Maria Kulikovska

Exhibited at Fine Arts Museum in Odesa, Ukraine, 2022


Maria Kulikovska is a painter and a sculptor whose creations explore the themes of corporeality, femininity, identity, forced migration and fragility of life.

Born in Kerch, a city on the Crimean Peninsula in Ukraine, Kulikovska has been forced to flee her home twice – first from Crimea in 2014 during the Russian annexation, and then once again from Kyiv in 2022 when the war erupted. She is currently living and working temporarily in Helsinki through the HIAP residency program until she can find a place to settle down permanently. In this exhibition, the artist showcases three distinct oeuvres, including her self-casted body sculptures, watercolour works on paper, and hand-painted ceramics.
As a multimedia artist, actionist artist, researcher and lecturer, Kulikovska creates art that generates visceral responses in viewers. The nucleus of Kulikovska’s work is her own body, its perpetuation, its transformation and its decay. Throughout her oeuvre, the idea of her body is transformed into architectural structures made from natural materials, such as salt, milk or sugar, in order to deal with ideas of production, construction and de-construction. Her self-casted body sculptures invite us to ponder on social and political issues of feminism, queer representation, war, and human rights. The artist considers her watercolour and ceramic works as performative paintings, in which her oft-macabre, oft-nude subjects visualise her psychological distress over her sense of abandonment and loneliness that arose from her loss of agency in life.
Kulikovska graduated from the National Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture in Kyiv and Konstfack University in Stockholm. In 2017, she was selected for a residency at the Liverpool Biennial, and in September 2022 her works were shown in a solo exhibition at the Francisco Carolinum Linz museum in Austria. She has previously exhibited at Neue National Gallery, Berlin; Ludwig Museum, Budapest; Saatchi Gallery, London. Today her works are in key private and institutional collections including Art Collection Deutsche Telekom, Germany; Odesa Fine Arts Museum, Ukraine; Francisco Carolinum Linz, Austria.
Selected Works