In the recent years Ukraine has become a true booming center of contemporary art in Eastern Europe. Various galleries regularly pop up in old buildings, which would otherwise be abandoned for good. For instance, the most well-known and frequently visited art complex in Kyiv Mystetskyi Arsenal is located in an 18th century Old Kyiv-Pechersk fortress. Apart from the grand expos in the capital, small galleries and centers in other Ukrainian cities introduce locals and tourists to the incredible works of contemporary art.
Pinchuk Art Centre
Located in the heart of Kyiv, Pinchuk Art Centre gathers millions of visitors each year. The reason behind the popularity is not only a convenient location and intriguing exhibitions, but also a free entrance. The art center occupies 6 floors and 4 of them belong exclusively to exhibition halls and a video-lounge room. SkyArtCafe on the upper floor with the view on Khreshchatyk is another reason to visit the place.
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Pinchuk Art Centre hosts regular exhibitions of renowned international artists like Damien Hirst and contemporary Ukrainian artists-nominees of international awards. Some of them cause a lot of fuss as they touch taboo themes or present works made with unique materials unseen by the public before.
Address: 1/3-2, Velyka Vasylkivska / Baseina street
Dovzhenko & Plivka
The place with unique historical value, Dovzhenko Cinema Center is a home for more than 5000 films, including vintage documentaries that feature life in Ukraine. It’s no wonder that the center became a new platform of contemporary arts in Kyiv. The borders between sound, visuals, and objects are merged in Plivka, an often host of techno parties like Skhema and various international and local festivals. Dovzhenko & Plivka is the perfect place to discover what’s on right now and get acquainted with the local creative enthusiasts.
Address: 1, Vasylkivska Street
Karas Gallery is a truly memorable point on the list — after all, it is the first contemporary art gallery opened in Ukraine. Founded in 1995 by a local family of artists, the gallery located on Andriyivskyy Descent continues to lure in visitors today. Karas represents contemporary Ukrainian artists and regularly hosts an exhibition of intriguing ball-pen paintings. The gallery is quite active on their Facebook page where they post live streams, interviews, and photos of visitors. Besides, it’s a children-friendly spot in the center of Kyiv.
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Address: 22A, Andriyivskyy Descent
ЦЕХ / TSEKH Gallery
ЦЕХ gallery is located on a quiet street in the Podil historical district. This place is another example of local artists giving old buildings a fresh start — in the past ЦЕХ was a factory workshop, which in fact inspired the gallery’s name. During the short period of existence, ЦЕХ gallery has managed to host more than 400 projects that introduced Kyiv's public to the new media forms: art objects and installations. Besides, a sister-gallery of ЦЕХ is located in Vilnius.
Address: 69, Kyrylivska Street
M17 was opened in 2010 and instantly became one of the pioneers who brought contemporary art into Ukrainian urban space. Many projects hosted by M17 are initiated by Austrian Cultural Forum, as well as the Embassies of France and Georgia in Ukraine. The two-store building hides an open library and an art shop.
Address: 104, Antonovycha Street
Read: Best Galleries in Kyiv
Дзиґа / Dzyga Gallery
A truly iconic spot in Lviv, this place isn’t merely an art gallery, but a spot of bohemian parties and get-togethers. The gallery located in a quiet corner in the center of Lviv is a result of more than 20 years of work of Dzyga art group, founded by the local artists and enthusiasts. The gallery hosts exhibitions of contemporary Ukrainian artists and explores new art forms in live gigs, movie showings, art lectures, and literature readings.
Address: 35, Virmens'ka Street
The Metropolitan Sheptytsky Center
In September 2017 the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Center of the Ukrainian Catholic University (UCU) has opened its doors to visitors. This is one of the most ambitious and successful architectural projects in Ukraine. The Center is, in fact, a grand library with over 160 thousand books ranging from ancient pieces to most recent editions in various fields. Apart from the impressive amount of printed works, Sheptytsky Center hosts multiple lectures and workshops, exhibitions of digital and traditional art of young Ukrainian generation of artists. Most of the art expos are free.
Address: 4, Kozelnytska Street
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Gallery director Marianna Baran and the curator Markiian Filevych believe that IconArt brings together modern art and Christian spirituality, interpreting this long and rich tradition of icon art within today's cultural context. Visitors of this Lviv gallery have a chance to discover the historic art form in a way that resonates with the people and issues of contemporary society.
Address: 26, Virmenska Street
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Museum of Modern Art of Odessa
The youngest museum in Odesa was founded in spring 2008 on Sabanskyy Lane in one of the city's most beautiful buildings. Just like the contemporary art itself, the interior of this museum often astonishes and perplexes visitors: a communal kitchen, cabinet, and even a fence play their part in the museum's space. Here visitors get acquainted with works of Viktor Marinyuk, Vladimir Tsyupko, Oleg Voloshinov, Yevgeniy Rakhmanin, Lyuda Yastreb and many other Odesa-based artists. The collection is constantly expanding.
Address: 5, Leontovycha Street
Худпромо / Hudpromo Gallery
The objective of Hudpromo Art Gallery, founded in 2010, is to support and develop modern and contemporary art in Odesa and Ukraine. The museum is essentially a topography of the recent trends in Ukraine's art market. Hudpromo Art Gallery has presented numerous projects by the leading representatives of Ukrainian modern and contemporary art to the public eye.
Address: 6, Zhukovskoho Street
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Last but not least, InVogue is a gallery of modern art that is located in the historical center of Odesa. InVogue’s curators have a vast experience of hosting exhibitions on the international level, so the projects and events in this spot always catch the eye of locals and tourists. Different work formats from photography and paintings to mixed art from well-known artists and juniors can be found in this chic spot.
Address: 25, Katerynyns'ka Street
Photo sources: unsplash.com, pinterest.com, anarchitectabroad.com, Facebook pages and websites of the galleries mentioned above. All images belong to their rightful authors.