29.7. - 1.9. 2023, opening JUly 28 at 6 pm

Oksana Sadovenko
Kasha Potrohosh
Taia Kolesnyk

Supervisor: Rastislav Sedlačík

The exhibition of three Ukrainian female students of art in the White & Weiss Gallery is the result of the spontaneous initiative of the gallerist Zuzana Weissová and her visit to the semester student surveys at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava. In the post-pandemic period, the surveys were re-launched at a time of ongoing, deeply perceived, and experienced military conflict in Ukraine. The artists’ works, the dialogue with the pedagogical leadership of the 3EAM studio and the gallerist prompted us to work together and to create a loose participatory collaboration between the artists, the Department of Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts and the White & Weiss Gallery.

The project features Oksana Sadovenko, Kasha Potrohosh and Taiu Kolesnyk in a free multimedia installation presenting their latest paintings, drawings and objects.

Oksana Sadovenko is currently studying for her Master’s degree at the Department of Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in the 3EAM studio (Third Expanded Studio of Painting), led by Rastislav Sedlačík together with Matej Fabian.Oksana Sadovenko joined the 3EAM studio last year. She introduced herself with an authentic topic featuring a dove as the main hero in the enrolment process. The dove used to resonate in her gallery and streetart works back in Kyiv and now she explores it in our environment. Being familiar with the Slovak art scene, as well as with projects and artists dealing with a similar thematic spectrum has not hampered her in any way and she continues to transcend the artistic media limits. Her media range runs from painterly realizations with strong expressive tones and direct text comments in the painting, through objects to expanded painting installations and environment complemented by a soundtrack.

Kasha Potrohosh is a recent graduate from the Department of Intermedia at the Academy of Fine Arts in the Studio of Spatial Communications under Anton Čierny and Jaroslav Kyša. Of the three artists, Kasha has had the longest history and experience on the artistic scene. At the Academy she explored a broad spectrum of media, filled with curiosity, with a fluid approach and zest for testing individual artistic disciplines. She first caught the attention of the Studio of paint+by, run by Klaudia Kosziba, where she collaborated with Paula Gogola, executing a process painting followed by a time-lapse performance. In a way, her media exuberance makes her a distinct type of contemporary artist, not imprisoned by formal-media limits. With her strategy of “find a topic & no fear & let’s try & explore & realize” she grasps and hybridizes a diverse range of themes from political, environmental, feminist to the magical practices of Slovak as well as Ukrainian places. Her activities are beginning to resonate strongly in a wide range of artistic endeavours, moving towards performative and musical realisations in both gallery and non-gallery settings. I see her as a strong artistic personality, who through her collaborations not only as an artist, but also as a human being, positively influences the entire art scene.

Taia Kolesnyk is a graduate of Preparatory Studio 2, led by Michal Černušák, Dominik Hlinka and Matej Fabian. In the next academic year she will join one of the three studios at the Department of Painting. Taia Kolesnyk, originally from Mariupol, is the youngest of the three and has probably struggled the most with the acclimatization. However, she is managing, as evidenced by her participation in this project, nurtured by her mutual bond and friendship with Kasha and Oksana.

A cursory glance at her figurative paintings from her latest student survey may make us believe those are Vivienne Westwood’s punk fashion creations, but they are paintings of refugees who, in the last moment before fleeing, put on various clothes to protect themselves on their way to safety. The power of her paintings is complemented by the medium, which, in addition to canvas, can also be a randomly discovered piece of plywood or a board made of scrap wood.

The artists‘ ability to hold a dialogue with a new environment, in a new country, is essential, despite the difficult living situation and the initial language barrier, which they have long learned to deal with/ which they have all dealt with and overcome/that is now part of their past/long surpassed by all of them. In this respect, art is a privileged genre – it does not have to fit its statement into the language, the cultural context, or the environment of the country, as its language is universal.

I dare say that the Academy of Fine Arts provides all three artists with a suitable, tolerant environment to further develop their creative potential, adding a human approach and empathy, positively affecting other students, offering mutual enrichment.

All three females are artists with a powerful statement prompted by their own empirical experience of the senselessness of the war waged by Russia in Ukraine, which finds its way/appears/enters directly and subliminally into their works.

There is no such thing as gallery holidays a.k.a. a “dead” or summer period in art anymore. Art doesn’t have holidays or summers. Europe is no longer the same after the Russians invaded Ukraine, the abstraction of the threat of war turned into a daily experience we thought didn’t concern us.

Rastislav Sedlačík
Matej Fabián


Poster: Lilla Gomboš