Grand project dedicated to the 100th Anniversary of UNOVIS When: 2019-2020
UNOVIS ("The Affirmers of the New Art") was a legendary creative association established by Kazimir Malevich together with the tutors and students of the Vitebsk People's Art School. UNOVIS became the center of the world avant-garde and the starting point for the innovative art forms of the XX and the XXI centuries.
[ about the project ]
The project was initiated and organized by the Belarusian-Jewish Cultural Heritage Center in partnership with the Vitebsk People's Art School History Museum, with the support of A1 Company and the Lazar Khidekel Society (USA). The project events were also supported by state and international organizations, embassies, commercial companies and private initiatives. #UNOVIS100 was taken under the patronage of the Belarus National Commission for UNESCO. The project became one of the crucial steps in the understanding and asserting the phenomenon of UNOVIS as a national treasure.
«We are striving to create projects that celebrate Belarus all over the world. Our cultural heritage as a national brand can be integrated into any area of activity. We wanted to show how much we are proud of our history, how amazing our cultural code is. The core idea of the project was to unfold the phenomenon of UNOVIS as the inspiration that may serve as a creative impulse for the contemporaries: the ideas of UNOVIS still remain the most progressive and innovative, whilst they were born in Vitebsk long before anything of that kind was created in the world».
Maya Katznelson, project curator, founder of the Belarusian-Jewish Cultural Heritage Center
At the core of the project's concept lied the prophetic phrase of one of the union creators - Lazar Khidekel, a student of Marc Chagall, El Lissitzky and Kazimir Malevich, an artist, the world's first suprematic and ecological architect: "They will understands us in 100 years".
The project included a number of significant events, and was implemented in the period from autumn 2019 to autumn 2020.
«100 years of UNOVIS, an art group founded in Vitebsk by the students and tutors of the local art school, is one of the most outstanding events in the country's cultural life in 2020. In Belarus, this date will be celebrated by multiple dedicated events, but the largest one will be #UNOVIS100. Due to this initiative we are starting the anniversary year with the exhibition of Lazar Khidekel that will be the first ever in the history of our country, and we will witness a truly unique happening - greeting the families of the legendary founders of UNOVIS in their historical homeland».
Yuri Bondar, Minister of Culture of the Republic of Belarus
To support the project, Belarusian-Jewish Cultural Heritage Center collaborated with a Belarusian designer clothes brand Zen Wear to create and release a limited edition of hoodies and T-shirts #UNOVIS100 with the artwork and quotes by the founders and members of UNOVIS - Malevich, Lissitzky and Khidekel.
«UNOVIS is a new brand of the country, which, along with Marc Chagall and Chaim Soutin, introduces Belarus into the global context».
A special theme edition of the Belarusian-language "Art" magazine was fully dedicated to the history, activity and influence of the association. The edition was prepared in partnership with A1 Company, the Belarusian-Jewish Cultural Heritage Center and the Vitebsk People's Art School History Museum.
Special show of UNOVIS film directed by Evgeni Setko, Belarusfilm
Tatiana Kotovich, PhD of Fine Arts, professor of Vitebsk State University TUT.by read
«If until this day you have not heard anything about it, there's nothing to be ashamed of. 100 years ago also few would know about UNOVIS, and even fewer would understand. Practically up until the 1980s it was prohibited to talk aloud about the artists from this group, and some of them - those who were not repressed and survived the Siege of Leningrad - would hide their works for the rest of their lives».
Zakhar Dudzinski, director of Belarusian-Jewish Cultural Heritage Center Interfax.by read
«UNOVIS is a national treasure that integrates our culture into that of Europe and the world. Recognition and celebration of these names in their Homeland will promote UNOVIS to ring in the whole world on level with BAUHAUS. Exactly 100 year later, Belarus for the first time gets an opportunity to see live the unique artwork created in Vitebsk back in the 1920s».
«At the core of the UNOVIS ideology was the idea of collective art: along with absolutely individual searches and projects of each student, all their paths would join into one whole and be exhibited without any last names - just"UNOVIS"».
Valeria Lissitzky, great granddaughter of El Lissitzky City of Women magazine read
«Lissitzky and his art was a love at first sight. It happened back in my childhood - when my grandmother told me about him. I would take the books and stare at the paintings for hours… Grandma would wonder what I was seeing and finding in all that. Maybe I was magnetized by that pervasive magic of Lissitzky. As I was growing up that inner response grew stronger: I was really loving that style. The minimalism, the geometry - in jewelry, in clothes, in interior designs».
[ to watch ]
TV-channel Belarus 24
UNOVIS – 100! The centennial anniversary of the Vitebsk art revolution in the ARTiSHOCK project.
Belarusian-Jewish Cultural Heritage Center Vitebsk People's Art School History Museum А1 Belarus Lazar Khidekel Society (USA)
Belarus National Commission for UNESCO National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus Belarusian Union of Architects International Union of Architects US Embassy in Belarus The Netherlands Embassy in Belarus Embassy of Poland in Belarus Embassy of Latvia in Belarus Goethe-Institute in Belarus Administration of Culture of the Vitebsk Oblast Executive Committee Culture Department of the Vitebsk City Executive Committee Belarusian Committee of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) Level 80 Architecture Firm Architectural Thinking Children's School Feeling Digital Company Zalkind Home Hotel Willing Hotel Svet Goroda Advertising Agency PR-agency IPR Belarus Creative Football "Nothing Ordinary" FC "Vitebsk" Zen Wear designer clothes