Insight into the recent partnership between the Saatchi Gallery and the Firtash Foundation

Founded in 1985, the Saatchi Gallery continues to provide a platform for showcasing contemporary art in order to make it more accessible. The gallery conducts its work with the ethos of encouraging innovation, showing work by relatively unseen young and international artists who have been given little chance to exhibit elsewhere in the UK.

Babak and Stepanenko_Abandon homeThis summer saw the announcement of a new partnership for the Saatchi Gallery that will continue to strengthen the gallery’s reputation for fostering new and undiscovered talent. The Firtash Foundation– a private charitable organiSation founded in 2008 focusing on the support and promotion of Ukrainian art and culture – has announced a “long-term” patronage of the Saatchi Gallery. This partnership echoes the Saatchi Gallery’s interest in continuing to remain at the forefront of contemporary art, as the Firtash Foundation is also dedicated to supporting young artists by providing a number of initiatives in support of Ukraine’s youth.

The Director of the Firtash Foundation, Lada Firtash, was delighted to have formed this new partnership. “We are honoured to announce our patronage of the Saatchi Gallery, which has shown great enthusiasm and support for our project to help educate the international community about the unique cultural and artistic history of Ukraine,” she said.

Marushchenko_Chernobyl zoneThe partnership will launch a series of exhibitions at Saatchi Gallery– all of which aim to illustrate Ukraine’s heritage, providing audiences in London with the opportunity to get a rare, incisive perspective on the country’s culture. The first exhibition, which opened on July 10, is titled In Our Paradise. It is a part of the celebrations of the 200 anniversary of the birth of the renowned Ukrainian poet, Taras Shevchenko. The exhibition, originally curated by Galina Skliarenko, gives visitors a glimpse into the challenges faced by Ukraine, including the most recent political unrest in the country. The collection of photographs by photographers such as Alexander Babak and Anatoli Stepanenko makes for a thought-provoking and challenging exhibition. The themes of war, dictatorship and human loss are intimately captured in the vivid images, which give an insight into the struggles Ukraine has faced alongside showcasing the vibrancy of Ukraine’s art scene.

The exhibition is the first of several to document the dynamic nature of Ukrainian art, reflecting the vitality of the nation’s cultural heritage.

Exhibition dates: July 10 to August 3 at the Saatchi Gallery, London.

Admission free.

— Jess Rayner, Correspondent (Art)

Image Courtesy: djrue, Licensed under under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic | Wikimedia Commons

Oleksandr Babak and Anatol Stepaneko, Wasteland- Abandon Home (series), 2012, © Saatchi Gallery London

Victor Marushchenko, Chernobyl Zone- Machines Cemetery, 2006, © Saatchi Gallery London

Correction: In a newer press release, the Saatchi Gallery has announced that the partnership with the Firtash Foundation will actually be “long-term” rather than “three years”. The article has been updated with this change.