Dezider Milly was a Rusyn artist born in Kyjov, in the district of Stara Lubovna in eastern Slovakia. He achieved the status of a nationally recognized artist. As you can see, his style was unique (the painting On the Way From Work gives the viewers a feeling of being unfinished, yet it has enough to present the subject matter in a satisfactory way), and already as a graduate he was critically acclaimed. One of his lovely fairy-tale like landscapes was used for a stamp in 2006. For more information on this re-known artist, visit this link.
Karpat Art offers a great variety of works by Transcarpathian visual artists, past and present. I greatly encourage you to explore its galleries in order to experience the spirit of the Carpathian land through the collection of the artworks they hold. Here is a portrait by Andriy Kotska, an Uzhorod native, of a girl in a traditional dress. The immediacy of the hasty brushstrokes brings the viewer right into her presence, and the light illuminating her face and highlighting the whites adds to the feeling of festivity and hope.
So I’m finding out that lots of resources on Rusyn visual artists are in Ukrainian or Russian language. I’ve asked a friend of mine, Lucia from Slovakia, who is fluent in both to throw some websites my way so I could access the photos and other information about the artists I’m interested in.
This piece is a wonderful modern take on solitude by Volodymyr Mykyta, a still active and very famous painter born in Rakoshyno (now Ukraine), one of the last living members of the Transcarpathian School of Painting.
Here is a fantastic little article about him published at his 80th birthday when a permanent exhibition of the School was opened by The National Museum of Fine Arts of Ukraine in 2011.
His latest exhibition was in 2016 at his 85th birthday in Uzhorod, showcasing eight dozen of his artworks that he felt were the most important on his creative journey.
Anton Kashshai did not seriously consider painting only until his later years. He started as a traditionally realist painter, capturing Ukrainian landscape, incorporating some impressionist techniques as well. Blue hues remind us of the work of Cézanne and his mountain landscapes, but whereas the French Post-impressionist is more geometric in his handling of the scenery, Kashshai softens the angles. Both were, however, deeply concerned with the feeling the nature gives them and transferring it to the canvas.
Manaylo’s work is complex and many faceted. He was a skilled landscape painter and portrait painter in the 1930s and 1940s, a sensitive observer of the Hutzul lives. His later work, politically framed by the rise of socialism, became infused with geometric irregularity and abstraction. We see this in two works I picked here: the one from 1937, the boy with the lamb, characterized by soft, thick rendering of a familiar scenery, and the second from 1974, the age of factories devoid of suppleness.