Columbia University in the City of New York

Harriman Institute

Art works by Mikhail LeDantu and Alexis Gritchenko. Links to event page.



A Paris of Cultural Vagabonds: The Trajectories of Alexis Gritchenko and Ilia Zdanevich-Iliazd
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Registration required. Please note that all attendees must follow Columbia’s COVID-19 Policies and Guidelines. Columbia University is committed to protecting the health and safety of its community.  To that end, all visiting alumni and guests must meet the University requirement of full vaccination status in order to attend in-person events.  Vaccination cards may be checked upon entry to all venues. 

Paris has always played Mecca for the cultural nomads of international modernity—at once an ideal goal and real refuge for the homeless artists of the world, who flock there to be inspired, dazzled, and transformed. That role of Paris is especially magnified when wars disrupt and disperse the creative energies of the artistic world.

We honor the Paris of refugee artists in the 1920s by celebrating two of the most illustrious “cultural vagabonds” who came to the city from the collapsed Russian empire and made it their own: the Ukrainian painter Alexis Gritchenko and the Georgian poet and book artist Ilia Zdanevich. Our event also recognizes how Paris of the 2020s has become once again a haven for artists displaced by the War in Ukraine.

Please join the Institute for Ideas and Imagination and the Harriman Institute for a panel discussion with Hugo Daniel, Associate Curator of the Fondation Giacometti (Paris), art historian Vita Susak (Basel), literary scholar Thomas Kitson (New York), and the Director of the Harriman Institute, Valentina Izmirlieva.

The panel will be followed by a reception and a string quartet concert with a program of Paris-related music, put together by the Harriman Resident at the Institute, Anna Stavychenko.


  • Mikhail LeDantu. Fu-turist [phoo(ey) tourist/futurist]. Portrait of Ilia Zdanevich. 1917, ink on paper. RGALI, Materials from “Bloodless Murder,” f. 729, op 3, unit 15.
  • Alexis Gritchenko. Portrait of Artist. 1923, oil on canvas, 157,5 x 85,5 cm. National Art Museum of Ukraine, Kyiv