the contours of which are safely outlined. But even this border is blurred and fragile. The outlines of the body are the visible physical boundaries of the inner, sacred and private space. Its movements are expansion into the surrounding space, its appropriacy, permanent establishment and destruction of territorial boundaries.


Natalia Matsenko


Born in Lviv, Ukraine

2004 Department of interior design, Lviv National Academy of Arts
1998 RAPS department of the Lviv College of Decorative and Applied Arts named after I. Trush


Personal Exhibitions:

  •  2022 "Meanings of Answers", Zolotoe Peretyn, Kyiv

  • 2020 "Fog", Mironov Gallery, Kyiv, Ukraine

  •  2018 "Disappearance/Manifestation", Karas Gallery, Kyiv, Ukraine

  •  2017 "Delineated territory", Zolotoe Peretyn, Kyiv / Dziga gallery, Lviv, Ukraine

  • 2016 "Equilibrium", Sky Art Foundation, Kyiv, Ukraine

  •  2014 "Old line - new line. Interaction", Hudgraf Gallery, Kyiv, Ukraine

  •  2014 "Landscapes. Grounds", Bunkermuz gallery, Ternopil, Ukraine

  •  2013 "Old line - new line. Interaction", Detenpool Gallery, Lviv, Ukraine

  •  2012 "Taboo", Dziga Gallery, Lviv / Lenin Gallery, Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine

  • 2012 "Aesthetics. Pidspodne", Green sofa gallery, Lviv, Ukraine

Group Exhibitions:

  •  2022 Culture week, Tbilisi, Georgia

  • 2022 "Fire & Hope", NTK Gallery, Prague, Czech Republic


  •  2022 "Konwersacje" – Wielka podrozh przez wiele granic, języków i kultur", Stara Browar, Poznań, Poland

  • 2021 "Disappearance/Appearance", Savchenko Gallery, Gdansk, Poland

  • 2020 "Palimpsest", Suleyman Seba 39, Istanbul. Turkey

  • 2019 "On the front line. Ukrainian art, 2013-2019." , Museum of Memory and Tolerance, Mexico City, Mexico

  •  2019 Biruchiy Art Contemporary, "Exodus", Kyiv History Museum, Kyiv, Ukraine

  • 2019 "Intro", Ilko gallery, Uzhhorod, Ukraine

  •  2018 Biruchiy Art Contemporary, "Neoshamanism. The Power of Ritual", Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine

  •  2018 "Ukrainian still life", Institute of Contemporary Art Problems, Kyiv, Ukraine

  • 2018 "Life, love, fear, spirituality, death, resurrection", Korydor gallery, Uzhhorod, Ukraine

  •  2018 "Synii", Uzhhorod, Ukraine

  •  2017 Biruchiy Art Contemporary, "Birth of tragedy from the spirit of music", Kyiv Art Week, Kyiv, Ukraine

  •  2016 "Book", Corridor Gallery, Uzhhorod, Ukraine

  •  2015 "Greenlife", Institute of Problems of Contemporary Art, Kyiv, Ukraine

  • 2015 "Rezydencia", Mona gallery, Poznań, Poland

  •  2014 "Under the blue sky", "Art Kyiv Contemporary IX", Art Arsenal, Kyiv, Ukraine

  •  2013 "Slice of contextual presence", Dziga gallery, Lviv, Ukraine

  •  2013 "One of N", Detenpool Gallery, Lviv, Ukraine

  •  2012 "Week of Current Art", "Quattor Elementa" project, Museum of Ideas, Lviv, Ukraine

  •  2011 "Fine Art Ukraine", Art Arsenal, Kyiv, Ukraine

  •  2010 "Ukrainian Cut", Lublin, Poland

  •  2009 "Bezobraz", Zelena Kanapa Gallery, Lviv, Ukraine

  •  2006 "The World of Enamel", Lviv National Museum, Lviv, Ukraine

  •  scholarships and residencies:

  •  2019, 2020 Istambul Art Residence, Istanbul, Turkey

  •  2021, 2019, 2018, 2016, 2013 Biruchiy Art Contemporary, Biruchiy Peninsula, Ukraine

  •  2015 scholarship of the Minister of Culture of Poland "Gaude Polonia"

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