painting of beast grasping a crustacean

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

Fantastic and Horrific

Marija Prymatjenko and Works from the Moderna Museet Collection

21.9 2024 – 16.3 2025


The collection

Opens in 203 days

Marija Prymatjenko (1908–1997) is one of Ukraine’s best-known and most beloved artists. Her stylized, playful patterns are inspired by local embroidery and other traditional handicrafts.

Fantastic and Horrific 

In the exhibition “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.

Marija Prymatjenko’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.

Pablo Picasso (1881–1973) was a great admirer of Prymatjenko’s work. This exhibition accentuates their participation in the International Exposition of Art and Technology in Paris in 1937, where Picasso showed his painting “Guernica”, which, alongside many of Prymatjenko’s works, has become a symbol of peace.

When Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, the museum in Marija Prymatjenko’s hometown of 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