Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty
Henry M. Robert

Urban landscapes

“The Soot” project, created by Lviv artist Petro Smetana, has gone on display at the Triptych ART Gallery of Kyiv
20 February, 2018 - 10:49
Illustration courtesy of the Triptych ART Gallery

Let us recall that this year, the gallery offers young and talented artists from around Ukraine a chance to show their work. Director of the Triptych ART Tetiana Savchenko noted that her goal was to show the current trends of Ukrainian painting art to Kyivites. Famous art critic Roman Yatsiv believes that Petro Smetana is “constant in his deeply-held creative objectives and stable enough to not veer into some lighter and more eclectic creative ways. What about him today? He is a professional artist with an amazing ability to organize an image conveying extremely strong emotional information from a minimal base.”

Smetana was born in Sambir. He graduated from the National Forestry University in Lviv. Since 2012, the artist has been a member of the National Union of Artists of Ukraine. He is also a participant of the Gaude Polonia 2016 scholarship program, which is intended for young artists and translators of Polish literature from the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. The artist has a good command of the Polish language, and his exhibitions were successfully held in Warsaw and Krakow. Smetana’s creative portfolio includes participation in more than a dozen personal projects in Ukraine. He named his latest cycle “The Soot.” This is the second time that the artist displays his work in our capital.

“I explore the landscape as it changes under the influence of humans, but I portray only the consequences of their activities,” the artist admitted. “I transform into an art work the process of industrial objects penetrating into urban space.”

Smetana’s paintings depict sad landscapes of the city and focus on pollution of the environment. The works are dominated by the so-called “dirty” colors: brown, black, gray. For the most part, the artist paints small dark houses and high, thin funnels, with smoke billowing from them. Even if some trees are found there, they are gray and totally lack green leaves. The painter noted that “the predominance of gloomy tones is related to the mood of the urban environment.” Smetana used varnishes, paints, and special powder to create his works.