Tag: carpatho-rusyn oil paintings

Emil Hrabovskyi – realism with a poetic touch

The Beskyds (1945) by Emil Hrabovsky Source: Old Cherdak
The Beskyds (1945) by Emil Hrabovsky Source: Old Cherdak

Emil Hrabovskyi was born in 1892 in Uzhhorod. His artistic legacy of around 500 paintings and drawings became a valuable part of the Transcarpathian and Ukrainian art. His works reflect the influence of the Hungarian realist tradition, the Transcarpathian School of Art (that he helped to found) and his own sensitivity to those fleeting moments of the day when, for example, the sunset is almost over or the mist in the mountains is about to disappear. Hrabovskyi’s landscapes truthfully reflect the nature, but because he chooses subjects that are dear to him and focuses on those ephemeral moments, he is able to bring in a level of lyricism that the views before him offer and that he uncovers. Hrabovskyi was slowly building his reputation and acceptance. His art was flourishing during the Soviet area when the state was creating an atmosphere favorable to the artists, buying his paintings and making them parts of the permanent exhibitions in the museums of Lviv, Kiev, Dnepropetrovsk and others. Hrabovskyi passed away in 1955, two years after a solo exhibition showing over 90 artworks documenting his career development.

The Mountain View (1948) by Emil Hrabovskyi Source: Old Cherdak
The Mountain View (1948) by Emil Hrabovskyi Source: Old Cherdak

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Július Muška – the painter of thousands pictures

The Portrait of a Daugther (1953) by Julius Muska Source: Duzpinkova
The Portrait of a Daughter (1953) by Julius Muska Source: Duzpinkova

No, it is not a metaphor, it is literal. Július Muška was a prolific, hardworking artist who throughout his productive decades created thousands of artworks, frequently changing techniques and genres, but relishing in his two favorites – landscape and figure painting. Muška was born in 1919 in Medzilaborce, eastern Slovakia, and after completing high school in Uzhhorod, he studied drawing and geography in Bratislava. He gave lectures on art at the University of Presov for several years, and debuted in 1962 with his first solo exhibition. Muška participated in numerous art shows, exhibitions and plein-airs at home and abroad, collectively and solo. He passed away in 2013, leaving behind a greatly cherished body of work that documents social, political and personal changes equalling one long and fruitful life.

When you click on this link, an online catalogue made for his 2010 exhibition will open. It is full of artworks that represent Muška’s evolution as an artist, the myriad of techniques he used, wonderfully captured scenes of the village life, atmospheric portraits, modernly cut urban scenes, enchanting landscapes, lovely views of Presov townscape, several etchings as well as edgy abstract experiments. You can also see a list of exhibitions and some private photos on the last pages.

The Farewell (1971) by Julius Muska Source: Dzupinkova
The Farewell (1971) by Julius Muska Source: Dzupinkova
My Town (1973) by Julius Muska Source: Dzupinkova
My Town (1973) by Julius Muska Source: Dzupinkova

Štefan Hapák – devoted to his land and people

An Autumn Landscape by Stefan Hapak
An Autumn Landscape by Stefan Hapak

Štefan Hapák was born in 1921 in Pinkovce, and was one of the pioneers of modern art in the second half of the 20th century in Slovakia. He studied under world-class professors at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague (and in turn became a great professor himself, loaded with knowledge, honest and respected), and stayed tightly connected to the Rusyn culture in his life and work, capturing its architecture, lands, and even traditional garments, never leaving the lands of eastern Slovakia.

His first teaching position was at an elementary school in Zboj, eastern Slovakia, but the same year (1944) he was taken into a concentration camp in Hungary, from which he escaped in 1945. He helped to organize the return of incarcerated citizens after the war. Afterwards, Hapák worked as a teacher in different towns in eastern Slovakia, and from 1953 until his retirement at the universities in Presov and Kosice, becoming a professor of drawing and graphic design in 1972. He passed away in Ľubotice where a significant exhibition of his artwork was held in 2011, celebrating his contribution to the art world at his would-be 90th birthday.

Hapák’s paintings and pastels are executed in a style that is close to the Transcarpathian School of Painting in combining realist and more abstract, flattening elements, according to the curator Vladislav Grešlik.

 

A Gypsy Family by Stefan Hapak
A Gypsy Family by Stefan Hapak

Mikuláš Rogovský – boldly capturing the bright

Dancers by Mikulas Rogovsky Source: Humenne Museum
Dancers by Mikulas Rogovsky Source: Humenne Museum

Right before Christmas 2013 in The Museum of Humenne, Slovakia, a commemorative plaque of Mikuláš Rogovský was presented to the mayor of a small village – Ulič (eastern Slovakia), together with a reproduction of one of his paintings given as a gift to the residents. The painter was born there, lived most of his life in Košice, and some eleven years after his death was symbolically brought back to his roots.

Rogovský studied under Dezider Milly, among others, and after 1952 he devoted himself exclusively to painting. He was very much at home in different media, and whether it was oils or watercolors, his paintings are vivid and bright, emanating the almost unnatural light through and through. Many are executed in my personal favorite -“sketched in” roughly, having the feel of being unfinished, striving to capture the moment before it changes. He loved painting landscape, horses, figures and urban scenes, and I think he succeeded in transporting his rich, sensual view of the world onto the canvas. I greatly encourage you to visit this link for more of his artwork and photos from the mentioned commemoration, or enter his name as spelled here in the image search. You are in for a treat.

Sunflowers by Mikulas Rogovsky Source: Strazske
Sunflowers by Mikulas Rogovsky Source: Strazske
The Autumn Market by Mikulas Rogovsky Source: Strazske
The Autumn Market by Mikulas Rogovsky Source: Strazske

Alexandra Hrinova Pavlovska – turning inward to find liberation

Alexandra Hrinova Pavlovska is an artist and art teacher from Stara Lubovna (northeastern Slovakia) who exhibited with Lemko Jerusalem for the past three years. She studied art and promotional graphic design, and has been publicly showing her work since 1998. Her collaborative project in 2013 was illustrating a children’s book Where The Fairytale Might Live by Peter Karpinsky. I had the pleasure of communicating with her and she kindly provided me with the samples of her work as well as an insight of what she is trying to achieve.

The core of her work belongs to oils, and she divides them into three areas developed continuously. The first one deals with a series of paintings called “Spaces,” characterized by freedom and airiness that enable her to explore the introspective world of thoughts and recollections of dreams. The second area is devoted to reflecting upon her Carpatho-Rusyn roots – the power of blood relations, connections to the soil, and interestingly, folk ornaments acting as artistic outlets of the common people. The third area covers her experiments with depicting the reality that is seen and recorded.

I am sharing two paintings from her Rusyn connection works, and one from the first area of work.