Volodymyr Mykyta – the soul of Transcarpathia

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 – capturing the feeling behind

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.

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Verkhovina by Anton Kashshai
Source:http://www.wallery.org/?artwork_id=1959

Fedor Manaylo – from expressionism to socialism

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.

Andrej Gaj – the author of monumental artworks

A Tribute to Women (2000) by Andrej Gaj
Source:http://www.rusynacademy.sk/

Andrej Gaj was born in Sukov, southern Slovakia. He specialized in landscape and figure painting, still life and portrait, and he was also very skilled in monumental artwork – stucco lustro, stone mosaics and ceramics. In this work, devoted to women, you can notice the confluence of abstract shapes and the three figures of rather regular outlines, occupying the center of the picture plane in poses that are neither quite relaxed nor quite vigorous, creating a wonderful tension in the vision, freezing that short moment which exists between stillness and action.

His daughter, Anna Gajova is an artist in her own right, actively exhibiting in Slovakia and abroad. After her father passed away in 2016 at 84 years old, she has been working on having his monograph published in fall of 2017.

Larisa and Ivan Brovdi – an artistic couple

It takes me a really long time to read in Russian, therefore, let the works of Larisa and Ivan Brovdi speak for themselves. I was captured by simplifying the forms and lines down to regular geometric patterns to recreate the evocative Carpathian land, its fields and forests, with two beautifully clad women walking in the foreground. The distorted, lengthened figures and the clown in the painting below brings in the perspective of a child, who, looking up, sees everything towering over them, shiny and bright.

Brovdi
Source: http://biblioteka.uz.ua/painters/show_avtor.php?id=175
Brovdi
http://biblioteka.uz.ua/painters/show_avtor.php?id=175