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23.06.2017 – 12.08.2017
Master and Time. Fedir Krychevsky
Painting, graphics, archive
Curator: Danylo Nikitin, Olga Zhbankova
Fedir Krychevsky becomes one of the most significant figures In Ukrainian modern art. The artist knew the artistic traditions of previous centuries and embodied them in appearances of his time. Similarly to masters of the Renaissance, he depicted the grandeur and dignity of human lives in various forms: in work and celebration, in love and despair, in struggle and tranquility.
Fedir Krychevsky as an artist uniquely combines multiple talents and skills. He was a master of expressive drawing and concurrently had a sensitive sense of colour. Furthermore, he was able to effortlessly induce emotions and able to create symbolic implications. Within his works, Krychevsky, sought ubiquitous generalisations, but in the same time he knew the importance of fine detail - an accent, that enriches and deepens an image.
His own practice did not preclude Krychevsky to share his practical knowledge with students. He was an enthusiastic and strenuous teacher. Among his numerous students there are exceptional Ukrainian artists of the second half of the twentieth century - Tetyana Yablonska, Sergej Grigor’ev, Volodymir Kostetsky, Gregory Melikhov.
The artist was destined to live and work within a time of changes. His studying and artistic development fell onto the brink of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In 1900-1910, the young artist was not only receiving the academic art education in Moscow, St. Petersburg and european artistic capitals, but he was also studying in Ukraine. He was practising in a painting studio at the informal art centre ‘The Garden of Gods’ in Poltava. Ukrainian Academy of Arts was established during the autumn of 1917 in Kiev. It was the first higher educational institute for art. This event was one of the most consequential attainments of cultural breakthroughs of that time.At the head of the Academy was the 38-year-old professor- Fedir Krychevsky.
The 1920s - and the beginning of the 1930s were copious times for the artist, within his search for the monumental style. During this time Krychevsky creates his masterpieces - a triptych "Life," “Self-portrait" and a large-scale painting "Dovbush". The period also saw the clash of creative ideas, within which Fedor Krichevsky defended the positions of the school of realism. What was the realism of Fedir Krychevsky? First of all it was a balance between the creative gust and methodical study of life drawing. Within all of the aims of art, one of the main ones is the message to the viewer from an artist, which was embodied in some form - by means of colour, expression, ornaments.
The late period of his work was the most difficult for Fedir Krychevsky. Soviet totalitarian system forced the artists to glorify the state leadership by painting "parade" portraits of party leaders and seeking compromises with the ideological dictatorship. Fedir Krychevsky tried his best to avoid the direct cooperation with the Socialist regime. From time to time he was using a hidden language, by putting a double meaning into his paintings. The atmosphere of those atrocious years lurk in a dramatic depiction of Kateryna, a character from the poem written by Taras Shevchenko.
The artist and time — an eternal question of the relationship of an artist with the contemporary events and the historical epoch. The challenges that time sends to an artist : the artist could become an absolute architect of a cultural environment or he could become its tragic victim. However, the quintessence of art- is to be over the time, to talk about something that time has no power to devalue.
Within the gallery space there is a displayed archive of photographs and documents of Fedir Krychevsky. This part of the exhibition becomes a prologue and epilogue to the exhibition of art of the artist.