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Ron Kostyniuk: Art As Nature Analogue

October 21, 2012 – March 10, 2013 (EXTENDED)

Traveling exhibition: March 22 – April 7, 2013 at the Ukrainian Institute of America

Constructivist sculpture exhibition at The Ukrainian Museum

The solo exhibition entitled Ron Kostyniuk: Art as Nature Analogue comprised of twenty-eight unique constructivist relief sculptures opens at The Ukrainian Museum on October 21, 2012. Art as Nature Analogue will be on view through January 13, 2013.

This exhibition illustrates Ron Kostyniuk's fascination with biology and the structuring process found in nature, and from his interest in the work of modernist and constructivist artists such as Pablo Picasso, Alexander Archipenko, Charles Biederman, Naum Gabo, and Vladimir Tatlin. The selected works span the period from 1967 to 2011 and represent the evolution of his constructive relief sculptures in a number of series that comprise his creative output.

Ron Kostyniuk's works have been exhibited throughout Canada, U.S.A., Asia, and Europe, and are included in many museum and private collections. The artistic community of Chicago has become especially familiar with his works over the years; since the late 1960s, Kostyniuk's works have been part of such significant exhibitions as The Structurists at the Kazimir Gallery – an important gallery at the time devoted exclusively to Constructive Art – and Relief/Construction/Relief at the Museum of Contemporary Art. The latter show traveled to the Herron Museum in Indianapolis, the Cranbrook Academy in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and the High Museum in Atlanta, Georgia. Art as Nature Analogue was originally shown at the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art in Chicago under the title Ron Kostyniuk: Construction/Neo-Construction. Kostyniuk has taken part in a number of exhibitions at the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art in Chicago, this exhibition being but one of several one-man shows presented at the Institute.

Intrigued by nature's constructive processes, Kostyniuk connects the viewer to the basic elements of life itself in a powerful and logical way. As a leaf is composed of a multitude of biological cells, Kostyniuk's geometric shapes are arranged in calculated configurations of color, light, and shadows forming organically constructed compositions. Intersecting rectangular planes echo the rhythms of cultivated farmland. Multi-dimensional constructs draw the viewer into their depths where the planar forms on various levels tempt one to delve even deeper. Inspired by the wings of a butterfly, angular planes softened by shadows alight from their plexiglass perch, while squares of subtle color in kinetic motion are likened to flowers gently swaying in the breeze. Observed from various angles, crystals shaped from wood reflect color and light, and contours formed with blocks and slats rise up like hills from the earth's surface.

Following Cezanne's example, Kostyniuk does not reproduce nature; rather he builds a structure of relationships that constitutes a paradigm of the principles he observes in and deduces from the natural world.
— Michael Greenwood, art historian and curator of art at York University, Toronto (1972)

Ron Kostyniuk was born in Wakaw, Saskatchewan in 1941. From 1959 to 1963, he attended the Faculties of Arts and Science and Education at the University of Saskatchewan and from 1967 to 1969, the Department of Art and Design at the University of Alberta. He received a Master of Science degree in 1970 and Master of Fine Arts degree in 1971 from the University of Wisconsin. His work with the Constructed Relief dates from 1963 and with the initiation of the Neo-Constructive direction in 1983, his art has continued to evolve in this mode to the present. He is currently a faculty member in the Department of Art at the University of Calgary.

Selected solo exhibitions: Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, Chicago, IL (2011, 2009, 1987, 1973), Axis Gallery, Calgary, AB (2006), Red Deer Allied Arts Center, Red Deer, AB (2003), Art Space Gallery, Calgary, AB (2002), The Alberta Foundation for the Arts, AB (2001), Architecture Gallery, Faculty of Environmental Design, University of Calgary, AB (1998), Department of Art Gallery, University of Calgary, AB (1994), Muttart Art Gallery, Calgary, AB (1992), Cultural Art Centre of the Municipality of Athens, Athens, Greece (1991), Zoetermeer, Netherlands (1990), Museum of Architecture, Wroclaw, Poland (1989), New Space Gallery, Fulda, West Germany (1988), Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale, FL (1988), Museum of Dordrecht, Holland (1987), Visvd-Bharati University, Santiniketan, West Bengal, India and The India International Center, New Delhi, India (1986), Nickle Arts Museum, Calgary, AB (1983), Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL (1969).

Selected group exhibitions: Gallery 111, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba (2010), Liu Haisu Museum of Contemporary Art in Shanghai, China (2009), International Constructive Art at the Galerie Konkrete, Sulzberg, Germany (2004), International Symposium on Constructive Art in Budapest, Hungary (Millenarium Center) (2003).

Selected Public Collections: Kresge Foundation, Detroit, Michigan, Lipschultz Foundation, Chicago, IL, Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, Chicago, IL, Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale, FL, Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, MB, Museum of Modern Art, Hunfeld, Germany, Nickel Arts Museum, Calgary, AB.

Ron Kostyniuk: Art as Nature Analogue is accompanied by a catalogue, which includes images of more than 100 works and provides an overview of the distinguished career of this prolific artist.



About the Museum

The Ukrainian Museum acquires, preserves, and exhibits articles of artistic or historic significance to the rich cultural heritage of Ukrainian Americans; its collections include thousands of items of folk art, fine art, and archival material. At its founding in 1976 by the Ukrainian National Womens League of America, the Museum was hailed as one of the finest achievements of Americans of Ukrainian descent. Since then, and particularly since its move in 2005 to a new, state-of-the-art building in Manhattans vibrant East Village, it has become known as one of the most interesting and dynamic smaller museums in New York City. Each year, the Museum organizes several exhibitions, publishes bilingual (English/Ukrainian) catalogues, and presents a wide range of public and educational programs, including concerts, films, lectures, courses, workshops, and special events.

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