Nearly Two Dozen Exuberant Works by Ukrainian Folk Artist Maria Prymachenko Go On View in the U.K. For the First Time

Source Colossal  

“Flowers with birds” (1987). All images © Maria Prymachenko, courtesy of Saatchi Gallery, shared with permission

“Maria was very wise, kind, determined, and open to the world,” says the granddaughter of Ukrainian self-taught artist Maria Prymachenko (1908-1997). “She incorporated her worldview and philosophy into the paintings she created.” Prymachenko’s vibrant and fantastical artworks (previously) combined her inner thoughts with observations of the world around her, depicting symmetrical floral arrangements, wildlife, and everyday scenes. Her focus on the beauty of daily existence takes center stage at Saatchi Gallery in London next month, marking the first time these pieces, which have been carefully preserved by the artist’s family for half a century, have been exhibited in the U.K.

Saatchi partnered with the Prymachenko Family Foundation and the Ukrainian Embassy to organize this special selection of 23 works, many of which were originally intended for a children’s book and often focus on portrayals of the artist or women spinning fiber on a wheel, herding horses, or sitting outside with baby in a buggy. Many are double-sided, like “Beast of Polissia,” which includes a handwritten narrative on the reverse.

Dozens of Prymachenko’s paintings were once held in the Ivankiv Historical and Local History Museum just outside of Kyiv. When Russian forces attacked the village last year, totally destroying the museum, local residents were able to rescue her works from the ensuing fire. The Prymachenko Family Foundation is currently creating a new museum complex on the site of the artist’s house in Bolotnya, the village where she spent her entire life, which will include a residency for contemporary artists. Foundation partner and co-curator Natalia Gnatiuk says, “It will be a place of strength, capable of welcoming guests from around the world after Ukraine’s victory.”

Maria Prymachenko at Saatchi Gallery opens July 13 and runs through August 31.


“Beast of Polissia”

Reverse of above: “On October 15, 1935, I started painting near the Lavra. In January, I had a surgery. I learned from the newspaper that I received a First Degree Diploma and a thousand karbovanets. The doctors congratulated me and made three more surgeries. In seven months I had a device made for 703 karbovanets. I learned how to use it, and now I wear it. A new device will be made for 1908 karbovanets. I continue to paint. M.P. Beast of Polissia”

“I herded horses instead of my father. M.P.” (1982)

“Roses to grain growers” (1987)

“I was spinning on the spinning wheel. M.P.” (1982)



“Flowers in pots” (1982)

Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member today and support independent arts publishing for as little as $5 per month. The article Nearly Two Dozen Exuberant Works by Ukrainian Folk Artist Maria Prymachenko Go On View in the U.K. For the First Time appeared first on Colossal.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Generated by Feedzy