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The Department for Culture, 2021

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Auction History

User Bid Date Auto
Auction has ended. 28/07/2023 19:00

Started On 28/06/2023 00:00 (UTC+03:00)

Lot no.51
Estimate: 400–600$

The Department for Culture (from the series “Towards Alienation”), 2021
Yuriy Pikul
canvas, oil
300х400

This series, on the one hand, is a pictorial and protocol fixation of the appearance of the main cultural and artistic institutions of Kyiv. Artist made these works as a passport photo, and did not set himself any tasks other than to demonstrate the recognisability of the object in a neutral environment devoid of emotions, volume and depth. Thus, the paintings here work like a formal image in scientific books of the 19th and 20th centuries, endowed with the sole function of giving a visual representation of the depicted object.

On the other hand, through these works, Yuriy wanted to demonstrate his subjective perception of the chosen institutions, his non-identification with them, and to articulate a sense of mutual alienation and non-involvement, closeness, invisibility, and parallel existence that does not intersect anywhere. Flat as a theater set, a facade with nothing behind it. As flat as a classical painting imitating depth, behind which there is also nothing. And here we can put an equal sign between the real and the depicted institutions. An equal sign (=) like two parallel lines that never intersect.


Yuriy  was born in 1983 in Kyiv. He attended a photography club and was engaged in artistic photography, but was more interested in painting. He studied at the studio of Yuriy Sorokolietov (2002–2003) and the National Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture (2003–2005, left the Academy). He lives and works in Kyiv.

Firstly, Yuriy worked in the cubist genre, then became interested in American minimalism, developed a mathematical basis for drawing. When creating landscape painting, he used logic and principles of combinatorics. He returned to narrative — storytelling and plot, an image without pretence to the artist’s bright personality. For Yuriy, painting is a practice at the level of neurosis, a certain state of thinking, when the mind reads combinations of colours and compositions as a constructor.

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