An Aesthetics of Happiness: The Art of Ivan Prykhodko

Page 1

The Annual Cambridge Festival of Ukrainian Film was launched in 2008 to showcase the best of Ukrainian cinema from its beginnings to the present day. It has introduced diverse audiences in Cambridge, London, Belfast, and beyond to contemporary filmmakers, preservationists, film scholars, and musicians from Ukraine. The festival is organised by Cambridge Ukrainian Studies, an academic centre at the University of Cambridge. In 2021 the Festival is a special collaboration with the Ukrainian Institute London and Takflix. It bears the tag line ‘Freedom on Screen’ to mark 30 years of Ukraine’s independent statehood and celebrate a spirit of creative freedom in contemporary Ukrainian cinema. In addition to in-person screenings in Cambridge and London, the 2021 Festival team is offering UK viewers an outstanding documentary and feature films, which are available to all UK viewers free of charge from 22 November - 6 December in our digital screening room:

UkrainianFilmFest.takflix.com Cambridge Ukrainian Studies aims to promote and contribute to the study of Ukraine in the United Kingdom and beyond. It is committed to deepening public understanding of Ukraine and to advancing fresh, innovative approaches to research on the largest country within Europe, a critical crossroads between 'East' and 'West' with a rich historical, linguistic, and cultural inheritance.

www.CambridgeUkrainianStudies.org

Ivan’s Land Земля Івана

An Introduction to the

Art of Ivan Prykhodko


An Aesthetics of Happiness: The Art of Ivan Prykhodko In another century, Ivan Prykhodko (b. 1939) might have been called a holy fool. Eccentric, joyous, and wise, he first appears to us in Ivan’s Land (dir. Andrii Lysetskyi, 2021) amid winter snows in the dark of night, wearing a shaman’s mask, beating a bubon folk tambourine-drum. He sleeps on a bed of hay in a khata built in 1903 in the village of Dudarkiv, where he was born. He shares korzhi flatbread cakes, freshly prepared on a wood stove, with his dog Ryzhyk. He listens intently to the rhythms of the seasons. He is alone but never lonely. He sings often and laughs even more. Ivan Prykhodko’s art is an extension of the man. It is an aesthetics of happiness drenched in the folk culture of Ukraine and indifferent to, but not suspicious of, the putative progress of our present. His whimsical paintings and wood carvings are songs of light, colour, and symbol that catch the eye and lift the spirit. Prykhodko is Ukraine’s Honoured Master of Folk Art, a prize-winning visionary with no formal training. In the Soviet period he worked on collective farms and military bases in Russia and Ukraine. Since 1972 he has spearheaded a folk painting workshop in his native village, where neighbours are fond of likening him to the itinerant philosopher Hryhorii Skovoroda (1722-1794), the ‘Ukrainian Socrates.’ His work is a mainstay in the Ivan Honchar Museum in Kyiv and in folk collections across Ukraine and around the world.

Hopak Dance of the Sun (2011)

Prykhodko’s paintings place the human and natural worlds in communion, showcasing curvilinear figures on flat, abstract backgrounds overcome with colour. His compositions exude balance and harmony and, at times, mystery. His subjects are inspired by folklore and history, especially the period of Cossack autonomy (1648-1782). Hrushka-Mynushka (2014)

Maria Pryimachenko, from the series ‘Bolotnia’s Animals’ (1935-41)

Prykhodko celebrates the indelible influence of two women on his artistic development: Maria Pryimachenko (1909-1997) and Hanna Sobachko-Shostak (1883-1965), sui generis Ukrainian folk painters whose clear lines and ebullient colour transform Ukraine’s flora and fauna into a vibrant, even carnivalesque spectacle. Prykhodko considers himself an inheritor of their legacy.

Toward the end of Ivan’s Land, Prykhodko receives a visit from Anatolii Kryvolap (b. 1946), one of Ukraine’s most well-known and commercially successful contemporary artists. Kryvolap revels in large, highly abstract colour fields reminiscent of the work of Mark Rothko. At one point, Prykhodko congratulates Kryvolap Anatolii Kryvolap, “Horse: Evening’ for ‘selling his horse’ – a casual reference to the fact that Kryvolap had recently sold a canvas called ‘Horse: Evening’ for over $186,000 at a London auction. Ivan’s Land is full of poignant encounters and inspiring moments. It is a captivating and visually resplendent documentary portrait of an artist caught between past and present but committed to Ukraine’s future. The film marks the documentary directorial debut of Andrii Lysetskyi, and its run of awards (at the Docudays UA International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival and the Kharkiv MeetDocs Film Festival) should not be ending anytime soon.

‘Beauty will save the world. And my bubon will too.’ Ivan Prykhodko Rory Finnin Associate Professor of Ukrainian Studies University of Cambridge For more on Ivan Prykhodko, see Olesya Avramenko, Prykhodko (Kyiv: Accent, 2021) Prykhodko images above taken from Chernozem, https://chernozem.info/; Pryimachenko image from EncyclopediaOfUkraine.com; Kryvolap image from AnatolyKryvolap.com


An Aesthetics of Happiness: The Art of Ivan Prykhodko In another century, Ivan Prykhodko (b. 1939) might have been called a holy fool. Eccentric, joyous, and wise, he first appears to us in Ivan’s Land (dir. Andrii Lysetskyi, 2021) amid winter snows in the dark of night, wearing a shaman’s mask, beating a bubon folk tambourine-drum. He sleeps on a bed of hay in a khata built in 1903 in the village of Dudarkiv, where he was born. He shares korzhi flatbread cakes, freshly prepared on a wood stove, with his dog Ryzhyk. He listens intently to the rhythms of the seasons. He is alone but never lonely. He sings often and laughs even more. Ivan Prykhodko’s art is an extension of the man. It is an aesthetics of happiness drenched in the folk culture of Ukraine and indifferent to, but not suspicious of, the putative progress of our present. His whimsical paintings and wood carvings are songs of light, colour, and symbol that catch the eye and lift the spirit. Prykhodko is Ukraine’s Honoured Master of Folk Art, a prize-winning visionary with no formal training. In the Soviet period he worked on collective farms and military bases in Russia and Ukraine. Since 1972 he has spearheaded a folk painting workshop in his native village, where neighbours are fond of likening him to the itinerant philosopher Hryhorii Skovoroda (1722-1794), the ‘Ukrainian Socrates.’ His work is a mainstay in the Ivan Honchar Museum in Kyiv and in folk collections across Ukraine and around the world.

Hopak Dance of the Sun (2011)

Prykhodko’s paintings place the human and natural worlds in communion, showcasing curvilinear figures on flat, abstract backgrounds overcome with colour. His compositions exude balance and harmony and, at times, mystery. His subjects are inspired by folklore and history, especially the period of Cossack autonomy (1648-1782). Hrushka-Mynushka (2014)

Maria Pryimachenko, from the series ‘Bolotnia’s Animals’ (1935-41)

Prykhodko celebrates the indelible influence of two women on his artistic development: Maria Pryimachenko (1909-1997) and Hanna Sobachko-Shostak (1883-1965), sui generis Ukrainian folk painters whose clear lines and ebullient colour transform Ukraine’s flora and fauna into a vibrant, even carnivalesque spectacle. Prykhodko considers himself an inheritor of their legacy.

Toward the end of Ivan’s Land, Prykhodko receives a visit from Anatolii Kryvolap (b. 1946), one of Ukraine’s most well-known and commercially successful contemporary artists. Kryvolap revels in large, highly abstract colour fields reminiscent of the work of Mark Rothko. At one point, Prykhodko congratulates Kryvolap Anatolii Kryvolap, “Horse: Evening’ for ‘selling his horse’ – a casual reference to the fact that Kryvolap had recently sold a canvas called ‘Horse: Evening’ for over $186,000 at a London auction. Ivan’s Land is full of poignant encounters and inspiring moments. It is a captivating and visually resplendent documentary portrait of an artist caught between past and present but committed to Ukraine’s future. The film marks the documentary directorial debut of Andrii Lysetskyi, and its run of awards (at the Docudays UA International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival and the Kharkiv MeetDocs Film Festival) should not be ending anytime soon.

‘Beauty will save the world. And my bubon will too.’ Ivan Prykhodko Rory Finnin Associate Professor of Ukrainian Studies University of Cambridge For more on Ivan Prykhodko, see Olesya Avramenko, Prykhodko (Kyiv: Accent, 2021) Prykhodko images above taken from Chernozem, https://chernozem.info/; Pryimachenko image from EncyclopediaOfUkraine.com; Kryvolap image from AnatolyKryvolap.com


The Annual Cambridge Festival of Ukrainian Film was launched in 2008 to showcase the best of Ukrainian cinema from its beginnings to the present day. It has introduced diverse audiences in Cambridge, London, Belfast, and beyond to contemporary filmmakers, preservationists, film scholars, and musicians from Ukraine. The festival is organised by Cambridge Ukrainian Studies, an academic centre at the University of Cambridge. In 2021 the Festival is a special collaboration with the Ukrainian Institute London and Takflix. It bears the tag line ‘Freedom on Screen’ to mark 30 years of Ukraine’s independent statehood and celebrate a spirit of creative freedom in contemporary Ukrainian cinema. In addition to in-person screenings in Cambridge and London, the 2021 Festival team is offering UK viewers a selection of documentary and feature films available free of charge from 22 November - 6 December in our digital screening room:

UkrainianFilmFest.takflix.com Cambridge Ukrainian Studies aims to promote and contribute to the study of Ukraine in the United Kingdom and beyond. It is committed to deepening public understanding of Ukraine and to advancing fresh, innovative approaches to research on the largest country within Europe, a critical crossroads between 'East' and 'West' with a rich historical, linguistic, and cultural inheritance.

www.CambridgeUkrainianStudies.org

Ivan’s Land Земля Івана

An Introduction to the

Art of Ivan Prykhodko


Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.