NY art scene responds to war in Ukraine

Actions in support of Ukraine are increasing, as are boycotts by Russian personalities close to power. Since the beginning of the Russian invasion, New York's cultural institutions have mobilized in support of the Ukrainian people: reading poems before performances, concerts, press releases condemning the aggression of Vladimir Putin, laying off of personalities and artists linked to the Russian government, or even happenings and discussions are now an integral part of the artistic and cultural landscape of the city. The Met Opera in the front row On Monday, March 14, the Metropolitan Opera (Met) organized a major concert supporting Ukraine. Bass-baritone Vladyslav Buialskyi, whose family lives in Berdyansk, a port on the Sea of ​​Azov currently besieged by the Russians, sang the Ukrainian national anthem as the opening. "Even if I'm far away, I want to do everything I can to help," he explains. On March 3, the Met made headlines for laying off its star soprano, Russian Anna Netrebko . The institution suspended her contract for two seasons due to the singer's refusal to condemn Vladimir Putin, to whom she is close explicitly. The Met announced that it no longer wished to associate itself with personalities and institutions supporting Russian power in the same movement. It has since been followed by most of the city's cultural institutions. The Guggenheim targeted On Saturday, about fifteen Ukrainian artists and activists took possession of the Guggenheim Museum. On the many visitors present that day, they rained down several hundred paper airplanes from the top of the balcony, which winds inside the large dome. "This plane is paper, but what if it was steel if it dropped bombs on the heads of those you love..." the planes read. The happening supported Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's repeated demands that NATO member countries establish a no-fly zone over Ukraine. The activists had not chosen the Guggenheim at random. Previous, the museum announced that one of its board members, oligarch Vladimir Potanin , a close associate of Vladimir Putin, had resigned from his post. The museum declined to comment on its decision but has voiced its opposition to Russian aggression in several statements since. "Potanin met Putin a week before the invasion; he is directly involved", comments Betty Roytburd, one of the artists who prepared the happening. Discussions, auctions and exhibitions On February 27, the Moscow gallery Fragment, which has had a space in New York since 2021, organized a meeting around Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian artists, curators, and gallery owners. The Ukrainian artist Vladyslav Vladimirov notably recalled the role that the arts can play in safeguarding and bringing to life the "historical and cultural sovereignty" of Ukraine in the eyes of the international community at a time when it is directly threatened by Russian propaganda. Crypto-artist Olive Allen , a Russian living in New York, auctioned on the NFT (non-fungible tokens) exchange OpenSea the image of a small blue bear with yellow eyebrows holding a sign "No to the war". She is one of 59 artists invited by Time magazine and OpenSea to create and donate virtual works to raise funds to support Ukraine. On March 2, the Ukrainian Museum in New York organized a special evening of poetry and music which was sold out. According to Maria Shust, its director, the museum is currently preparing an exhibition of photographs documenting the Russian invasion. The Ukrainian Cultural Institute, located on 5th Avenue, has inaugurated a textile art exhibition honoring two artists from Lviv. "Some Ukrainians criticized us for exhibiting wartime," reports Andrew Horodysky, in charge of cultural programming at the Institute. But we must continue to spread our culture so that it remains alive". seen in Le Journal des Arts, Barthelemy Glama

NY art scene responds to war in Ukraine

Actions in support of Ukraine are increasing, as are boycotts by Russian personalities close to power. Since the beginning of the Russian...