International collaboration project of contemporary non-objective art.
M17 Contemporary Art Center, Kyiv.
curators: Serhiy Popov, Tiberiy Silvashi

The project Big Circle showcases the global contemporary non-objective and reductive art and the evolution of independent art initiatives, projects and movements in the recent decades. It features the artistic work of a large group of artists from different countries who have been promoting and advancing non-objective art in their own regions and worldwide for a long time, forming a big network and big circle of people who share the same vision. The project will consist of four exhibitions (expositions), which will be carried out by the following art groups: 1- KNO, UA + Rexlex, AU; 2- CCNOA, BE + DAC, IT + WEST projects, AU; 3- BANO, FR + e9a,DE; 4- Saturation Point, EN + TEKSAS, DK + Divisible, US.

The history of this big circle begins in the early ‘90s. In Kyiv the artistic group “Zhyvopysnyy zapovidnyk” (Eng. “Picturesque Sanctuary”) was founded and was composed by such artists as Tiberiy Silvashi, Oleksandr Babak, Marko Heyko, Oleksandr Zhyvotkov, Mykola Kryvenko and Anatoly Kryvolap.

In the late 90s in Brussels Tilman Hoepfl and Petra Bungert at their own expense founded the center of contemporary non-objective art - CCNOA (Center for Contemporary Non-Objective Art), a non-profit organization that has existed for more than a decade. It was the most powerful phenomenon of representation of contemporary tendencies and art practices of different artists in non-objective art of various countries of the world. The aims of this organization were to identify, exhibit and contextualize international innovative positions in contemporary non-objective art, and to make them accessible to the national and international cultural community; to develop a platform for visualization of discourse and its social, political and philosophical consequences. During the organization’s activity, there were organized about 350 exhibitions and presented more than 380 artists worldwide. As a result of the center’s activities, artists began to create their own independent art projects, open small exhibition spaces where exhibition and discussion programs are still being carried out.

From the beginning of the 2000s Australian artist Billy Gruner founded and opened several art projects in Sydney, they are MOP (MODES OF PRACTICE), SNO (Sydney Non Objective), MAP (Modern Art Projects) and currently West Projects and together with Sarah Keighery also runs the international collaborative project RNOP (Reductive Non Objective Project). In 1998, Gerda Maise and Daniel Gottin open their own gallery Hebel_121 in the premises of a former bakery. In 1999, in Amsterdam, the group of artists found PS project space. Nearly, in Leiden since 2007, Guido Winkler and Imke van Dijk hold exhibitions in their own space several times a year for IS-projects. In the south of France, near the municipality of Tullete, Andrew Huston and Karole Vail start over the annual program of exhibitions and residences Non-Objectif Sud (NOS) a year before. In 2008, in a small space in Paris Richard van der Aa founds ParisCONCRET.

The second decade of 2000 begins with the advent in 2011 of a project-space t e k s a s created by the artists Peter Holm and Karin Lind in a renovated building of a small old factory close to Copenhagen. Patrick Morrissey and Hanz Hancock establish an editorial and curatorial online-platform Saturation Point in London. In the same year, near Grenoble, in the municipality of Pont-de-Claix, France, the BANO / Pont-de-Claix biennale of non-objective art is being held for the first time on the initiative of the artist Roland Orépük. 

In 2012-2015 there was the Alliance 22 artistic group in Kyiv (Badri Ghubianuri, Tiberiy Silvashi, Sergey Momot, Constantin Roudeshko, Serhiy Popov). In the laboratory space of the Alliance, in the small space of the Bulgakov Museum, more than 30 experimental projects related to the non-objective art have been implemented together with artists, curators, philosophers, musicians, fashion designers and other specialists. Kyle Jenkins and Tarn McLean established REFLEX - a wall painting project on a street of the city Toowoomba, Australia in 2014. Werner Windisch organized an exhibition space e9a in the premises of the own studio in Freiburg, Germany, in 2017. The same year, an art organization KNO|Kyiv Non Objective was founded in Kyiv.

Since its foundation, KNO has aimed to develop an international multidisciplinary platform for presenting diverse artistic practices, concepts and contemporary tendencies in non-objective art, creating an experimental space, establishing a dialogue between artists, critics, art critics and representatives of other creative industries. The international art community has supported the initiative of Ukrainian artists by joining KNO exhibition projects and inviting Ukrainian artists to their exhibitions. KNO has joined the worldwide network of artistic initiatives, the artistic process, and the "big circle" around non-objective art. 

Big Circle is a project-journey with the non-objective art around the whole world and its modern history.

Serhiy Popov

All photos ©KNO