National Art Museum of Ukraine
Modern Art Research Institute
present the project
July 5 - September 28, 2014
The opening and presentation of the monography on July 4 (Friday), 6 pm
Anatolii Sumar (1933-2006) is a mysterious and almost unknown artist of the Khrushchov era. No museum has his paintings. His art was exposed to people for the first time in 1990, after 27 years of silence and obliteration.
Researchers studying 1960s Ukrainian art often consider Sumar to be an abstract artist, forgetting that the protagonists of his paintings were the closest members of his family and the objects, which filled the room, the view from his window and the window itself. Even though they had often been changed unrecognizably, they were the heart of a unique art system, which broke through the established artistic conventions and norms, but had always been based in reality. The artist himself once commented: "If we remove the story from art - not even the story, but the relationship between art and the real world, then we remove a huge layer of meaning. I am interested in everything. If the composition has a plot to it, I wonder how the artist relates to that plot; if it doesn't have a plot, then how the artist relates to tradition in his genre. All-in-all, innumerable things disappear if an artwork is purely abstract."
Modern European art was the decisive influence on how Sumar's unique style was formed. He was able to see these works in the museums of Moscow and Leningrad (current St. Petersburg), particularly the works of Pablo Picasso. This style, which had, according to Halyna Skliarenko, absorbed "the desire to extract the most essential elements from his impressions of reality, to find in every object the very lines that sculpted its forms, to master the possibilities its color would bring to a composition, and, most importantly, to impart his view of the world and of life itself," passed the test of time, never losing importance, as do all outstanding artistic phenomena.
The artist's death in January 2006 remained unnoticed by the art community. Even today, only Anatoliy Sumar's paintings hang on the walls of the dwelling where he used to live, as if created to become decorations among which he would live out the rest of his life. Most of them will someday take their rightful place in the displays of the country's central museums, some of the first in the modern Ukrainian art sections. The time has come to make once again known the name without which Ukrainian art would be incomplete.
The exhibition in National Art Museum of Ukraine shows the artist's works that were created before 1963, research series Color And Music created in the middle of the 1960s, and works created after 1989.
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