Aesthetics Wiki

Disclaimer: This article discusses an art movement that took place in Ukraine from the late 1980s to the 2000s. If you are looking for the music genre, see New Wave.

Ukrainian New Wave (Ukrainian: Нова Українська хвиля), or simply New Wave, was a Post-modern art movement that originated in Ukraine during the late 1980s and early 2000s. This movement was shaped by the political turbulences that the country went through during those decades, such as the Perestroika, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Ukrainian declaration of independence. The term "New Wave" was applied to various artistic trends throughout France, the United Kingdom and finally Ukraine, and they had manifestations in various fields such as art, films, music and theatre; however Ukrainian New Wave was mainly expressed through visual arts and series. Ukrainian New Wave rejected Socialist Realism art, which was the most prominent trend within the Soviet Union, and instead adopted western European influences such as Expressionism, Modernism and Neoclassicism.



The origins of Ukrainian New Wave can be traced back to the last events that ocurred in the Soviet Union during its last years of existence: the Perestroika; the perestroika were a series of political reforms which gave Soviet citizens more freedom, such as allowing them to criticize the government and making the media become less restrictive. Various years after this, the Soviet Union collapsed, dividing itself into 15 new countries, including Ukraine.


The Ukrainian New Wave movement first originated among underground art movements within Ukraine, due to the amount of censorship and lack of freedom of expression when Ukraine was under Soviet rule. The artists from this movement were generally young talented artists born during the 1960s. As such, the Ukrainian New Wave movement started when the artists' freedom of expression was no longer under the pressure of the Soviet government.

Some of the first exhibitions were held in the Ukrainian cities of Kyiv, Kharkiv and Sedniv.


Being a really experimental and creative movement, it didn't have much estabilished visual features. The Ukrainian New Wave artists didn't exactly have a single worldview or common stylistic features in their work. The key values of the movement were freedom of expression, individualism and personal independence to make art as one wishes. Because of this, the New Wave movement started emcompassing many different art styles overtime, being divided into 3 main styles: "Ukrainian Trans-Avant-garde", mainly practiced in Kyiv and Odessa, "Western Ukrainian Post-Modernism", mainly practiced in Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk, and "Kyiv Post-Modernism", whose artists created installations and assemblages.
Within the movement, a phenomenom deemed "Polystylism" happened, which refers to the broad inspirations that were taken in this movement. Some of these include Neo-Expressionism, Fantastic Realism, Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Photorealism, Hyperrealism and others.



  • Tiberiy Szilvashi
  • Vasiliy Ryabchenko
  • Pavlo Makov
  • Alexander Roitburd
  • Arsen Savadov
  • Oleksandr Hnylyzkyj
  • Oleg Holosiy
  • Valeria Trubina
  • Ilya Isupov
  • Vlad Khart
  • Pavlo Kerestey
  • Yuri Kosin
  • Les Podervianskyi
  • Ihor Podolchak
  • Oleksandr Rojtburd
  • Andrii Sahaidakovskyi
  • Sergei Sviatchenko
  • Marina Skugareva
  • Feodosiy Tetianych
  • Oleg Tistol
  • Glib Viches
  • Nicholas Zalevsky
  • Alexander Zhyvotkov