Klymenko was born in the Ukrainian town of Luhansk on July 26, 1963. Since 1985, he’s
been living in Kyiv. In 1989, when he entered his last year of studies, Klymenko dropped
out of the National Academy of Arts in protest against the then system of art education
which concentrated on “socialist realism” disregarding any other forms of artistic
expression. The same year he brought together a group of independent artists who created
and promoted art along the lines different from the officially approved ones. In the past
decade, Klymenko has been actively studying western philosophy, modern psychology,
literature, music, the arts, and cinema.
|I am of
the opinion that Oleksandr Klymenko is one of the most remarkable contemporary painters of
As an artist, he combines a great creative energy, refined taste and aesthetic intellectualism.
As any other country in the world with developed culture, Ukraine has all kinds of painters: those who cater to undemanding tastes of the general public; those who create for creation’s sake; those who want to revive the artistic precepts of the past and those who explore entirely new forms. The list is long. Olexandr Klymenko belongs to an elite group of artists whose advanced art is in high demand with intellectuals in Ukraine and elsewhere. Quite a number of other artists of his kind have emigrated and work abroad, fetching high prices for their paintings. Klymenko has remained in Ukraine.
He is a painter with an exceptionally wide spectrum of artistic interests.
Movement Upwards (Visual Alchemy
of Light Project).
1998.Oil on canvas.
Radiant Archetype (Symbols Project).
1999. Oil on canvas.
big-sized abstract and small quasi-realistic pictures, he writes philosophical essays,
poetry. Some of his creations that can be described as “lyrical post-modernist” are
like an intellectual game full of hidden meanings, reminiscences of the classical art. The
scope of his historic and cultural interests is equally wide: the 18th century French
Revolution, Knights Templars, Quest for the Holy Grail, the Crusades, to name just a few
of the areas he explores. Among his favourite authors are Borges and Hesse, Chinese
philosophers, Japanese and French avant-garde poets. He can talk about his favourite
subjects for hours on end and listening to him one comes to understand his abstract
pictures much better.
Usually, Klymenko paints cycles of pictures, calling these cycles “projects.” The names he gives his “projects” are
a bit unusual, to say the least: L’Art du Soleil; Metaphysics of the Vertical; Visual Alchemy of Light; Art of Visions; Sacral Restoration; Mystery of Eurasia; Star of Grail. He defines what he creates as “meta-art.”
explains: “Everything repeats itself, the snake bites its tail, the circle of the
millennia will be complete shortly and then go and behold: you’ll see a new medievalism
that is coming round, again comes the time of staggering discoveries, religious
fanaticism, which will be followed by the times of life regarded as a continuous feast, of
heroism of human spirit. ‘Meta-art’ strives to acquire art’s original sacred power.
And in general, art is on the way to getting back its magic powers.”
Klymenko’s art is an attempt to express in paintings philosophical or poetic ideas. There is some special quality in Klymenko’s paintings, they are full of light, of life-giving energy which act like a magnet. Though he prefers to paint in the shades of gold, he often employs the shades of white, blue and red. His paintings seem to radiate a mysterious inner light, warmth that comes from within.
Meeting of Epochs (Arrovanna
of Millennium Project).
1998. Oil on canvas.
His favourite “project” is The Metaphysics of the Vertical. Says the artist:
“Everything that is alive on earth strives upwards, towards the light and warmth of the
Sun. Here you’ve a vertical striving. There are billions of suns up there, in the
universe. The vertical is a most powerful positive, life-asserting symbol, eternal, going
into infinity. The vertical is a free, soaring flight, it’s an overcoming of the forces
of gravity, it unites the earth and the sky, the eternal and the now. The vertical is a
symbol of life eternal.”
By Tamara Lee