M HKA, Antwerp
16 September 2022 - 08 January 2023
Nikita Kadan is a key figure in the new generation of Ukrainian artists. Working with various media, including installation, sculpture, painting and collage, his practice focuses on social engagement and activism. His artistic production is permeated by the turbulent social context of Ukraine, reflecting on his own position within this social and political environment. Kadan considers the role of the artist not as a contemplative aesthete, but as an initiator of social transformations — a perspective he often utilises to rethink the country’s past. In recent years, he has begun using images of Ukrainian modernist architecture, which is relatively unknown to the outside world. Kadan takes a responsibility for the marginal stories that question the very notion of the ‘centre’, stating that where there is a centre and a periphery, the periphery becomes a place where human life has little value and where cultural heritage is often reduced to ashes or ruin. Kadan thus feels responsible for preserving the memories and experiences of these marginal zones.
In 2015, M HKA acquired Kadan’s installation The Possessed Can Witness in the Court. Several further works have since been acquired, and his solo exhibition The Possessed Can Witness in the Court was held at M HKA in 2018. M HKA also received an important installation as a donation from a Flemish private collector. Most recently, Kadan’s works were key inclusions in Imagine Ukraine, co-organised by M HKA and the Pinchuk Art Centre, that was held simultaneously at M HKA, Bozar and the European Parliament.
> Nikita Kadan / Нікіта Кадан, Small House of Giants / Будиночок велетнів, 2012. Installation, found object, wood, metal, gypsum, paint, 250 x 250 x 435 cm.
> Nikita Kadan / Нікіта Кадан, The Spectators / Глядачі, 2016. Drawing, charcoal on paper, 5 x (75 x 55 cm).
> Nikita Kadan / Нікіта Кадан, The Chronicle / Хроніка, 2016. Drawing, ink on paper, 18 x (15 x 20 cm)/(20 x 15 cm) .
> Nikita Kadan / Нікіта Кадан, The Beautiful Coloniser / Прекрасний колонізатор, 2020. Painting, oil on canvas, 120 x 100 cm.
> Nikita Kadan / Нікіта Кадан, The bust of a child, 2021. Painting, oil on canvas, 140 x 95 cm.
> Nikita Kadan / Нікіта Кадан, Palace of Pioneers / Палац Піонерів , 2021. Painting, oil on canvas, 190 x 150 cm.