Maria Lanko

Maria Lanko

Curator and cultural producer. Co-founder of The Naked Room, Kyiv. Co-curator of the Ukrainian Pavilion, 59th La Biennale di Venezia.

Maria received her MA degree in Eastern Studies at the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. Then, she pursued a PhD programme at the University of Aberdeen.

In 2008–2012 she worked as an art manager at several institutions in Kyiv, including Karas Gallery, Eidos Arts Foundation, and Ya Gallery Art Centre. Maria served an internship at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice and received a curatorial residency from Node Center Berlin.

Since 2014, Maria has been working with Lizaveta German as a curatorial collective. The duo organised more than 30 exhibitions and collaborated with the leading art institutions in Ukraine, including National Art Museum of Ukraine, Mystetskyi Arsenal, Goethe–Institut, British Council, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Ukrainian Institute. In 2015, they opened a show in Badischer Kunstverein Karlsruhe, as a part of Kyiv Biennial–School of Kyiv project. In 2017 Maria and Lizaveta co-curated (together with Kateryna Filyuk) Festival of Young Ukrainian Art at Mystetskyi Arsenal, the first all-Ukrainian biennial for contemporary art under state support. In 2015– 2021 they tailored and supervised Contemporary Art educational programme for artists and art managers at Kyiv Academy of Media Arts (together with Olha Balashova). Since 2020, Maria and Lizaveta have been teaching at Skvot.IO online school, System of Contemporary Art course.

Maria is a co-founder of the NGO Museum of Contemporary Art in Ukraine and the Ukrainian Emergency Art Fund.

In 2021 their project with the artist Pavlo Makov (co-curated by Borys Filonenko), Fountain of Exhaustion. Acqua Alta was chosen to represent Ukraine at 59th La Biennale di Venezia. Beside the national pavilion, in 2022 she co-curated Piazza Ucraina project and Decolonising Art. Beyond the Obvious interdisciplinary programme as part of International Art Exhibition.

In 2022 she participated in Talking Galleries New York edition 2022, a two-day art world symposium, and presented the National Pavilion of Ukraine at Harvard, supported by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Community Renewal Fund, the Davis Center for Eurasian Studies, the Harvard Art Museums, the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, and the Department of Slavic Studies at the University of Washington.