The beginning of the new season at the Museum of Modern Art of Ukraine on Hlybochytska Street 17 was marked by several interesting exhibits. On August 31 there was held the opening ceremony of the Olha Kravchenko Art Cafe and only a few days ago on September 5, solo exhibition of an artist from Mykolaiv Yurii Humenny “In the Space of Lines and Colors” took place there.
IMPRESSIONIST IN SPIRIT, STYLE, AND IMAGINATION
Canvases by Olha Kravchenko are filled with both joy and light lyric sadness. Art critics will spend a long time trying to understand the phenomenon of this famous artist from Kyiv. In her paintings you can see cozy, small coffee shops, terraces, outdoor cafes, quaint alleys of an old town, and tables with slow city residents who as if invite us to have a warm chat over a cup of coffee. Interestingly, Kravchenko paints using oil paints, but the viewer has a persistent feeling of lightness, transparency, and airiness of her painting, which is usually characteristic of watercolor. The artist always has easel and paint with her on all of her trips. She went on her first “artistic trip” over 30 years ago: 27-year-old Olha then went to Yugoslavia. Kravchenko said that she was so impressed with a coffee places, restaurants, shops, pubs, creative and free spirit, and the magical aura that even at that point she got the idea of opening an exhibition titled “Art Cafe.”
“Olha Kravchenko is an impressionist in spirit, style, and imagination. Her favorite motifs are quiet streets, old quarters of Kyiv, Uzhhorod, Paris, and Vienna. The artist paints them in light colors, there are many saturated colors and sunshine in them. Kravchenko started painting already in fairly mature age, just like her father, who once upon his return from Hermitage in Saint Petersburg decided to become a painter. He was really impressed with what he saw in the exposition and he brought home a huge collection of paints, brushes, and canvases. They probably have it run in genes,” told art critic Iryna ALEKSIEIEVA.
Meeting with renowned artist Viktor Zaretsky in Koncha-Ozerna became a great push for discovering the hidden artistic talent for Kravchenko. At that time the artist offered to make a portrait of her. “Viktor Zaretsky greatly impressed me with his creative power and turned my imagination, so now I do not see any other modern artist of his level,” said Olha KRAVCHENKO.
Artists are superstitious people and are always reluctant to tell about new ideas they are just going to implement. However, Kravchenko is not one of them and has openly shared with us that she will soon begin working on landscapes of Kyiv. She told us: “When everything is green and covered with leaves it is hard to see important details. I draw only from nature. Therefore, I have to work either in fall or in springtime. It is often rather difficult physically because it gets pretty cold. Furthermore, we must hurry with capturing the old architecture in Kyiv. I live near Melnikova Street and one day I decided to go and paint the old house not far from where I live. When I came there and looked at the spot the old house was gone. I almost cried. It was very sad. It is awful, there is no place in Europe where something like this can happen.”
PLASTICS OF SPACE IN LANGUAGE OF COLOR
Yurii Humenny, just like Kravchenko became an artist already in mature age – after serving in the army, even though he had been painting since his childhood. The artist is now living in Mykolaiv but was born in the village of Ivano-Frankove near Lviv and studied at Lviv Institute of Decorative and Applied Art. Humenny was a student of such famous artists as Volodymyr Ovsiichuk and Roman Selsky. He is grateful to professor Ovsiichuk for revealing the secrets of art technique and teaching him to understand the language of color and he is also grateful to Selsky for sharing the understanding of the system of formal analysis and artistic aesthetics.
Humenny’s lively imagination intertwined with a selfless desire to handle fresh paint pours into plastic associative visions in the language of color. Although the objective world does not impose the order of composition on the artist, we can still see the horizons of Southern Ukrainian steppes, graceful contours of fragrant flowers, and masterly drawn silhouette “nu” line in his paintings. Paintings of Humenny represent the author’s internal monologue, his confession in paint before time.
The exhibition Olha Kravchenko Art Cafe will be open at the Museum of Modern Art of Ukraine until October 1 and the paintings by Yurii Humenny are on display until September 30.