About the artist
Ilya Chichkan is a Ukrainian contemporary artist. He was born in August 29, 1967 in Kyiv. He is a representative of the New Wave in Ukrainian art. His father, Arkady Chichkan, is a Ukrainian nonconformist artist, a participant in the legendary Exhibition of 13 (1979), which was a manifestation of the passive resistance of Ukrainian painting to socialist realism. Ilya Chichkan’s children, David and Oleksandra, are also known as young contemporary Ukrainian artists. In the 1990s, Chichkan’s name was associated with the New Wave art movement, which emerged as a Ukrainian manifestation of transavant-garde art (one of the trends in early postmodern art), as well as a reaction to key changes that came after perestroika. In 1988-1989, Chichkan and a small group of other artists, including Oleksandr Hnylytsky, Maksym Mamsykov, Vasyl Tsagolov, Valeria Trubina, Yuriy Solomko, and Ilya Isupov, founded a group called the Paris Commune, named after Kyiv Street. Paris Commune (now – St. Michael’s), which housed the famous squat, which served as a home for most of them, a workshop and meeting place. The art of the “Paris Commune” of those years was dedicated to protesting against the bureaucratic cultural institutions that remained from Soviet times. The squat lasted until 1993.
List of the exhibitions
In 1994, the second solo exhibition, Alter Idem, took place at the Brama Arts Center in Kyiv and was interrupted for only one day by the artist himself after members of the women’s club sitting in the gallery tried to cover Chichkan’s work with pieces of cloth.
The artist’s works have been exhibited in leading galleries and museums in Europe, the United States and South America, as well as participated in prestigious forums and festivals of contemporary art – Biennale in Sao Paulo (1996), Biennale of Contemporary Art in Johannesburg (1997), Prague Biennale (2003), The Belgrade Biennale (2004), the European Biennale Manifesta (2004), and the Venice Biennale (2009).
In 2009, Chichkan represented Ukraine at the 53rd International Venice Biennale of Contemporary Art – the oldest and most prestigious of all world art forums, participation in which is traditionally considered one of the highest achievements in the career of an artist or curator. Together with the Japanese artist Micharo Yasuhiro Chichkan, he prepared the project “Steppes of Dreamers” – a total multimedia installation (music, video, performance) in the ancient Palazzo Papadopoli (Venice). Part of this art project was the involvement of the famous Ukrainian boxer Volodymyr Klychko as a curator.