contemporary art

Yuri Solomko

Ukraine 1962

Photography, Photorealism, Painting

Yuri Solomko
Yuri Solomko
February 16, 2015

Yuri Solomko is an Ukrainian contemporary artist, known for creating works that involve maps and cartography, to which he adds subjects and symbols, creating new connections and meanings within each of his paintings, depicting a wayward dance of meridians and coastlines.

Solomko was born in 1962 in Crimea, South Ukraine. He studied at the Art school in Krasnodar, Russia graduating in 1986, and afterwards at the Kiev State Art Institute, Ukraine, where he got his degree in 1992. The artist lived and worked in New York in 1996 as a recipient of CEC Arts Link Residency program. Solomko can be considered a representative of the New wave in Ukrainian art, and in the late 1980s he was involved in the group Paris Commune. He played a vital role in the development of the Ukrainian art scene over the last twenty years or so, during which time the country has undergone a period of great social and political change. Each of his works is unmistakably Ukrainian – with references to culture, values and history that are specific to this unique nation.

Solomko’s obsession with maps is noticeable, causing him to create various series of works that involve maps. The artist skillfully juxtaposes figures over political maps often creating geopolitical irony. The artist works in oil on canvas media as well as painting with oil and pencils over printed maps. For some compositions the artist photographs maps projected over figure and then finishes the composition with mixed media. ‘The only thing that is not in the map is its intangible, non-visual concepts. There is no map for emotions and feelings. I tend to think that any painting is a map of feelings’, as the artist states. For information already contained in this document, the artist adds his own. Yuri sometimes have to cut the card into pieces, and then combines them into a kind of collage or glue together several cards – and then draw on them. It all depends on the ideas of the future picture. Some of his cartography series depicts trans-national graffiti artist, who reaches over regions and continents, other portray the refined heroes of the past that paradoxically intertwine with the points of continents and oceans. 

His works are in the collections of the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, Museum of Russian Art of Alexander Glaser in New York, Art Center Henny-Onstand, Hovikoden in Oslo, Norway, as well as many private collections around the world.

In 1997, he received the Golden Section in Contemporary Art award, given to him by the International Art Festival in Kiev. In 2001 he was among the participating artists in The First Ukrainian Project at the 49th Venice Biennale.

Yuri Solomko lives and works in Kiev.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumGroup/Solo
2014No GMODymchuk Gallery, Kiev, UkraineSolo
2014Show Within The ShowArt Arsenal, Kiev, UkraineGroup
2013The Contemporary Ukrainian artistsSaatchi Gallery, London, UKGroup
2013Terrain OrientationNational Art Museum of Ukraine, Kyiv, UkraineGroup
2012TitansFine Art Gallery, Kiev, UkraineSolo
2012Myth - Ukrainian BaroccoNational Art Museum of Ukraine, Kiev, UkraineGroup
2012Disputed TerritoryArt Museum, Sevastopol, Crimea, UkraineGroup
2011IndependentArt Arsenal, Kiev, UkraineGroup
201120 Years of PresenceModern Art Research Institute, Kiev, UkraineGroup
2011Space Odyssey 2011Art Arsenal, Kiev, UkraineGroup
2010Observation – RorschachFine Art Gallery, Kiev, UkraineSolo
2010LimitsCollection Gallery, Kiev, UkraineSolo
2009Over the WallArtNext Gallery, New York, USAGroup
2009Ukraninan New WaveNational Art Museum of Ukraine, Kiev, UkraineGroup
2009Perfect ageCollection Gallery, Kiev, UkraineGroup
2008G8Zeh Gallery, Kiev, UkraineSolo
2008ArtMoskow - 13th international Art FairMoscow, RussiaGroup
2008Ukranian PaintingWhite Box, New York, USAGroup
2007NaturproduktZeh Gallery, Kiev, UkraineSolo
2006Ukraine and SurroundingsAtelie Karas, Kiev, UkraineSolo
2004GyperspaseAtelie Karas, Kiev, UkraineSolo
2004Farewell to armsArsenal, Kiev, UkraineGroup
2003RegenerationGuelman Gallery, Kiev, UkraineSolo
2003First collectionArtist House, Kiev, UkraineGroup
2002OfficeAlipiy Gallery, Kiev, UkraineSolo
2002ArtMoskow - 6th international Art FairMoscow, RussiaGroup
2002Poetry of the WindsFlag Art Festival, Seoul, Korea,Group
2001MotherlandTriptych Gallery, Kiev, UkraineSolo
2001Yuri SolomkoF.Morgenbesser Spase, Vienna, AvstriaSolo
2001The First Ukrainian Project49-th Biennial in Venice, ItalyGroup
2001Art opposite geographyMuseum of Russian Art, St. Petersburg, RussiaGroup
2000Yalta-2000Livadia palace, Crimea, UkraineSolo
2000Resultate 2000Palais Wittgenstein, Vienna, AustriaGroup
2000Resultate 2000Gallery KulturAXE, Vienna, AustriaGroup
2000Resultate 2000Popmuseum, Vienna, AustriaGroup
2000IntervalsNational Art Museum of Ukraine, Kiev, UkraineGroup
2000IntervalsHenie-Onstad Kunstsenter, Hovikodden, Oslo, NorwayGroup
1999Preventive mesuresPassage de Retz, Paris, FranceGroup
1998Scale of Depths and HeightsTadzio Gallery, Kyiv, UkraineSolo
1998Crimea project-IILivadia palace, Crimea, Center of contemporary Art, Kiev, UkraineGroup
1997CartographersMuseum of contemporary Art, Zagreb, Croatian Group
1997CartographersUmetnostna Gallery, Maribor, SloveniaGroup
1997CartographersMucsarnok, Budapest, Hungary Group
1997CartographersZamok Uezdovsky, Warsaw, PolandGroup
1997History of Love – CollaborativeKiev, UkraineGroup
1997Peer GyntKunstforening, Trondheim, NorwayGroup
1996BordersArt Gallery Space LAB, Cleveland, USASolo
1996Parts of the WorldGuelman Gallery, Moscow, RussiaSolo
1996CartographyRA Gallery, Kyiv UkraineSolo
1996Vision ArtNational Art Museum of Ukraine, Kiev, UkraineGroup
1995Black-WhiteBrama Center for Contemporary Arts, Kiev, UkraineGroup
1994Hot Cool OrientationSzuper Gallery, Munich, GermanySolo
1994TransitDecima Gallery, Lviv, UkraineSolo
1994Art ImpressionsAlipiy Gallery, Kiev, Ukraine,Group
1993ConverseGuelman Gallery, Central House of Artists, Moscow RussiaGroup
1993Gruppe-90Palais Palffy, Vienna, AustriaGroup
1993Impreza-93Biennial, Ivano-Frankovsk, UkraineGroup
1992Yuri SolomkoGuelman Gallery, Moscow, RussiaSolo
1992PochatokNational Art Museum of Ukraine, Kiev, UkraineGroup
1992ShtilKiev Gallery, Kiev, UkraineGroup
1991Artists of the Paris CommuneKiev, UkraineGroup
1990Exhibition of Ukraine ArtistsCenter of Culture Marvinholm, Ystad, SwedenGroup
1990Three Generations of Ukrainian Art 1960-80Municipal Art Gallery, Odense, DenmarkGroup
1990BabylonPalace of Youth, Moscow, RussiaGroup
1988International Exhibition of Young Artists from the social CountriesMoscow, RussiaGroup