The exhibit entitled “In and around the Carpathian Mountains” includes 57 paintings with summer, autumn and winter landscapes of the Hutsul land, the houses in the famous village of Kryvorivnia where Sergei Parajanov shot his masterpiece Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, the churches and castles that Borys Voznytsky, the late director of the Lviv Art Gallery, took care of. Volodymyr Sandiuk is a graduate of the Kosiv Vocational College of Artistic Crafts, later of the Lviv Academy of Arts and now works at the Department of Fine Arts in the Vasyl Stefanyk Precarpathian National University. Sandiuk has brought to Lviv the paintings made in the past two decades.
“Sandiuk has already had 23 solo exhibitions, but his paintings are displayed for the first time in the rooms of the Lviv Art Gallery,” art critic and exhibition curator Khrystyna Berehovska has told The Day. “The Carpathians are a rudimentary topic in Ukrainian art, but they come across in a different way thanks to the special artistic technique of Sandiuk. After learning the lessons of avant-garde artists, he developed his own artistic method based on ethnic coloring coupled with dynamic brushstrokes with prominent texture. This is the foundation of his artistic conception – not to reflect on the technique and manner of expression but to convey the impression; not to follow trends but to find your own artistic manner and have your own position in rendering things you see.”
Despite the vacation time and incredible heat, the exhibition attracted quite a few visitors, including some figures that are known not only in Ukraine, but also abroad: Ihor Kalynets, poet, public activist and winner of the Taras Shevchenko Prize; People’s Artist of Ukraine and academician Liubomyr Medvid; and art historian Prof. Roman Yatsiv.
So far there are no Sandiuk’s paintings in the collection of the Lviv Art Gallery, but according to Berehovska, this will change after the exhibit. The painter has not made up his mind yet which painting he will donate to the gallery, but The Gold of Chornohora is the likeliest choice.
Vice Rector of the Lviv Academy of Arts Roman YATSIV has given an exclusive commentary for The Day:
“Sandiuk has earned a reputation in Ivano-Frankivsk oblast, while this exhibit is the first one for him in Lviv, both as a graduate of the Kosiv Vocational College of Artistic Crafts and the Lviv Academy of Arts. He has every reason to be anxious as he presents his works to the Lviv audience. How will his artistic conception be accepted? You see, Lviv has already developed certain standard notions about what a school of painting is, while Sandiuk slightly modifies this notion according to his own understanding.
“His exhibit is being received well. It may not be integral from the viewpoint of painting, because it is very diverse in ideas and painting strategies. However, it is holistic thematically, showing that the priority topics for Sandiuk are the Carpathians, their environment, architecture, open air, including painting and the painter’s transformations of real nature and open-air impressions… I like the way he works with color and plasticity, because he has different approaches. On the one hand, he tries to deepen the characteristics of the first, on-the-spot impression and is able to very precisely formulate all those features of an image. On the other hand, he knows how to intensify the meaning of color, make the very composition, create an expressive image and, in some cases, use a limited range of colors to emphasize one particular color… In each individual case, you can see the prospect – if Sandiuk continues to work like that. On a different note, I, as a specialist, expect him to make his choice soon and determine the direction of further growth. He already has the required concentration of expertise and experience to give preference to one thing and polish his unique artistic method to make it recognizable.”
The exhibit of Volodymyr Sandiuk’s paintings in the Lviv Art Gallery (3 Stefanyka Str.) is open until August 22.