Lives in Kiev (UA), born in Kiev (UA).
Nikita Kadan (°1982) is a Ukrainian visual artist who is confronted with how he as an artist must form his own socio-political point of view in his native Kiev. He is forced into this position due to the frenzied and tumultuous political realities of his world. He synthesises a special pictorial capacity with reflections on the unsettling, and above all, violent history of his people, his country and, by extension, the whole of the former Soviet Union.
Kadan, who studies monumental painting at the National Academy of Fine Art in Kiev eagerly employs methods that are interdisciplinary and which transcend borders. He draws, paints and creates installations − often collaborating with architects, human rights activists and sociologists, initially collaborating with the artist group R.E.P. - always directing his gaze towards the dark and sinister aspects of the past and how these aspects are handled here and now. Despite there often being no trace of blood-letting, he is still able to depict a host of different forms of oppression, torture and other excesses of misplaced patriotism with razor-sharp focus. Time and again, he questions the extent to which it is possible to make events, in all their complexity, visible.
Kadan doesn't simply rely on historical images, medical manuals and photographs to render the horrors of the past visible − elements which he often integrates in his installations, sometimes painted over or repainted −, but he also draws from images of the daily reality of these places. In this way the question he poses acquires a broader significance for society. Despite the socio-political motives underlying his work, Kadan is, at his essence, a true aesthetic in the classic sense of the word. His drawings also bear witness to a fascination with the human form itself, even when that form is presented in contexts of mutilation, torture, pain and sadism.
Kadan's objective is to show how the atrocities of the past are still visibly present− and tangibly − in the here and now. He not only puts the extent to which he himself struggles with culture, heritage and patriotism on display, but chiefly reveals how the harmful consequences stemming from the abuse of these concepts continues to determine the course of life, and by extension history itself.
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The Possessed Can Witness...
Nikita Kadan, The Possessed Can Witness in the Court, 2015. Installation, metal construction with various objects like lightbox, photograph, plants, coal, a take away leaflet etc., 220 x 150 x 70 cm.
Nikita Kadan, The Chronicle, 2016. Drawing, ink on paper, 18 x (15 x 20 cm)/(20 x 15 cm) .
Events View all
14 August 2015 - 31 January 2016.
The M HKA collection is always expanding. With Recent acquisitions, M HKA showcased purchases that help shape our excisting collection. When
Nikita Kadan – The Posses...
20 January 2018 - 29 April 2018.
The Ukrainian artist Nikita Kadan started on an artistic conquest from his hometown Kiev to bring into view the turbulent and especially viol
EXTRA MUROS: Geel – Middl...
15 September 2018 - 04 November 2018.
Exhibition project Middle Gate II – The Story of Dymphna is a cooperation between M HKA, the Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp, and cultural
Ensembles View all
Aanwinsten 2015 [Acquisit...
In 2015, several major works by Belgian, European, African, Asian and South-American artists were purchased. In shaping the M HKA collection,
Aanwinsten 2017 [Acquisit...
In 2017, the collection was enriched by the international avant-garde from our region in the 60s and 70s, with an emphasis on performativity
GEWELD | VIOLENCE
It seems clear that in the case of Dymphna, the sting – t.i., the violence – is in the tail of her story, in the beheadings and the flickerin