Ukraine Arts and Architecture

By | December 24, 2021

From the Middle Ages to the 19th century

The handicraft production of the nomads of the steppes and some gold and silver objects of Greek and Hellenistic origin are the most notable artistic manifestations of the Ukraine during the first centuries AD Art in the principalities of Kiev and Černigov in the 10th century. 11th-12th was an inseparable part of Russian artistic culture. Only after the 13th century. the culture of the future Ukraine began to acquire its own physiognomy. The long occupation of the territory by the Lithuanian and Polish rulers led to an original fusion of elements of the Russian Orthodox culture and the Catholic one of the Western Slavs. Of the architecture of the sec. 14 ° -15 ° fortresses, castles (Luck, Hotin, Kamenec-Podolskij, Ostrog) and fortified monasteries (Mežirič). The churches of this period (in Ostrog, in Mežirič) have a cross plan, with a raised sixth dome; polygonal drums are introduced. For Ukraine 2000, please check

The icons are distinguished by a popular and archaic taste. In those of the sec. 16th and 17th century scenes of local life appear; researches of plasticity show western influence. The icons of the 17th century, executed with a taste for detail, receive splendid baroque silver coatings. The iconostases have exuberant pomp. The great development of engraving (centers in Lviv, Kiev, Počaev) influences painting. From the end of the 16th century, the first portraits appear next to the icons (Lviv school).

In the 16th century. in the architecture of the Ukraine western Renaissance ornaments predominate (Leopoli, Luck), which in the sec. 17th-18th centuries give way, after the spread of Catholicism from Poland, to a monumental Baroque (Jesuit college in Kremenec, Lviv cathedral, Počaev monastery). An original character have in the sec. 16th-18th century the wooden churches with three or four rooms covered with pyramidal roofs or with helmet domes; examples are preserved in Volhynia (Niskeniči) and in the Carpathians (Lviv, Drogobyč, Chust, Rachov, Mukačev etc.), and also in Poltava and Novomoskovsk. In the Ukraine Oriental, ancient Russian architecture blends with elements of wooden constructions and baroque accents (Kharkov Cathedral, Trinity Church in Černigov, Gustyn Church, All Saints Church and Kievo-Pečerskaja Lavra Monastery in Kiev, Gustinsky Monastery in Priluki). In the second half of the 18th century. and in the first half of the 19th century in the Ukraine many architects work from Moscow and St. Petersburg: J. Schädel (bell tower of Lavra Kievo-Pečerskaja), A. Kvasov (Kozelec cathedral), I. Mičurin (St. Andrew in Kiev, designed by B. Rastrelli), I. Starov (Ekaterinoslav), C. Cameron (palace in Baturin), G. Quarenghi (palaces in Hotin and Ljaliči), A. Zacharov (cathedral of Ekaterinoslav), K. Thomas de Tomon (Column of Glory in Poltava). In the second half of the 19th century. eclectic taste predominates (S. Vladimir in Kiev by I. Štrom, University of Lviv by J. Gochberger, University of Chernovcy by I. Glavka, Theater of Odessa). Attempts to revive the national style (V. Kričevskij’s Poltava Ethnographic Museum) and art nouveau trends (Gorodetsky house in Kiev) characterize the architecture of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The most significant personalities in 19th century painting they are T. Ševčenko, propagator of critical realism, the landscape painters S. Svetoslavskij, K. Kračkovskij, S. Vasilkovskij, the genre painters K. Trutovskij, N. Pimonenko, N. Muraško, I. Ižakievič, K. Kostandi. The century also saw the development of handicrafts: carpets from Kiev, blown glass from Černigov and Lviv, porcelain, ceramics, decorative fabrics, embroidery and printed leathers.

20th-21st century

Relevant figure of the first decades of the 20th century. is M. Bojčuk (1882-1939) who, with his school (I. Padalka, V. Šedljar, O. Pavlenko, S. Nelepinskaja-Bojčuk, M. Rokickij), plays an important role in the Soviet period, within of the ARMU (Association of revolutionary art of the Ukraine) with a painting aimed at the epic nature of the contents and the monumentality of the forms, inspired by the Russian-Byzantine tradition and the Italian Renaissance. A. Exter’s activity in the Ukraine, by KS Malevič, VE Tatlin and DD Burljuk. In this period, neoprimitivism is also widespread, connected with the tradition of Ukrainian folklore (A. Sobačko-Šostak, V. Dovgannja, E. Pšečenko, B. Kosarev, M. Sinjakova); the group of formalists (A. Petritsky, V. Ermilov, A. Bogomazov, B. Erdman, L. Kiščeeva) was dissolved in the early 1930s.

In architecture, constructivism, which has one of its most significant achievements in the hydroelectric power station on the Dnieper (1929-32, V. Vesnin), is represented by P. Alëšin, V. Os´mak, N. Manučarova; national currents also continue which are linked to Ukrainian baroque and wooden architecture. After the Second World War, techniques and ways of international architecture prevail and particular attention is given to the restoration and reconstruction of city centers and historical monuments: emancipations from the usual stylistic features, the effect of the Soviet dominance, occur with the redefinition of buildings and urban areas, such as, for example, the project (2005) for the reconstruction of the Rybalskyi peninsula as part of the interventions for the city of Kiev. This widespread orientation is associated with works of architecture that are affected,

The traditions of the avant-garde in painting are taken up by A. Summar. The ‘unofficial’ art of the Ukraine is characterized by the heterogeneity and the coexistence of traditional and innovative forms: a ‘neo-folkloristic’ current is represented by I. Marčuk, expressive abstraction by V. Lamach, conceptual painting by V. Ažaža, installations by F. Tetjanič, the monumental tradition of “bojčukismo” by G. Sinica. One of the main figures of the Ukrainian underground is K. Levič. The ‘Odessa school’ (J. Jastreb, V. Marišok, O. Vološinov, E. Rachmanin) is characterized by an intimate character and an interest in Western painting.

Of note is the activity of the engravers, which continues the traditions of the masters of the beginning of the century and the years 1920-30.

Sculptors draw inspiration from artistic experiences abroad (A. Sucholit) or revisit popular traditions (M. Stepanov). Towards the end of the 20th century, the ties with Moscow weakened, relations with neighboring countries and with Western Europe became more intense. The traditional expressive means of painting and sculpture, as well as in the works of established artists such as T. Jablonskaja, O. Dubovyk and A. Kryvolap, non-figurative artist, find new life in the monochromes of B. Gabianuri; in the new figuration by O. Holosyj; in the material and gestural painting of R. Kostaš and A. Kryvolap; in the wicker sculptures of T. Babak. Expressive forms are preferred such as installation, performance, photography and video: B. Michailov; V. Bažaj; S. Bratkov and O. Tistol; O. Hnilic´kyj, one of the founders of the Institution of unstable thoughts (1966) in Kiev; OR. Chepelyk; J. Solomko; between photography, video and multimedia projects: A. Savadov, I. Chichkan, D. Dulfan, I. Isupov, M. Zinec.

Ukraine Arts