painting of beast grasping a crustacean

Marija Prymatjenko, Eared beast grasped a crustacean, 1983 Photo: © Maria Prymachenko Family Fundation. Courtesy The National Museum of Decorative Arts of Ukraine

The Fantastic and Horrific

Maria Prymachenko and works from the Moderna Museet Collection

21.9 2024 – 30.3 2025


The collection

Opens in 89 days

Maria Prymachenko (1909–1997) is one of Ukraine’s best-known and most beloved artists. Her stylized, playful patterns are inspired by local embroidery and other traditional handicrafts.

The Fantastic and Horrific 

In the exhibition “The Fantastic and Horrific” her works become a brilliantly colourful lamentation as it is juxtaposed with pieces from the Moderna Museet Collection and artists that relate to our time.

Maria Prymachenko’s dark blue starry skies, dazzling sunflowers and fantastic creatures are part of a vibrant world that also bears traces of grief and pain. Her art is shown alongside works by Marc Chagall, Niki de Saint Phalle and Pablo Picasso, all contemporaneous with the artist and who worked with similar motifs.

The exhibition takes as its starting point that both Pablo Picasso (1881–1973) and Maria Prymachenko participated in the World Exhibition in Paris in 1937. There, Picasso showed his painting “Guernica” which, like many of Prymachenko’s artworks, has become a symbol of peace.

When Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, the museum in Prymachenko’s home district Ivankiv was immediately targeted and bombed, and several of her paintings were destroyed. The attack is an example of the way art is used in war as a means of destroying a people and a culture.

Curator: Elisabeth Millqvist, Director of Moderna Museet Malmö.

The exhibition is shown on Floor 2

Map of Moderna Museet Malmö
Map of Moderna Museet Malmö

More about this exhibition