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

“Most of all he appreciated free spirit”

An exhibition of Lviv-based graphic artist Bohdan Soroka continues in Odesa
16 August, 2016 - 10:54
Photo by the author

The artist’s works are on display at Odesa Museum of Western and Eastern Art. The exhibition includes graphical series from 1970-2010, arranged chronologically. Among the sets are “Folklore Motives,” “Ukrainian Mythology,” “Emblems and Symbols,” “Passions of Christ,” “The Hike of Gnomes,” “Kupala Merrymaking.” In total, there are about 140 works.

“We should not talk about Soroka only as an artist, unless we want to downplay his importance to our culture. He was also an extremely influential and interesting collector. At the time, he had gathered a unique collection of Hutsul art,” says Ostap Lozynsky, the exhibition’s curator, head of Lviv Association of Museums and Galleries. “Also, Bohdan Soroka was extremely active as a public figure. He was the person to give everyone a nudge. He always told the truth, never indulged in gossip and never took shortcuts, and often expressed his position bluntly. Working at the Academy, Bohdan could tell the director that he was a thug. Working with MP, he could also say that they were thugs and what they did was not right. It is important that Bohdan always spoke very positively about the good things, but he never turned a blind eye to the bad ones.”

The exhibition will make the citizens of Odesa acquainted with Bohdan Soroka, and then move to other cities. According to Ostap Lozynsky, the expanded display will be present at the next year’s Art Arsenal in Kyiv, and the final city to host it will be Lviv. In Odesa, the exhibition will be open through August 28.

“Most of all, my father appreciated free spirit. He wanted my sister and I to engage in sports, to be independent and freethinking. When I was born, my father wrote a list of things to my mother on how they would raise me. One of the points was as follows: ‘she would be able to attend a music school only over my dead body.’ But it turned out that I went to a music school, and started playing the violin. First, he was not very fond of that,” Solomia Soroka, the artist’s daughter, shares the memories of her father. “In Soviet times we lived in a small apartment because my father was refused a separate workshop. I played the violin, and my father created graphics. And so it happened that as I played the violin, he began to create graphic series on musical themes. The first of them was the ‘Hike of Gnomes.’ Music has always occupied a special place in our family’s life. Dad knew a lot of operas by heart, he sang and I always fell asleep during opera arias. Because of this, music and his art are two things that are closely related.”

By Maria HENYK, Odesa