photography, painting

Oleg Tistol

Ukraine 1960

Installation, Sculpture, Photography, Painting

Oleg Tistol
Oleg Tistol
December 26, 2014
Alias of Jasmina Sevic, a researcher and author for Widewalls. She graduated from the Faculty of Political Science (Department for Journalism) in Belgrade in 2013.

Oleg Tistol is a visual artist born in 1960 in Vradiivka, Mykolaiv region, Ukraine. His paintings, large-scale installations, photos, sculptures, and art objects have defined the main trends in contemporary Ukrainian art. He graduated from Kiev Republican Art School, the Department of Painting in 1978, and Lviv State Institute of Decorative and Applied Arts in 1984.

Tistol’s art, which emerged at the edge of the Soviet and post-Soviet epochs, combined both a critique of Soviet culture with re-evaluation of its clichés, as well as the vital, joyful, and playful atmosphere, which largely defined the appeal of the “Ukrainian new wave”. The theme of “stereotype” marks the art of Oleg Tistol since the end of 1970s. Combining the national and soviet symbols, myths and utopias in his works, he discovered the notion of simulacrum for himself – a copy with no original. Such a paradoxical self-sustainability of propaganda as a substitution for the non-existing items unexpectedly unites propaganda with pop-art. Tistol was primarily interested in its formal aesthetic aspects – stencil plates, color back-ups, smoothly painted surfaces.

In 1984, Oleg Tistol began to work on the project “Ukrainian Money” that was in progress until 2001. In this project, artist moved from small drawings and etchings to big panel paintings and large-scale installations. In Tistol’s project, money appears as a cultural and symbolic category, which not only marks the history of national independence, but also anticipates and reflects the main problem of contemporary Ukrainian reality: the choice of values, both genuine and false.

In his painting series “National Geography” (1998–2004), he combined “the local” and “the foreign”, the authentic and borrowed, the ethnic and global problematic. The sources of this series were the old illustrated magazines with ethnographic photos of “different tribes”. In 2005, Tistol paints the “Telerealism” series, addressing arguably one of the most important problems in contemporary culture – television’s ability to manipulate situations and characters, as well as attach importance to any kind of image.

Tistol’s latest project “U. B. K.” (the Russian abbreviation for “Southern Coast of Crimea”), on which he has been working since 2007, features a new stereotype as well. Continuing his search for stereotypes, the painter finds them in his everyday life. The principal subject of the project are the palm trees on Yalta’s quay. It’s also the continuation of the theme “National geography”, where Crimea is the symbol of place for holidays, relaxation, paradise. Tistol is attracted by its man-made environment, which transforms the landscape into the part of a culture, as the palm trees are not authentic Crimea’s trees, they were planted here in the 20th century, forming its “new stereotype”.

The different techniques such as photo, painting, drawing, used in “U. B. K.”, passed one into another. The project contains the pictorial paintings and the cycles of prints, where the pages of school notebooks, quick notes, casual sketches, supermarket’s receipts, bills from the hotels and laundries, letters, the invitations on the passed exhibitions and the air-plane tickets are used as a background.

His works are part of collections of the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Cristoph Merian Stiftung, Basel, Museum of History of Moscow, Russia, PinchukArtCentre, Kiev, Ministry of Culture of Turkey, Ankara, and numerous international private collections. Tistol participated in 49th Venice Biennale and 22nd Sao Paulo Biennale.

He lives and works in Kiev, Ukraine.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group 
2013М:2Dymcuk Gallery, Kiev, UkraineSolo
2013Industrial EdenInstitute of Contemporary Art, Kiev, UkraineGroup
2013Modern Ukrainian artistsSaatchi Gallery, London, Great BritainGroup
2013Odessa Biennale of Contemporary ArtOdessa, UkraineGroup
2013August AgendaDymchuk Gallery, Kyiv, UkraineGroup
2013Race with time: The Art of the 1960s – early 2000sNational Art Museum of Ukraine, Kiev, UkraineGroup
2012 Perspective, Great Sculpture Salon 2012Mistets'kiy Arsenal, Kyiv, Ukraine.Group
2012Myth Ukrainian BaroqueNational Art Museum of Ukraine, Kiev, UkraineGroup
2012ArchiveSumy Municipal Gallery Smuga, Sumy, UkraineGroup
2011Mythology of HappinessGallery Salon Vert, London, UKSolo
2011Memories InterpretationBlack Square Gallery, Miami, USASolo
2011Art-Kyiv ContemporaryMistets'kiy Arsenal, Kiev, UkraineGroup
2011Art Moscow 2011, Central House of ArtistsBlack Square Gallery, Moscow, RussiaGroup
201120 years of presenceModern Art Research Institute, Kiev, UkraineGroup
2011НезалежнІdependentMistets'kiy Arsenal, Kiev, UkraineGroup
201111ème Festival Européen de la photo de nuArles, FranceGroup
2011Art ChicagoBlack Square Gallery, Chicago, USAGroup
2011Space OdysseyMistets'kiy Arsenal, Kiev, UkraineGroup
2011Ukrainian artistsAlbert Benamou Gallery, Paris, FranceGroup
2011SCOPE, International Contemporary Art ShowBlack Square Gallery, New York, USAGroup
2011Art Palm Beach Art fairBlack Square Gallery, Florida, USAGroup
2011MIA art FairBlack Square Gallery, Miami, USAGroup
2010RESTARTModern Art Research Institute, Kiev, UkraineSolo
2010VozhdіLєnієUkrainian House, Kyiv, UkraineGroup
2010Art-Kyiv SontemporaryMistets'kiy Arsenal, Kiev, UkraineGroup
2010Star WarsArt Center named of Alexander Korobchinsky, Odessa, UkraineGroup
2010RESTARTModern Art Research Institute, Kiev, UkraineGroup
2009KHUDFOND 2009Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Moscow, RussiaSolo
2009AssortiYa gallery, Kiev, UkraineSolo
2009KHUDFONDMoscow Museum of Modern Art, Moscow, RussiaGroup
2009RESTARTMarine Terminal Art, Odessa, UkraineGroup
2009Ukrainian New WaveNational Art Museum, Kiev, UkraineGroup
2009Art-Kyiv Contemporary 2009Ukrainian House, Kyiv, UkraineGroup
2009Great Sculpture SalonUkrainian House, Kyiv, UkraineGroup
2008Will to immeasurableKiev Museum of Russian Art, Kiev, UkraineGroup
2008The ideal ageCollection Gallery, Kiev, UkraineGroup
2008Art-Kyiv Contemporary 2008Ukrainian House, Kyiv, UkraineGroup
2007ClassworkYa gallery, Kiev, UkraineSolo
2007TelevisionWorld Bank property, Moscow, RussiaSolo
2007Russia, as part of Art Basel MiamiCollins Building, Miami, USAGroup
2007ReflectionPinchukArtCentre, Kiev, UkraineGroup
2006Ararat-06Ya gallery, Kiev, UkraineSolo
2006TelevisionZekh gallery, Kiev, UkraineSolo
2006Made in UKRZekh gallery, Kiev, UkraineGroup
2006The new spacePinchukArtCentre, Kiev, UkraineGroup
2006TelevisionARTStrelka projects gallery, Moscow, RussiaGroup
2005Reality CheckUkrainian House, Kyiv, UkraineGroup
2004A Farewell to ArmsArsenal, Kiev, UkraineGroup
2003Natsprom (together with N.Matsenko)Guelman gallery, Moscow, RussiaGroup
2003The first collectionCentral House of Artists, Kiev, UkraineGroup
2002National GeographyGuelman Gallery, Kiev, UkraineGroup
2002Beyond the thresholdThe Central House of Artists, Moscow, RussiaGroup
2001First Ukrainian Project49th Biennale of Contemporary Art, Venice, ItalyGroup
2000IntervalsNational Art Museum, Kiev - Museum Henie Onstad, OsloGroup
2000PaintingsAtelier Karas Gallery, Kiev, UkraineGroup