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 prints of travels

“Three Artists in a Boat” is the name of the exhibit launched at AVS Art Gallery, Kyiv
7 June, 2016 - 11:39
Photo replica by Ruslan KANIUKA, The Day

The sunlit sights of Venice and Paris, an allegorical dark sea… These works by Natalia Kruchkevych, Mykhailo Sydorenko, and Roman Yatsiv, united in one project, are very different and yet they combine harmoniously. The artists represent the Lviv art school and exhibit their paintings and drawings.

“In my opinion, what these three artists have in common is not so much professional stuff as philosophy,” ponders Alla Marychevska, art director of the AVS Art Gallery. “They probably have inherited something from our distant sun-worshipping ancestors: light and the clear, bright colors are central in their works. The shades and hues can all be found in the rainbow.”

Color and light play an important role in the work of Kruchkevych and Sydorenko. The artists, a husband and wife, take part in numerous sessions en plein air at home and abroad. Sydorenko says that as he paints, he contemplates his subject, gazes and dissolves in what he sees. The pictures by Kruchkevych resemble the prints of travels, spontaneous outbursts of emotions and impressions, yet with meticulously handpicked colors.

The third author, Yatsiv, transforms nature’s forms in more abstract plastic structures. His cold dark sea seems to be an image of the human soul rather than a real seascape. Curiously, Yatsiv is not only a painter, but also a historian and theoretician of art, vice president of the Lviv National Academy of Arts. He has dedicated more than 30 years to artistic practices, taking part in his first collective exhibit in 1981. Later he suspended painting, but the recent seven years he has been very active as an artist.

“Research work only facilitates my artistic practice,” shares Yatsiv. “I observe certain regularities, artists’ systems of thinking. I have a particular interest in modernism, and that experience transforms within me. The time when I could quote others has passed; now I have more individual speech, and I rather listen to myself very carefully.”

The boat is a symbol loaded with a multitude of meanings. At this exhibit, we come across it in various contests: Venetian gondolas by Kruchkevych, or a little skiff in Yatsiv’s dark, stormy seas. “There is a lot of sea in Mykhailo Sydorenko’s paintings. Natalia depicts Venetian canals. But it is Fantazia (‘Fancy’), a work by Roman Yatsiv, that prompted the name of the exhibit: ‘Three Artists in a Boat.’ It shows a boat and a ladder rising from it into heaven,” explains Marychevska. “We found that the image suggested by the name of the exhibit is consonant with the current transformations in society.” By the way, the artist himself sees the boat as a universal category linking the past and the present.

You can enjoy the artists’ real and metaphysical voyages at the AVS Art Gallery through June 18.

By Maria PROKOPENKO, The Day