Niko Sturm choose to title his exhibition at M17Contemporary Art Center in Kyiv «Chernozem», as an international term for black earth, also known as «the Ukraine’s black gold«.

The artist visited the Eurogold factory, inspired by what he saw there he decided to create the exhibition with a reference to the country’s soil, which is so rich in humus that it is black.

He not only translates the colour and structure of this earth metaphorically into the picture, but actually pours, flings and carefully affixes the black earth onto the canvas, for this porous the artist brought the Ukrainian Chernozem from Zhytomyr to Austria. The country’s ground becomes the basis for his exhibition and the surface of his pictures.

He deliberates on concepts intrinsic to painting – surface structures, material haptic, colour effects and compositional criteria – and reflects on the basis material of paining itself: paint.

Niko Sturm, born in 1973, lives and works in Carinthia, Vienna and Berlin. Exhibitions since 1996 in Kyrgyzstan, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Berlin, Vienna and Feldbac

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