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Introduction

Art is created by God’s will and in the name of God

02.06.2009

At the end of the 20th century in the process of the violent national revival the Ukrainian society returned to the forgotten Christian values after several decades of heartlessness and distress. A social convert to theology and a return to the deep spiritual source stimulated creative imagination of the Ukrainian artists.

Active reconstruction and building of new churches set the artists a number of difficult and at the same time important tasks. A good few of already known and young artists addressed to the sacral subject, but only few of them could penetrate info the deep divinely – transcendental content of church art in the right way, to realise its main task and aim. “Religions art must serve religion. As it has supernatural aim and mystic depth, which an eye cannot measure“, signified metropolian Andrei Sheptytskyi. Particularly careful treatment filled with prayer and faith and, of course, theological and art training are demanded in icon – painting and especially in monumental church painting.

In the course of years in Ukraine there were formed several powerful professional centres, associations of art which worked professionally in the sphere of monumental sacral wall-painting. At present there is a studio of an experienced artist Mykola Storozhenko. The studio is known as a leading centre of church culture and monumental painting in Ukraine and Kyiv in particular. A powerful association of artists of monumental painting was formed in Lviv based on Lviv Academy of Art. Ten years later a professional association of artists of monumental painting was formed in Drohobych, Lviv region.

The basis of art association which on the right of an art department joined the Drohobych Association of artists (DAA) was formed by graduating students of Lviv Universities. They were Ihor Oryshchak, Ihor Les’kiv, Serhii Bulko and Yevgen Khrunyk. During 1993-2003 the Drohobych association of talented artists created wall-painting complex in about 30 church of pre-Carpathean provinces of Ukraine, Khmelnytskyi, Odesa, Zhytomyr, Volyn oblasts and some regions of Poland.

The masterpiece of the association almost in all church wall-painting complexes is signified by deep learning of theological doctrine, history of the World (Вселенська) and Ukrainian churches knowledge of iconography and stylistic peculiarities of religions art. Inspite of definite professional experience and growth, the artists of the association do not stop at their achievements. Developing conceptually a general scheme of ornamentation of different churches, young artists listen attentively to competent thoughts of famous Ukrainian art critics such as D.Stepovyk, V.Vuizyk (the late), professional restorers V.Mokrii, M.Otkovych, Y.Movchan and some other experts of Ukrainian sacral art. Au especially significant thing in creative work of Drohobych artists is communitation with clerical people, i.e. archbishop Sofon Mudryi, archbishop Yulian Voronovskyi, Sofon Dmyterk, R.F. (Referend Father) metropolitan Taras Herasymchuk, R.F. Hryhorii Planchak and others.

Owing to work of the Drohobych creative centre Ukrainian sacral art enrich a number of church complexes of high quality, among cohich of the greatest importance for the formation of modern school of religions art in Ukrainian there are wall-paintings in the Hoshiv cloister (1995-1996), in the church of Bachiv village, Peremyshl’yany region, Lviv oblast (1998), The Trinity Cathedral in Drohobych (1999-2000), St. Mary’s Nativity church in Lutsk (2001), St. Peter and Paul’s church in Staryi Kosiv, Ivano-Frankivsk oblast (2003). Despite innovations the artists harmonise with traditional church wall-painting without breaking time fixed canons. The topic concerned with the enlargement of fixed schemes of church ornamentation with new iconographical discoveries, which are usually caused by complicated evolutional processes in the Ukrainian church history, local peculiarities or constructively architectonical and stylistic principles of a sacral edifice.

Volodymyr Zhyshkovych,
The Candidate of art Criticism,
Lviv.