'Nellie Fedchun: A Tribute to Significant Form' opens at the Ukrainian Institute of America

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'Nellie Fedchun: A Tribute to Significant Form' opens at the Ukrainian Institute of America
Nellie Fedchun, Floating Figure (2000), Stoneware clay, 8 1/2” H x 21” W x 7 1/2” D.

NEW YORK, NY.- Art at the Institute announces A Tribute to Significant Form, an exhibition of select sculptures by Ukrainian-American artist Nellie Fedchun, opening July 6, remaining on view through September 10, 2023. An opening reception for the artist will be held on Thursday, July 6 from 6:00 to 8:00pm.

Using traditional modeling and firing techniques along with experimental methods, Fedchun brings porcelain master-pieces to life. After creating each work by hand from Stoneware clay, or chamotte, with restraint, she sparingly uses color to accent the surface texture of each work foreseeable of its expressive condition. Her thematic forms bear organic abstractions — limbs, heads, and torsos — revealed slowly, gradually without conscious intention. This exhibition marks Ms. Fedchun’s first solo showing of her work with the Ukrainian Institute of America.

Pushing upon Ms. Fedchun’s formalist notion of organic figuration and representation, the title of this exhibition refers to “the harmonious playing of one shape against another” and originates with the aesthetic theory developed by English art critic Clive Bell in the early-twentieth century, through whose lens this show is presented. Bell used the term ‘significant form’ to describe the idea that shape, line, and color in an artwork can be expressive in of itself and can create aesthetic emotion. An instinctive reaction to an artwork, this approach causes an immediate connection between the viewer and piece. It is the process of looking with open feeling — a personal, reflective and intuitive experience. Bell believed that this function was the primary value of any artwork and that any context linked to the work is of secondary value.

A Tribute to Significant Form aims to rethink how we view and engage with art, calling upon viewers to truly immerse themselves with what is in front of them, to connect with palpable three-dimensional form on a personal and intimate level. In doing so, the experience of art is completely organic and not informed by its contextual framework.

Nellie Fedchun was born in 1937 in Krasnoarmeysk, Donetsk region, Ukraine. In 1968, she graduated from the Lviv State Institute of Applied and Decorative Arts (Lviv, Ukraine) and in 1986, became a member of the National Union of Artists of Ukraine. Fedchun participated in numerous Ukrainian, all-Union and international ceramics and sculpture exhibitions in Europe and the United States. Besides her personal creative practice, she has worked on commissioned and state monumental projects and continues to work today in sculptural restoration. Nellie Fedchun works and lives in Brooklyn, NY.

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