Mykhaylo Barabash – “the Earth cannot hold its breath”

Exploring the work of a Ternopil native Mykhaylo Barabash, now living  in Lviv, Ukraine, introduces us to an art genre that I have not mentioned yet: installation artIts  can be traced back to the second half of the 20the century and it makes use of a large interior (or exterior) space to gather and position various items in order to present a prepared concept through a complex sensory experience over a period of time. The space itself adds to the meaning and atmosphere that the artist tries to evoke, and very often all the viewer’s senses are under attack. Barabash’s installations are conceptually challenging, confronting you with such complex issues as, for example, the nature of beauty, the human influence on the environment, sincerity, creation, destruction, the ill effects of time. These final stages are preceded by observing even the most mundane things, like holes in the road, or gas pipes, or dilapidated buildings, and a subsequent cogitation.

Barabash studied at the Department of Monumental Painting at the Lviv’s Academy of Arts and has participated in numerous exhibitions and plein-airs in Ukraine, Poland and Slovakia since 1998. One of his important art initiatives came in 2011 when he co-founded NURT, an art association that connects mainly painters and musicians in joint projects. Apart from installation art, he also focuses on painting, land art and video installation, and I encourage you to click on these links to see his artwork presented as he intends it, together with the explanations.

The Allegory of Beauty II (2010) by Mykhaylo Barabash Source: Courtesy of Mykhaylo Barabash
The Allegory of Beauty II (2010) by Mykhaylo Barabash. The soil and the flowers are real. The meaning gets more complex when you see this.
Source: Courtesy of Mykhaylo Barabash
Symptom (2007)  by Mykhaylo Barabash
Symptom (2007) by Mykhaylo Barabash inspired by the Podgoretsky Castle.
Source: Courtesy of Mykhaylo Barabash