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Ukrainian Painting of the 20th c.
The originality of the creative self exposure and formal temperament of O. Dubovyk, whose work was completely dedicated to the building of a specific imagery of form, is represented by paintings in the Museum’s collection.
The rounding out of the Museum’s collection was continued with the acquisition of works by masters of classic Ukrainian painting, namely S. Shyshko, T. Yablonska, Ye. Volobuyev, and V. Poltavets, whose works were obtained after having been exhibited in monographic exhibits sponsored by the Museum.
Beginning in the 1990s there was an effort to complete the collection of paintings of representatives of the Lviv School. This region was represented by persons of various generations: O. Kulchytska, Ya. Muzyka, R. Selsky, H. Smolsky, V. Patyk, I. Ostafiichuk, M. Andrushchenko, V. Bazhai, B. Buriak, M. Demtsia, and M. Shymchuk.
The Department of Ukrainian Art from Beyond the Borders of Ukraine was founded just prior to the beginning of the 1990s. In 1989, the Museum received a gift of the works of V. Khmeliuk from Mr. Arystyd Virsta. In 1994, the Canadian-Ukrainian Art Foundation (CUAF), which was founded by Mykhailo and Yaroslav Shafraniuk, gifted the Museum 48 works that made up the greater part of the exhibition “Homecoming”, among which was the work “Portrait of Author Hordii Kotsuba” by A. Petrytsky.
Thanks to the initiative of the Ukrainian National Museum of Art and other appropriate community entities, in January, 2004, a collection of works from the former gallery “Hradobank” that had been exhibited in Ukraine and overseas at various times was transferred to the Museum. Of special importance to the Museum’s collection is the section containing Ukrainian artists from 1960 hrough 1990 – namely, works of the “1960-iers”: H. Nledva, V. Reuniv, V. Ryzhykh, Yu. Lutskevych, V. Spyrydonova, and O. Oriabynsky; works of the “1970-iers”: T. Silvasha, V. Bunykiv, L. Markosian, M. Kryvenko, A. Kryvolap; as well as works of the “1980-iers”: O. Babak, O. and S. Zhyvotkiv, M. Heiko, P. Bevza, P. Lebedynts, and H. Sydorenko.
Objectively speaking, the most complicated problem of the Museum’s collection of 20th century painting is the attainment of searching and achievements of artists throughout the century, as well as within the confines of their individual creativity. Appreciating them from the perspective of time, we give the artworks contained in the Museum’s collection their rightful position in the ranks of the finer accomplishments of Ukrainian painting of the 20th century.
From that view point, the Ukrainian National Museum’s painting collection, which was acquired over the 20th century, poses new questions and problems: Were all of painting’s innovations defined only in the first dynamic decades of the century such that they continuously attract the attention of Ukrainian artists of all generations and various creative orientations? What results did these beginnings produce? How should postmodernism be evaluated? How can one explain the cyclic return to classic or traditional forms? How did the actual socio-political situation of the 20th century affect the creativity and fate of artists? Perhaps the intricacies of the afore mentioned problems are more than adequate; the evaluating position proposes to concentrate on the designated historical common attitudes as well as on the understanding of the 20th century as a unique synthesis of many previous artistic tendencies that during the final decades of the century gave us new artistic results of high quality and individual creative accomplishments.