KVOST is pleased to announce Olena Pronkina as the recipient of the KVOST Stipend 2022. She was chosen from a total of 82 applications.

The jury consisted of the artists Hortensia Mi Kafchin and Henrike Naumann as well the curating team Nathalie Hoyos & Rainald Schumacher and the founding directors of KVOST, Julia Rust and the curator Stephan Koal.

Olena Pronkina was born in 1988 in Uzbekistan and grew up in Ukraine. Her preferred media are painting and ceramics. Until Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, Pronkina lived and worked in Kyiv. Like many artists, she fled to the west of the country to Lviv and on to Bucharest.

Pronkina paints figuratively. She places her figures in a world she has constructed, depicting inner realities, feelings of belonging and strangeness in static, calm-looking scenarios. What was understood at the beginning of the 20th century as a glimpse into the unconscious and the psychic, today also reads as a glimpse beyond the surfaces. A glimpse that falls into an inner state of being, beyond the self-dramatizations and optimizations of outward appearances for the posts on the screens of social media.

The support and promotion of an artistic position from Ukraine is an important concern for the members of the jury and KVOST.

Like hardly any other event for decades, the war in Ukraine has provoked the question of what distinguishes a human being or what makes him an inhuman being in his cruelty. Pronkina’s paintings and sculptures do not answer this question, but they provoke the question of the inner self. Her works address existential questions of our human nature and condition. The alienating and enigmatic figures in the artist’s pictorial worlds, the mask-like heads of her ceramics point to a mystical, spiritual reality.

The stipend includes an artist-in-residence program as well as a solo exhibition in KVOST’s premises during this year’s Art Week Berlin.