The photograph of Viktor Yushchenko, Ukraine's new premier and former head of Ukraine's National Bank, has not been put among other photographs illustrating this section of our magazine by mistake. The prime minister's landscapes are regularly put on auctions, the proceeds from which are forwarded to the Help the Orphans Fund.
In spite of his tremendous work load, Mr Yushchenko finds time to visit the most important art exhibitions held in Kyiv, and his appearances there always attract much of excited attention. Mr Yushchenko says he has learnt painting from Fadey Holub, a talented folk master, "very solid, nothing can bend him."
Tetyana Yablonska, the most honoured among Ukrainian painters, has received another honorary title. In 1999, the prestigious Cambridge International Biography Centre awarded her as an outstanding person of generally recognised achievements and artistic integrity one of the prizes in the Woman 2000/2001 nomination. In 1997, UNESCO proclaimed Mrs Yablonska "the artist of the year." The artist herself (one of her titles, incidentally, is "Academician of Painting") had this to say: "I don't consider myself to be a great painter, I just tried to be very honest in my art."


Mark Gres, known to millions of Ukrainian TV viewers as the host of the Mynule ("Bygone Days") programme, had an exhibition of his works held in the Ukrayinsky Dim (Ukraine House). The exhibition was called The Millennium's Funeral, and presented a series of pictures executed with pen in china ink. There were so many people wishing to see the exhibition, that they had to stand in a line to get in. Mr Gres, historian and painter, views the mankind from a rather a pessimistic point of view. His pictures reminded me Bosch in his gloomiest. Gulliver, measuring 2 by 3 metres (for a china ink picture it is an exceedingly big size, probably big enough to be included into the Guinness Book of Records), shows Gulliver, main protagonist of Swift's Gulliver's Travels, surrounded by 6692 Lilliputs.

Oksana Chepelyk and Illya Isupov are leaders of the art movement that is usually referred here to as videoart (which includes many forms of art, not necessarily video as such). Oksana Chepelyk showed her art, created in Ukraine and during her visits to the USA and Canada in the Painters House. The Rande show was organized thanks to the help given by the Goethe Institut in Kyiv and was devoted to the 10th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall. Ute Weiss-Leder, a German, took part in the exhibition alongside Chepelyk. Illya Isupov called his multimedia project, presented at the Saigon Club, Giselle. It is an attempt to combine several media in one work of art: painting, computer animation, electronic music. Icon of the 21st Century exhibition must have shocked many a visitor of the Mytets Gallery where it was shown. Viktor Dovhalyuk and Hanna Kuts made their big-sized works with the help of electric welding and special paint. In their words, "it's an army of saints with souls of demons; you can see here innocent images of nice people that you can meet in the streets, at work, on TV... Our contemporaries achieve inner purification through cognition of the monstrosities around them." Expressiveness of the images is enhanced by Dmytro Fedorenko's energetic music which is constantly played in the gallery.

Martin Mainer: Mescalita (Marusya), 1993.
The Centre of Modern Art, founded by George Soros in 1993, regularly shows works of foreign artists. The most recent exhibition showed works of Czech artists, winners of the Against Everybody Contest. The Czech Cultural Centre in Kyiv supplied the works to be exhibited. Martin Mainer, from the Brno Arts Academy, whose creations are made from polyurethane foam mats (Art of Seeing Night Dreams series), was the Czech artists' spokesman at a press conference. When asked, what he liked in Kyiv best of all, Mr Mainer said that he had been tremendously impressed by the architecture of the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra Monastery.
Ukrainian periodicals recently featured articles about Joseph Coshut, American artist and theoretician of conceptualism who had come to Kyiv on invitation from the Soros Centre. His lecture, To Steal in Public, attended by but a few art theory enthusiasts, dealt with new ways of expression in art and new definitions of art. He, together with Illya Kabakov, in addition to his lecture, showed an exhibition of his works, The Corridor of Two Banalities. At the beginning of May, the Center of Modern Art plans to show works of Andy Warhol (son of Czechoslovak immigrants; original name Andrew Warhola, 1928 1987), American artist and filmmaker, an initiator and leading exponent of the Pop art movement of the 1960s whose mass-produced art apotheosized the supposed banality of the commercial culture of the United States. An adroit self-publicist, he projected a concept of the artist as an impersonal, even vacuous, figure who is nevertheless a successful celebrity, businessman, and social climber.


Serhiy Poyarkov, a Ukrainian graphic artist of considerable talent, returned from the USA where he showed his works at several exhibitions and received prizes. Six art galleries in the USA exhibit his works. Exhibitions were shown in San Diego and in Atlanta; a prize was awarded in New York for his pictures Endless Story and Do not Stop.

Five pictures were purchased by the Zimmerly Art Museum in New Jersey. At the end of 1999, some of his works were shown in Saarbrucken, Germany. In the spring of 2000, Pyarkov is planning to show at long last! his works in Ukraine: in Odesa and in Kyiv, at the National Museum. Yury Gorbachev, who is a native of Odesa and now lives in the USA, will exhibit his works together with Poyarkov.



In the photograph taken inside the Tryptykh Gallery: Oksana Mylovzorova, Andriy Bludov, Mykola Zhuravel, Nelli Isupova, Valeriy Shkarupa.

T
he Tryptykh Gallery in Andriyivsky Uzviz is one of the many art galleries to be found there but this one stands out both in the quality of art works shown and in their variety: elegant ceramics by Nelli Isupova (who, by the way, is one of the owners of the gallery); lyrical and whimsical watercolours by Volodymyr Isupov; erotic and somewhat shocking photographs by Mykola Trokh; painting on silk and computer graphics by Iryna Ostromenska. An exhibition of works of Andriy Bludov and Mykola Zhuravel, was held in the gallery recently, and all the works as usual were of excellent artistic quality. Nelli Isupova, who celebrated the Year 2000 festivities in Paris, upon her return to Kyiv said that compared to the art she had seen at Montmartre, art exhibited in Andriyivsky Uzviz was of much better quality, and in general, works by Ukrainian artists shown in Uzviz galleries could fetch very high prices in Paris.



Millenium, one of the recent exhibitions, shown at the Tryptykh Gallery, was presented by Iryna Ostromenska who, through her computer graphic works, attempts to find an artistic system that would bring harmony to the chaos of our life. She believes that computer gives an artist wider chances to express himself or herself more fully. Her works are not representational since, in her words, "life at the level of ideas cannot be represented in art with the help of realism."




Olga Morozova, from a painters' family, showed her cityscapes of Venice, Amsterdam and Kyiv and other works at the exhibition held at the Art East Gallery and called Bridges. Her art lays bridges over troubled waters between countries and human fates. Her brushwork is strong, more typical of a male rather than of a female artist. Her impressions of warm evenings and nights are full of gentle emotion. The most important bridge for Olga Morozova is Love: "all my works are essentially about love."


Composition; diptych. 1999.
The Soviart Gallery in Kostyolna Street holds one exhibition after another. Recently, Anatoliy Kryvolap, one of the leading Ukrainian masters of non-figurative art, showed his works there (incidentally, he is on the jury of the National Museum of Modern Art which has been set up to choose works for this museum).
Kryvolap's paintings are "a whirl of colours which are like molten lava flowing over the canvases" (Composition; diptych). From the invitation card the text for which was written by Oleksiy Tytarenko, an art critic: "Isn't a gulp of real strength, fury and passion better in our placid existence than any quiet consensus?"

There was another notable event in Kyiv as far as exhibitions are concerned: The Taras Shevchenko Museum showed an exhibition of nine Iranian artists: oils, watercolours and small sculptures of a lyrical and philosophic mood by Taher Sheikh Alhokamaee. Paintings by Akram Afzali, who studied painting at Teheran University, are elegant works, reminiscent of Iran miniatures with a special charm in them. These days, when painters seem to avoid representation of beauty in their works, Akram puts beauty into the focus of her art, and does it very well. Logotypes of Ebrahim Haghighi are masterful creations, too.


born in 1967/Tehran and graduated in Fine Arts from University of Tehran in 1990.

The National Art Museum has recently held one of its biggest exhibitions for quite some time. Noah's Ark exhibition aimed at showing to the general public the works of Ukrainian artists created in the last 50 years, and at having their contribution to the development of Ukrainian art reassessed. 94 canvases exhibited represented most important trends in the Ukrainian painting of the past decades: underground, "severe style," lyrical, retro-classical, metaphoric, eclectic. The exhibition has been made possible thanks to the efforts of Olga Petrova, an art historian, and Valeriy Mishchenko, president of the NIGMA building company and a patron of the arts into the bargain. The paintings exhibited in four big halls had a good press and general public interest. Some of the painters whose works hung on the walls exchanged their views with art lovers right in front of the canvases.

By H.-H. Pylypenko