T h e   U k r a i n i a n    M u s e u m
222 East 6th Street (bet. 2nd and 3rd Aves.) New York, NY 10003 212-228-0110
Wed. thru Sun. 11:30 am - 5:00 pm e-mail: info@UkrainianMuseum.org

Facebook Twitter Yelp Foursquare Wikipedia

Media inquiries: it(a)ukrainianmuseum.org

From Darkness to Light: The Paintings of Mikhail Turovsky

October 27, 2019

New York—Beginning Sunday, October 27, 2019, The Ukrainian Museum will present From Darkness to Light: The Paintings of Mikhail Turovsky, a retrospective exhibition of works by the artist, who began his career in Soviet Ukraine. The Ukrainian poet, Vasyl Makhno, is guest curator of From Darkness to Light, which will showcase a selection of paintings from the artist's years in the U.S. .


Born in 1933 to Jewish parents in Kyiv, Turovsky experienced the horrors of World War II as a child. Evacuated from Kyiv, the family suffered a grueling existence in Uzbekistan before returning to a Ukraine devastated by war. Turovsky received a solid academic art education at the Kyiv Art Institute, at a time when the twentysomething postwar generation in Europe and the U.S. laid claim to rethinking worldviews and traditional artistic concepts. In the artistic milieu of the 1960s, writes Makhno, there was an obvious struggle between tradition and innovation.

Exhibition poster personally signed by the artist Mikhail Turovsky! Just $24.00. Order it online today!

Turovsky's development as an artist is rooted in the post-Stalin shistdesiatnyky ("The Sixtiers") movement that peaked in the 1960s. It was a cultural shift that challenged government sanctioned social realism, but despite the Khrushchev thaw—a period when repression and censorship were eased—the movement fell victim to arrests and the sentencing of many of Turovsky's peers. Disheartened, Turovsky sought to emigrate and made his way to the U.S. where he settled with his family in 1979.

Turovsky's rebirth as an artist took place in New York City. Confronted by a metropolis brimming with art and commercial galleries that had their pick of artists to represent, Turovsky had to rethink his creative path in order to make his mark. The artist's perceptions transitioned to diverse directions as he rejected his characteristic painting style. It is precisely at this juncture in Turovsky's career that we encounter the earliest selections from his oeuvre, the essence of which the curator exemplifies in this retrospective.

Among other works, the exhibition explores Turovsky's studies of two major 20th century tragedies that impacted Ukrainians and Jews: the Holodomor of the early 1930s and the Holocaust of the 1940s. Many of his canvases are graphic expressions in feverish color and dense, bold brushstrokes as seen in his paintings of sunflowers—a Ukrainian leitmotif—turbulent landscapes, textural cityscapes of his adopted home, and erotic female nudes. A recurrent theme in this retrospective are Turovsky's emotive mother and child paintings, symbolic of earthly existence for the artist. Women are frequent subjects in the artist’s portfolio, as Makhno points out and he theorizes that Turovsky is "attempting to comprehend the completeness of the world through the form of the female figure."

From Darkness to Light: The Paintings of Mikhail Turovsky features more than 60 large format works from the artist's collection, spanning the years 1979 through the present. The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated brochure with an essay by the curator.


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.

* * *

The Ukrainian Museum
222 East 6th Street (between Second and Third Avenues)
New York, NY 10003
T: 212.228.0110
F: 212.228.1947

Museum hours:
WednesdaySunday, 11:30 a.m.5:00 p.m.
Gift Shop * guided tours * school and family programs * reduced admission for students and seniors



Top of page

Copyright ©1997-2020 The Ukrainian Museum; all rights reserved.
Images and content on this website may NOT be reproduced in any form
without the prior written consent of The Ukrainian Museum.

BRAMA Home -- UkraiNEWStand -- Community Press -- Calendar
Advertise on BRAMA -- Search BRAMA
Copyright © 1997-2011 BRAMA, Inc.tm, Inc. All Rights Reserved.