Crypsis is not meant to mean the mimicry of a particular approach or method in work, which in the case of Alice Nikitinová results in the convergence (or mingling) of abstraction and objectivity, while for Zhanna Kadyrova it is the material recoding of a specific object as an object-sculpture or painting-thing. For the authors the abstracting principle, which though never completely suppressing the relationship to the real, living and current world of the everyday, is at the same time their restrained mental self-portrait. The sensitivity of both artists (if we may speculate slightly) towards banal everydayness permeates consciousness, so that it is impossible to sacralize what was once naively uplifting wonder. The objects are no longer the former secretive comrades, but mass-produced, normalized goods which are always to hand. But the thing-goods always (maybe even much more intensively) actualize the absolute idea of each object; its abstract, formally and aesthetically rich, concept. Both of the authors have a similar relationship to the artistic language of the (Russian) avant-garde. This reference point serves as a kind of memento of unfulfilled utopian visions, and at the same time it allows them to express incredulity at the banality which goes beyond its practical use. The sober aesthetics of Zhanna Kadyrova and Alice Nikitinová, perhaps even due to their experience with the complex social and political situation in Ukraine, unpretentiously demonstrates the possibilities of art, which does not resign itself to a sensory experience. At the same time, it testifies to our constant fluctuation between the concrete character and its abstract sign, between an intimate and historical experience.

Marek Pokorný

Zhanna Kadyrova (*1981; Brovary, Ukraine) graduated from the department of sculpture at the Taras Shevchenko State Art School. She is one of the best-known Ukrainian artists of the younger generation and has had solo exhibitions in many countries including Austria, the USA, Italy,Poland and Brazil. In 2013 she won the PinchukArtCentre Award, a prize for Ukrainian artists up to the age of 35, and a year later she received a Special Prize from the Future Generation Art Prize, which is an international variant of the prize awarded by the same institution (the jury includes the likes of Francesco Bonami, Doris Salcedo, Jan Fabre and the curator of Documenta 13, Adam Szymczyk). She collaborates with Galleria Continua, which operates internationally.

Alice Nikitinová (*1979; Žatec, Czech Republic) studied at an art-specialized secondary school in Kiev from 1994 to 1998, and between 1998 and 2004 she continued her studies in painting with Professor Jiří Sopko at Prague’s Academy of Fine Arts. In 2010 she was nominated for the Jindřich Chalupecký Award. She has exhibited not only in the Czech Republic (SVIT gallery, Jelení Gallery, GAVU Cheb etc.), but also abroad (e.g. Zurich,Vienna, Bratislava, Amsterdam). She has already had a joint exhibition with Zhanna Kadyrova, at Prague’s NoD gallery in 2007.