Futuromarennia: Ukraine and Avant-Garde 08/04/2023 – 10/09/2023

Kumu Art Museum
Adult: Kumu Art Museum
  • Family: Kumu Art Museum
  • Discount: Kumu Art Museum
  • Adult ticket with donation: Art Museum of Estonia
Oleksandr Khvostenko-Khvostov. Stage design for the play <i>Mob</i>, adapted from Upton Sinclair’s novel <i>They Call Me Carpenter</i>). 1924. Mystetskyi Arsenal, Kyiv, Ukraine

Futuromarennia: Ukraine and Avant-Garde

Location: 3rd floor, B-wing

Exhibition Futuromarennia: Ukraine and Avant-Garde displays innovative artistic visions of the future that were born on the Ukrainian historical soil in the 1910s and 1920s. Radical dreams of the future in painting, scenography, architecture, literature and cinema – artworks by Oleksandra Ekster, David Burliuk, Oleksandr Bohomazov, Vasyl Yermylov and many other remarkable authors – come from the collections of museums that continue their work amidst ongoing attacks by the Russian aggressors. The exhibition creates a basis for a critical postcolonial revision of the history of both the Western and Russian avant-garde, showcasing a wide range of peculiarities of the local artistic life and the affinity for international developments in the art of that time.

About the exhibition (In Ukrainian)

In the Futuromarennia exploration, Futurism is a revolutionary impulse rather than merely a particular art movement. Embodied in the slogan ‘Metropolis, Machine, Mass’, Futurism reflected the dynamics of change at that time and had a significant impact on the development of art throughout the world. The exhibition at Mystetskyi Arsenal in Kyiv ended on the eve of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, which fundamentally changed the world context. That is why the current project for Kumu has a different focus, with a special emphasis on the self-sufficiency of the Ukrainian version of Futurism. Representatives of the 1920s avant-garde art discussed in this project emphasised their Ukrainian identity. After centuries of Russian domination, they were particularly sensitive to the issue of national cultural sovereignty. This project for Estonia is not only about art. Futuromarennia is about Ukraine, its heritage and its identity. This is story of Ukraine, told in the first person: a story that has not yet become a past.

The display includes more than 100 original artworks – paintings and drawings, designs for books and posters, theatre costumes and scenography – as well as historical photos and video materials. In addition, contemporary reconstructions in embroidery, a 3D model, documentary mappings of historical “places of strength” and two site-specific multimedia installations will help viewers grasp the phenomenon of the avant-garde in Ukraine not only in the historical, but also in the present context.


PDF Booklet

Works displayed


  • The video greeting by Olena Zelenska, wife of Volodymyr Zelensky, the President of Ukraine, at the opening of the exhibition on 6 April 2023.

Panel discussion “Decoloniality and Art Historical Alliances in Eastern Europe”

  • In Kumu on 9 September 2023. The participants Kateryna Botanova, a Basel-based cultural critic, curator and writer from Kyiv; Margaret Tali, an art historian, cultural theorist and lecturer at the Estonian Academy of Arts; and Anna Łazar, a curator of the Ukrainian and international programme Free Word (Wolne Słowo) in Gdańsk, the Capital of Literature. The panel will be moderated by Ieva Astahovska, a Latvian art scholar, critic and curator.

Ukrainian war refugees get free entry to Kumu throughout the exhibition period! Applies based on document confirming Ukrainian citizenship.

Co-organiser of the exhibition: Mystetskyi Arsenal (Kyiv, Ukraine)


Curators: Olha Melnyk, Ihor Oksametnyi and Viktoriia Velychko
Exhibition design: Lera Guevska
Graphic design: Kostiantyn Martsenkivskyi
Coordinators: Elnara Taidre and Iryna Bilan

In collaboration with:
Museum of Theatre, Music and Cinema of Ukraine
National Art Museum of Ukraine
Dnipro State Art Museum
Kharkiv Literature Museum
Oleksandr Dovzhenko National Centre
Central State Archive-Museum of Literature and Art of Ukraine
National Research Restoration Centre of Ukraine
Kharkiv Private Museum of City Estate
Lviv Museum of the History of Religion
Valentyna Kostyukova

We thank: Republic of Estonia Ministry of Culture, Republic of Estonia Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Embassy of Estonia in Kyiv, Embassy of Ukraine in Tallinn, Tallinn City Government, Nordic Hotel Forum, and the Slava restaurant and café


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