To the 80th Birth Anniversary
Graphic works, painting
Curator: Danylo Nikitin
Hryhoriy Havrylenko was born in 1927 in the village Kholopkove (now Peremoha) in Sumska oblast’. In 1955 he graduated from the graphic art department of Kyiv State Art Institute (the studio of Ilarion Pleshchyns’kyi). He lived, worked and died in Kyiv (1984). His working field was that of easel and book graphics and painting. He created large graphic and painting series, in which he interpreted a limited number of topics and motifs. His search of a perfect image led to multiple repetition and development of certain compositional intentions. Havrylenko executed several programmatic works – Two Women in Nature (1965-1966), Female Image (1967), and The Beach (1967-1969).
Working at the illustration field, he executed illustrations to 32 editions of classical and contemporary poetry and prose. The most famous are his illustrations to “Vita Nova” by Dante Alighieri (1965), The Knight in the Tiger’s Skin by Shota Rustaveli (1966), and Legacy by Mykola Bazhan (1979).
Havrylenko did not create spectacular paintings, aimed at the outer effect. Instead he painted simple landscapes, trees, portraits, mainly of women. Besides the “realistic” works he also created “abstractions” – compositions based on color combinations, “expressive,” “suprematist” etc. All definitions should be marked with inverted commas because the artist did not belong to a certain art movement, although today we associate him with the Ukrainian non-conformist art of 1960’s. Havrylenko did not prefer any certain artistic technique; with the same inspiration he used pencils, ink, water color, pastel, tempera and oil… The work of Havrylenko was not only a research – it was also service, helping the truth appear in the world and be in the world.
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