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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

“The psychological wall between the east and the rest of Ukraine was built artificially”

Oleh Hryshchenko’s exhibit opens at the Ya Gallery Art Center
3 September, 2014 - 17:08
Photo courtesy of the press service of the Ya Gallery Art Center

The author called his vernissage “Florescence.” The exhibit is in line with the artist’s course for experiments with classic graphics and folk art. It is the third time when not only the works of the author are on display, but also the shapes with which they were created, and “Florescence” became a logical continuation of last year’s project “The memory of grains.” The works of the exhibit have been formed conceptually over the past six months, so the mood of the exposition is not emotionally elevated.

The execution of the works is not standard; the engravings that play the role of classic matrixes are made on wood and plastic. The author modifies classical methods with folk technique. Floristic paintings of Petrykivka folk artists, as well as other artists, mostly Hanna Sobachko-Shostak, influenced the Oleh Hryshchenko’s concept of “Florescence.” The series of the author’s objects are an artistic interpretation of the natural cycle of conceiving, growing, and blossoming. Flowers have always had a symbolical meaning. For example, the poppies, which at first became a symbol of the commemoration of the World War I casualties, which was inspired by the verse by Canadian military physician John McCrae “In Flanders Fields,” later started to be used as a symbol of commemoration of all military and civil casualties of armed conflicts. If he had to create a format of a special flower to symbolize the current Ukrainian events, the artist says, he would take the folk art as the basis. It would be an unreal fantastic flower, because everyone is worried about the current events, but nobody knows for sure what will be the end of them. So, this should be a flower which may exist, but nobody has ever seen it.

“Florescence” has 23 shapes of flowers dedicated to the 23rd anniversary of the Independence of Ukraine. Abstract graphic pictures have a tendency to become a series, like the five canvases “Flower,” which in a corresponding color palette recreate the view of the artist on the natural and fantastic world. Diptychs and trinities of the images are not classical in their sense: rather than being a continuation of one another, the parts supplement one another.

By the way, last year Oleh Hryshchenko developed a metaphorical project “Great Ukrainian Wall.” When projecting his idea on the present day, the artist said that the current psychological wall between the east and the rest of Ukrainian territory was built artificially and simultaneously on both sides, “It will remain, but there are people who will be able to find windows and doors in it, because they are present there. A dialog with the east should be developed reasonably. If it includes merely artistic actions of painters from different corners of the country, there will be no sense in it.  Everything should be done gradually with the help of pin-point injections.”

The exhibit “Florescence” will be open till September 15.

By Natalia VUITIK