The National Art Museum started the art project “Quotations” of a Ukrainian artist Mykola Bilous.
This artist after receiving fundamental academic education studied in Europe and developed his own recognizable art language. He uniquely combined optical (characteristic of avant-garde artists) and structural (used by, particularly, pop artists) visions in his painting. According to the artist, it is a result of his constant reflections on the role and function of art in our time.
It is not a secret that everything that we say was said or written before us. Therefore, the primary objective of Bilous’s project “Quotes” is to reveal the essence of cultural thinking. At the exhibition visitors will see replicas of the artists on works of famous Ukrainian classics, which are presented in the museum’s permanent exposition. The images that Bilous borrows are actualized. Among the original works chosen for work by the artist there are undeniable hallmarks of the National Art Museum: paintings by Mykola Pymonenko, Oleksandr Murashko, Fedir Krychevsky, Anatolii Petrytsky, Serhii Svitoslavsky, and a folk painting Cossack Mamai.
“The first thing that strikes in the works of Mykola Bilous is that he pays a great deal of attention to the fundamental feature of art – quoting. In order to be able to quote one should know the material well. I can say that Bilous knows perfectly the history of art. Therefore, he has things to say,” said Oksana BARSHYNOVA, curator of the project “Quotes,” head of the Department of Art of 20th and 21st Centuries at National Art Museum of Ukraine. “After viewing the paintings by Mykola Bilous visitors can find the prototypes of his works in our permanent exposition. It is a kind of a puzzle. In general, contemporary art of Bilous is closely connected with the past and is very organic in the present.”
Bilous himself hopes that his “Quotations” will help find a new interpretation of national art heritage and connect the present art tradition with modern time.
“I do not suggest a concept, like most modern artists do, but a visual approach on canvas. I am primarily a colorist,” said the artist. “In my works I use a, so-called, false tone – mixture of three basic colors: yellow, blue, and red. Those who know the science of coloristic understand that those ‘three pillars’ provide an opportunity to get a particular color in painting.”
Indeed, the “Quotations” by Bilous are the “backbones,” “x-ray images” of some canvas that we have known for a long time and have looked at it hundreds of times. But this different view, author’s view helps us to refresh our vision too.
The works painted by Bilous can be viewed in city galleries and private collection in Germany, Czech Republic, Brazil, Austria, Russia, and Ukraine. He also cooperates with the Kyiv gallery Tsekh. As for the project “Quotations,” it is conducted within the framework of the cooperation with modern artists and promoting Ukrainian contemporary art in museums initiated by National Art Museum in 2009. The exhibition of works painted by Bilous will be open in the National Art Museum of Ukraine until March 18.