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Alexander Zhyvotkov. Altar

March 17 11:00 pm - April 9 7:00 pm

The Altar Exhibition project features artwork which was created by the artist at the moment of greatest emotional tension.

Zhyvotkov methodically works to create his “Kyiv. 2014” series during the winter of 2014 which was marred by tragedy and heroism. The historical record reflects the events on Maidan practically minute by minute and the artist re-creates the events in his art with the same accuracy. Despair and hope push Zhyvotkov – the artist, to take on a role of an ancient chronicler. He symbolically re-creates the terrible events in his dark almost completely black wood bas-reliefs. It represents the artist’s hope that by “conquering death with death” Ukrainians will no longer need to make human sacrifices at the altar of freedom.

But his hopes are immediately dashed, as the Ukrainian air defence systems dramatically shoot down the first Russian missiles on February 24th, 2022.

The shelling continued and the situation grew more dangerous with the enemy forces advancing on the city, but Zhyvotkov stayed to work in his Kyiv studio. The artist re-creates Ukraine’s modern tragedy as the country rises against the Russian barbarous onslaught. This war has caused Ukraine a lot of pain, despair, and misery. And the artist carves these emotions in his sculptural reliefs and sunk reliefs in stone and wood.

“For a month I would wake up with a lump in my throat. I was filled with hate, I felt confused and scared, resentful and angry, I wanted to strangle those bastards,” – Zhyvotkov explains. Anyone familiar with the carnage suffered by the Ukrainian townships and cities as a result of Russian aggression, can relate to his words. The artist admits, that fear and despair left him only after he began working.

On Feb 24th the artist’s studio became his own battlefield where Zhyvotkov fought as an artist for his country. Most of his works are dedicated to specific dates and months, which now will always be linked to some of the most heart-rending events in the history of modern Ukraine like the events in Bucha, Mariupol, Kherson, Irpin, and Vinnytsia. From October till December 2022 as the air sirens sound repeatedly across the country Zhyvotkov works on his Tocsin series. The three works from the series now hang at the Saint-Séverin gallery situated nearby to one of the oldest bell towers in Paris and serve as a terrible reminder of the many brutal crimes carried out by the Russian military.

Tues-Sun, 11:00-19:00 Monday is a day off
Ticket price:
full – UAH 80
discount – UAH 50 (for schoolchildren and students)



March 17 11:00 pm
April 9 7:00 pm
Event Category:


Stedley Art Foundation, National Center “Ukrainian House”


National Center “Ukrainian House”
Khreshchatyk 2
Kyiv, Ukraine
View Venue Website