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A Collection Revealed:
The Ukrainian Museum at 30—Paintings and Sculptures

May 13, 2007–April 6, 2008

© The Ukrainian Museum
Oleksa Novakivsky (1872-1935)
Woman with Roses
Oil on canvas-covered board
Gift from Evstachij and Martha Jarosz, from the Estate of Bohdan and Oksana Rak

New York, May 10, 2007—The Ukrainian Museum in New York City is proud to present the exhibition A Collection Revealed: The Ukrainian Museum at 30—Paintings and Sculptures, which features paintings and sculptures from the Museum's Fine Art collection. Offered are works of art by Ukrainian artists who created in Ukraine, outside of its borders, and in the United States. The exhibition will open on Sunday, May 13, 2007 and will run through April 6, 2008.

"The present comprehensive overview is the first opportunity for the public to assess the scope of the collection," said Prof. Jaroslaw Leshko in his essay to the exhibition brochure. Prof. Leshko co-curated the exhibition with Maria Shust, Director of The Ukrainian Museum. Although individual works from the collection were shown in previous exhibitions, the aim of this show is to highlight the paintings and sculptures that have enriched the Museum's collection over the past 30 years.

The Fine Art collection, as well as the other collections at The Ukrainian Museum (folk art and archival/documentary) were, for the most part, built with donations from private collectors. The Museum did make significant purchases over the years, but the majority of acquired works were gifts from the Museum's major supporters – the Ukrainian community. "The Museum is very grateful to the many individuals whose faith in our mission and trust in our work have inspired them to support our institution and allow the Museum to become the steward of their art treasures," explained Olha Hnateyko, President of the Museum's Board of Trustees.

Ukrainian artists of the 20th century are represented in the Museum's Fine Art collection. The Museum is fortunate to have in its holdings works of several artists that have made considerable contributions to Ukrainian Modernism. Among them are Alexander Archipenko, whose radical innovations and reassessment of the relationship between form and space opened new horizons that redefined the the very nature of sculpture; Vasyl Hryhorovych Krychevsky, Ukraine's renaissance man, who set new trends in book design, created a modern Ukrainian national style of architecture, was one of the founders of the Ukrainian Academy of Art in Kyiv in 1917, and was a master of applied and decorative art; Oleksa Hryshchenko (Alexis Gritchenko) – renowned on the international art scene as a modernist painter, art scholar, and author; and Oleksa Novakivsky, painter and founder of the Novakivsky School, which influenced new generations of Ukrainian artists. The importance of the contribution of these artists was eloquently underscored in two of the Museum's groundbreaking critically acclaimed exhibitions in its new venue – Alexander Archipenko: Vision and Continuity and Crossroads: Modernism in Ukraine, 1910-1930.

© The Ukrainian Museum
Mychajlo Moroz (1904-1992)
Autumn Reflections
1959, oil on canvas
Gift of Mychajlo and Irena Moroz

"The exhibition A Collection Revealed: The Ukrainian Museum at 30 further identifies artists who lived and worked in the Diaspora in various parts of the world for most of their adult lives," explained Maria Shust, Director of The Ukrainian Museum. Many artists were born and educated in Ukraine, but were ultimately forced to leave their homeland. Their work is strongly rooted to their national, cultural and artistic heritage. To cite a few examples: Represented are works by artists such as master sculptor Mykhailo Chereshnovsky; Mykola Butovych, Edvard Kozak, and Halyna Mazepa whose works derived from rich folkloric themes and traditions; Mykhailo Moroz, who left an exuberant body of landscape painting; and sculptor Hryhory Kruk, whose new home was Munich, Germany.

A number of other artists studied and gained prominence in countries outside of Ukraine. Included in the Museum's collection from among this group of artists is Jacques Hnizdovsky, who studied in the former Yugoslavia and whose artistic journey took him through Germany to Paris and to the United States, where his art, specifically his woodcuts, brought him recognition and financial rewards. Represented are also members of the New York Group – artists and writers, who joined together and "both challenged and supported each other's creative aspirations," according to Prof. Leshko. Included in the Group was artist Luboslaw Hutsaliuk, who created compelling still lifes and landscapes. Another member was painter, critic, writer, and teacher Arcadia Olenska Petryshyn, who studied with such abstract expressionists as Robert Motherwell and William Baziotes. Her brilliantly colored flowers and cacti best identify her oeuvre. Contemporary abstract artist Jurij Solovij, who produced striking thought-provoking large canvasses, was also prominently engaged in the New York Group, and is represented in the Museum's Fine Art collection.

Prof. Leshko explains that although all of the artists are fiercely independent in the expression of their art, and although many have won recognition in the world of art, they nevertheless "coalesce around their awareness of the historic continuum of their heritage." The works of artists such as Natalia Pohrebinska, Christina Saj and Ilona Sochynsky, whose paintings are the latest additions to the Museum's collection, "carry on an eloquent informed discourse within tendencies in contemporary art, and are at once deeply rooted in the ambiance of their community."

In 2005 the Museum opened its newly built facility, funded with generous donations from the Ukrainian community – nationwide. The new Museum is superbly suited to showcase its Fine Art collection in its spacious galleries. Viewers may be pleased with what they see, but like art, museums need to keep pace with the pace of life. The collection needs to be augmented with the works of other artists who have contributed to Ukrainian art history of the 20th century, as well as with works of the many contemporary artists working today in Ukraine, in the United States, and in other parts of the world. As during the span of its first three decades, for the present and the future the Museum looks to conscientious collectors to partner in the growth and expansion of its Fine Art collection.

 


 

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