Art and Life in Times of War

June 17– August 13, 2023


The exhibition presents works, projects, and networks of Ukrainian artists who are currently in or outside Ukraine, or working between Ukraine and other places. The focus is on artistic practices that address the situations and contexts of war, displacement, and military conflict, as they have existed in Ukraine since 2014, through feminist, queer, and ecological positions as well as  through the creation of art spaces: concerns that are persistently turned toward life, and yet considered secondary in times of war. The works negotiate war in ways that are equally personal and political, indirect and direct. The reconsideration of the past, the confrontation with rapid processes of change in the present, and the imagination of a different future often intertwine.

Russia’s war of aggression on Ukraine is one of the great crises of the present. In Ukraine, it is accompanied by multilayered, all-encompassing forms of violence and destruction: death, mass displacement, the destruction of buildings, infrastructures, the environment, and social, cultural, and economic livelihoods, but also rape and looting. It forces the Ukrainian population to fight a defensive war, to face a daily struggle for survival, and to flee. In this ongoing state of emergency, priorities seem to be clearly set: military concerns as well as the maintenance of the basics of existence are paramount. Art, feminism, ecological issues, questions of social diversity, and anti-discrimination structures seem to play hardly any role at all.

In fact, since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression in February 2022, artists in and outside of Ukraine have established new structures or modified existing ones that allow them to exchange ideas and engage in artistic activity despite the state of emergency, as this is one of the central foundations of existence for them, even and especially during the war. For example, various residency programs adapted to the current situation have been created in Ukraine. Even before 2022, Ukrainian artists had been addressing the military conflict and displacement in their country on the basis of feminist, queer, and/or ecological positions – a debate with an urgency they continue to emphasize, in addition to coming to terms with traumatic experiences.

The exhibition is based on a cooperation between the Kunstverein, the Stuttgart platform for contemporary drawing Linienscharen and the ifa-Galerie Stuttgart. In addition to the exhibition and various events at the Württembergischer Kunstverein, the cooperation project also included a workshop for young people at the ifa-Galerie.

Artists + Initiatives
Asortymentna Kimnata / Assortment Room
(Kateryna Aliinyk, Eugene Arlov / Diana Derii, Katya Buchatska, Danylo Halkyn, Nikita Kadan, Zhanna Kadyrova, Alona Karavai, Roman Khimei / Yarema Malashchuk, Lesia Khomenko, Yasia Khomenko, Sasha Kurmaz, Maria Leonenko, Yevgen Samborsky, Oleksii Sai, Oleksandr Surovtsov / Yulia Surovtsova, Leo Trotsenko, Ola Yeriemieieva), DIK Fagazine, Alevtina Kakhidze, Serhii Lymanskyi, Anton Shebetko, Bogdan Tomashevsky, Darya Tsymbalyuk, Anna Zvyagintseva and others.

A joint project by
Württembergischer Kunstverein, Linienscharen and ifa-Galerie Stuttgart

Funded by

Kulturamt der Stadt Stuttgart
Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kunst des Landes Baden-Württemberg
Innovationsfonds Kunst Baden-Württemberg
Prolab, Stuttgart



Schlossplatz 2
D-70173 Stuttgart
Fon: +49 (0)711 - 22 33 70
Fax: +49 (0)711-22 33 791
Art and Life
Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart