Have you ever felt lost in the existential questions of whatever higher power to believe in? Well, these answers could be found in art. In many respects, abstract art can be therapeutic, encouraging us to empathise and live through our emotions in a unique way. Seeing, analysing, and reflecting on artwork allows us to discuss the eternal values of life and relate with artists. Currently on display at the ‘The Helen Ritz Gallery’ are the works of Vasyl Byk. His sculptures depict his philosophy of life, which emphasises on the importance of the universal light and warmth, consciousness, and diligence in the world. His ‘Ladies’ are there to be seen and felt with the palm of your hand, experiencing how each image responds to you in a different way. The artists represented at the Helen Ritz Gallery are all based in Ukraine, and exhibitions change every two weeks. Each artist depicts powerful statements through their work, whether this is a personal matter or a nationwide tragedy. The gallery donates 50% of profit towards children struggling in Ukraine.
Helen Ritz was born in Donetsk, Ukraine, but moved to Kyiv in 2014. After the outbreak of the Ukraine war, she currently finds herself in Valencia. Her gallery, The Helen Ritz Gallery, opened in September 2022 and its mission is to connect Valencia to Ukrainian artwork and culture. Previous exhibitions include the works of Vadym Panchenko and Mira Bachkur. Ritz is also hoping to open galleries in other European cities such as Madrid and Paris, where she will display both local and Ukrainian artwork.
The current exhibition at the Helen Ritz Gallery displays the works of Vasyl Byk, a Ukrainian sculpturer from the Zhytomyr region. He was born in 1958 and began creating sculptures from childhood. There was a lot of material for sculptures in his neighbourhood. In 1993, he graduated from the Ukrainian Academy of Arts, workshop of monumental sculpture of Professor V. Borodai. Since 2006, Byk has been a member of the Union of Artists of Ukraine.
While some of his ancient Greek-style sculptures are only for interiors, others can easily be imagined as large monuments. The women in his sculptures extract a purity and immaculacy and peace, which breaks down the unrealistic layers that women can have during their lives. Byk encourages us to “embrace as much as possible”, to read accustomed signs differently and consequently, feel them differently. Many of his works contain simple laws of harmony and beauty. The outer shells of these sculptures are only form and event, while the actual sense and essence is much deeper. A human’s heart and inner substance is the only source of their spiritual life and essence. Byk brings together the beauty of the outer and inner worlds with the consciousness and heart, embodying them in the physical world of art and sculpture.
At the Helen Ritz gallery, you can buy sweatshirts and T-shirts with art prints of current exhibitions at the gallery. Fifty percent of the income from merchandise and the artwork that is bought there goes towards the “Dobrodiy Club” Charity Fund, which actively supports children during the war in Ukraine.
Report by Sabina Redfern
Article Copyright 24/7 Valencia
The Helen Ritz Gallery
Address: C/ de Quart, 10, 46001 València, Valencia
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