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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

“Odarka Kyselytsia’s Magic of Color”

This year marked 100th anniversary since the birth of the famous Bukovyna painter, student of the famous Czech portrait painter Vratislav Nechleba
22 May, 2012 - 00:00

This year residents of Bukovyna celebrate the 100th birth anniversary of the famous Bukovyna artist, one of the coryphaeus of the regional art Odarka Kyselytsia. Artist’s name is widely known not only in Chernivtsi oblast, but also far beyond it. Therefore, a series of cultural events dedicated to honoring the talent of Kyselytsia that took place in her native town of Berehomet and, in fact, also down in Chernivtsi was logically finished with her solo exhibition in Chernivtsi Art Museum – an institution that currently owns the largest collection of her works.

The artist-to-be was born in early April 1912 in the village of Berehomet, Vyzhnytsia raion in the heart of Bukovyna Carpathians. She was raised in an intelligent family of a teacher and since her childhood Kyselytsia was fond of folk art, especially Easter eggs painting. The impressions from communicating with the picturesque Carpathian nature and folk art were later embodied in her original paintings.

Passion for folk art and great desire for learning brought Kyselytsia to Chernivtsi to the workshop of the famous Chernivtsi artist Panteleimon Vydynivsky. He recognized a unique talent that the girl had and advised her parents to send their daughter to a professional art institution to study. In 1930 Kyselytsia entered the Prague Academy of Arts and in 1939 she successfully graduated from there. In the Academy she studies in the studio of the famous Czech portrait painter Vratislav Nechleba.

From 1949 the artist lived and worked in Chernivtsi. She expressed her artistic tastes in her portraits, still life paintings, and landscapes. Stylistic manner of Kyselytsia absorbed achievements of European art of the 20th century which she managed to combine well with folk traditions. The main peculiarity and the greatest achievement of the artist is revealing the richness of color with emphasis on its decorative properties.

In 1954 the artist became a member of the Chernivtsi Department of the Soviet Union of Artists. However, Kyselytsia received the real acknowledgement only toward the end of her life. In 1988 her first solo exhibition took place in Chernivtsi and later other exhibitions were held too: in 1992, 1996, and 1997 – in Chernivtsi, and in 1997 – in Suceava (Romania) and in Kyiv (National Art Museum). After her death (1999) expositions of her works were held in Vyzhnytsia (2003) and in Chernivtsi (2007). Besides, in 1996 the artist received Sydir Vorobkevych Regional Prize and in 1997 – the title of Honored Artist of Ukraine.

Paintings by Odarka Kyselytsia are now stored in Chernivtsi Art Museum, Chernivtsi Museum of Regional Ethnography, and in numerous private collections.

The exhibition presented this spring to all admirers of art by Chernivtsi Art Museum is called “Odarka Kyselytsia’s Magic of Color.” This exhibition presents 36 paintings and 10 graphic works from the funds of Chernivtsi Art Museum and from private collections, publications, letters, and family photos from the archive of the art museum.

Museum also plans to publish bilingual book about art of Odarka Kyselytsia, however they are still waiting for the necessary funding.

By Albert KOMARI Photo replicas courtesy of the Chernivtsi Art Museum