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Rival Cultural Strategies in Ukrainian Culture of the late XVIII - mid-XIX Centuries 6 page

Painters and sculptors from Ukraine were very heavily involved in the artistic revolution that swept Europe in the first decade of the twentieth century. Many spent time in Western Europe, particularly in Paris, in the prewar years, among them Vadym Meller, Alexander Archipenko, Alexandra Ekster (Exter), Mykhailo Boichuk, David Burliuk, Sofiia Levytska, Aleksandr Shevchenko, Vladimir Tatlin, N. Altman, and D. Shterenberg. Some, like Oleksa Hryshchenko (Alexis Gritchenko, A. Grischenko), Mykhailo Andriienko-Nechytailo (Michel Andreenko), and K. Redko came to Paris after the war, and several of them settled there permanently. Other prominent exponents of modernism in Ukrainian art were Oleksandr Bohomazov, Anatol Petrytsky, Vasyl Yermilov, Viktor Palmov, Pavlo Kovzhun, Vasyl H. Krychevsky, Mykola Butovych, Halyna Mazepa, and Petro P. Kholodny. Some of the leading figures in the international avant-garde identified themselves as Ukrainians, among them Burliuk, the “father” of futurism in the Russian Empire, Archipenko, the maker of cubist sculptures, Kazimir Malevich, the creator of suprematist art, and Tatlin, known for his constructivism. Some of these artists were interested in provocatively flouting convention; others, in exploring the machine aesthetic and the use of new materials, still others, in utopian and visionary projects.

Ukrainian modernism was distinguished by its use of color (both Ekster and Sonia Delauney, who originally came from Ukraine, did much to introduce bright colours into Western cubism and modern design) and its special feeling for texture. Another particularly strong Ukrainian modernist feature was the interest in primitivism, the direct, powerful, and simple as expressed in folk creativity or ancient traditions. In Ukrainian architecture modernism was manifested in the revival of a Ukrainian national style in the projects of Vasyl H. Krychevsky, Konstantin Zhukov, Oleksander Tymoshenko, and Ivan Levynsky, and in the constructivism of Vladyslav Horodetsky, Petro H.Yurchenko, Yevsevii Lipetsky, S. Kravets, and others.

Modernism was embodied in a number of artistic trends. Futurism was directed on the destruction of old art forms, particularly of realism and classicism and gave free reign to individualism. In painting this freedom led to fantastic forms and colors, and in literature, especially poetry, to abstruse language consisting of sound-words that often had no meaning. Futurism sought to transmit the ideas and spirit of the future technological society, which was opposed to the old conservative sensitivity of the peasants. Hence urban and industrial themes were typical for this trend. Poetry of M. Semenko, M. Bazhan, P. Tychina was for some time influenced by futurism. Symbolism was the trend in arts that predisposed toward esoteric symbols, metaphors. In literature it exposed the sense of the magical power of the world. Poets-symbolists created highly evocative, personal poetry. N. Voronoy, O. Kobylyanska, G. Hotkevich, A. Krymsky were engaged in poetic practice of symbolism. The Lviv group “The Young Muse” (M. Yatskiv, B. Lenky, S. Sharnetsky, S. Tverdokhlib) supported artistic values of symbolism. In 1918–1919 symbolism of the Kiev poets group (P. Tychina, M. Rylsky, D. Zagul) was in opposition to futurists and the older generation of realists. Constructivism, an artistic trend that emphasized arts as practices for social purpose was represented by E. Malanuk, N. Bazhan. In music constructivism was manifested in the works of B. Lyatoshinsky, B. Yavorsky, A. Rudnitsky. Expressionism, both in literature and in painting, emphasized the inner significance of things and not their external forms. It paid more attention to the effects of imagery, language, and sound than to content, in order to evoke a state of mind. M. Khvylovy represented a combination of expressionism and Neo-Romanticism. T. Osmachka and N. Bazhan demonstrated expressionistic impulses in their works.

Modernism was also manifest in the productions of the Molodyi Teatr theater, the Berezil theater led by Les Kurbas, the Mykhailychenko Theater led by Marko Tereshchenko, the Zahrava experimental theater led by Volodymyr Blavatsky, and the émigré Theater-Studio of Y. Hirniak and O. Dobrovolska. It also had its expression in the 1920s in the films produced by the All-Ukrainian Photo-Cinema Administration (VUFKU) studios in Soviet Ukraine (Oleksander Dovzhenko, Dziga Vertov), in the experimental films of Yevhen Slabchenko (Eugene Deslaw) in France, and in music.

Ukrainian literary modernism made its appearance at the turn of the century with the Lviv-based Moloda Muza group, who championed the idea of ‘pure art,’ and the Kyiv-based journal Ukraæns’ka khata. Mykola Vorony, an early theoretician of the movement, believed that modernism consisted of a change in thematic focus from the social to the psychological, of the enrichment of forms of versification, and of greater sophistication of metaphor. The movement dominated Ukrainian poetry after the publication of Pavlo Tychyna’s Soniashni klarnety (Sunny Clarinets, 1918) and Zamist’ sonetiv i oktav (Instead of Sonnets and Octaves, 1920). In the 1920s it was manifested in the radical poetic experiments of Mykhailo Semenko and Valeriian Polishchuk and in the poetry of Mykola Bazhan and other poets. Examples in prose include the impressionistic works of Vasyl Stefanyk and Mykhailo Kotsiubynsky, the psychological prose of Volodymyr Vynnychenko and, in the 1920s, Valeriian Pidmohylny, and the experimental prose of Mykola Khvylovy’s (Syni etiudy [Blue Etudes], 1923) and Leonid Skrypnyk’s (Intelihent [The Intellectual], 1929). Ukrainian literary modernism also produced strong women writers who expressed feminist concerns (eg, Lesia Ukrainka and Olha Kobylianska). In Ukrainian émigré literature, modernism was most apparent in the work of the interwar ‘Prague school’ of Ukrainian poets and the postwar New York Group of poets.

In the early 1930s the Soviet authorities repressed and then eradicated modernism and its exponents in both literature and the arts, demanding in its place a state-sanctioned form of populism that stressed the heroic gesture and loyalty to the Communist party. Most forms of modernist experimentation were denounced as ‘formalism,’ ‘psychologism,’ ‘bourgois nationalism,’ or ‘decadence.’ Not until the 1960s did a literary movement—the shistdesiatnyky— re-emerge in Ukraine that built on the gains made by modernists in the century’s first three decades.

Cubism – an artistic movement that regarded painting not as a depiction of nature, but as a free play of forms subject to loosely treated laws of geometry. Cubism reduced all forms to their primary state—sphere, cone, cylinder, and cube—and at the same time introduced new materials into art, often combinations of paint, wood, metal, glass, wire, and so on.

Mykhailo Boichuk and his school were closely related to the cubist movement as early as the mid-1910s. Alexander Archipenko is considered to be the first cubist sculptor in world art. The following Ukrainian artists made use of the innovations introduced by cubism: Vasyl Yermilov, Vadym Meller, Oleksander Bohomazov, Mykhailo Andriienko-Nechytailo, Oleksa Hryshchenko, and Pavlo Kovzhun. They often combined the cubist style with Constructivism.

Boichuk, Mykhailo (1882 - 1937 ). Influential Ukrainian modernist painter, graphic artist, and teacher. Boichuk studied at Yuliian Pankevych’s art studio in Lviv (1898), a private art school in Vienna (1899), and the Cracow Academy of Arts (1899–1905). He continued his studies at the Munich and Vienna academies of art and exhibited his works at the Latour Gallery in Lviv in 1905 and in Munich in 1907. While living in Paris (1907–10), Boichuk visited the Académie Ranson and P. Sérusier's studio, and, in 1909, he founded his own studio-school, at which his future wife Sofiia Nalepinska, Mykola Kasperovych, S. Baudouin de Courtenay, S. Segno, J. Lewakowska, O. Shaginian, and H. Szramm studied. That year Boichuk participated in exhibitions of the Salon d'Automne, and in 1910 he and his students held an exhibition at the Salon des Indépendants on the theme of the revival of Byzantine art. In 1910 he also traveled to Italy with Nalepinska and Kasperovych.

After that Boichuk worked as a monumentalist and restorer for the National Museum in Lviv, where he was able to save numerous 15th- and 16th-century icons. In 1911 he visited Kyiv, Saint Petersburg, Novgorod the Great, and Moscow. He painted the murals in the Church of the Holy Trinity in the village of Lemeshi near Chernihiv and directed the restoration of an iconostasis in Kozelets (1912–14). In 1914 he was interned by the tsarist authorities because he was an Austro-Hungarian subject.

After the Revolution of 1917 Boichuk lived in Kyiv. There he became a founding professor of the Ukrainian State Academy of Arts (later the Kyiv Art Institute), taught monumental art at the academy, and was briefly its rector. In 1925 he was one of the founders of the Association of Revolutionary Art of Ukraine (ARMU). He visited Germany and France (1926–27). Boichuk formed a school of monumental painting, which continued to develop in Ukraine into the 1930s. He directed a group of artists who contributed monumental paintings and designs to revolutionary celebrations, agit-trains and agit-ships, and the interiors of the Kyiv Theater of Opera and Ballet during the First Congress of Regional Executive Committees (1919), the Kharkiv Opera Theater for the Fifth All-Ukrainian Congress of Soviets (1921), the Ukrainian SSR's pavillion at the First All-Russian Cottage Industry and Agriculture Exhibition in Moscow, and the Kyiv Co-operative Institute (1923).

In collaboration with his students, Boichuk created ensembles featuring monumental paintings on contemporary subjects at the Lutsk Army Barracks in Kyiv (1919), the Peasant Sanatorium in Odesa (1927– 8), and the Kharkiv Chervonozavodskyi Ukrainian Drama Theater, working at the latter in the then compulsory style of socialist realism. He was arrested by the NKVD in November 1936 on the charge of being an ‘agent of the Vatican,’ interrogated and tortured, and shot on the same day as his two leading students, Ivan Padalka and Vasyl Sedliar. Four months later his wife was also shot.

The works of Boichuk and his school—which included his brother Tymofii Boichuk, Padalka, Sedliar, Nalepinska, Kasperovych, Oksana Pavlenko, Antonina Ivanova, Mykola Rokytsky, Kateryna Borodina, Oleksandr Myzin, Kyrylo Hvozdyk, Pavlo Ivanchenko, Serhii Kolos, Okhrym Kravchenko, Hryhorii Dovzhenko, Onufrii Biziukov, Mariia Kotliarevska, Ivan Lypkivsky, Vira Bura-Matsapura, Yaroslava Muzyka, Oleksandr Ruban, Olena Sakhnovska, Manuil Shekhtman, Mariia Trubetska, Kostiantyn Yeleva, and Mariia Yunak—are an important contribution to Ukrainian and world art.

While in Paris at the end of the 1910s, Boichuk witnessed the birth of modern art and attempted to blend it with aspects of the Ukrainian tradition, developing a style of simplified monumental forms. In his compositions, surfaces are rhythmically integrated with lines. This style became known as Boichukism. Its followers made up a dominant part of the membership of ARMU, which was often attacked by official critics for ‘formalism,’ ‘bourgeois nationalism,’ and focusing on the countryside. After ARMU was disbanded and Boichuk was executed, most of his frescoes and paintings were destroyed, including those found in Lviv museums after the Second World War. Since then, however, a number of Boichuk’s works have reappeared. The principles of Boichukism were followed by a large number of admirers, who sometimes (went on to create their own schools.

Symbolism. A poetic movement of the second half of the 19th century that originated in France, where it attained its greatest flowering between 1885 and 1895, and exerted strong influence throughout Europe. French symbolism represented a reaction against naturalism and realism in favor of subjective and esthetic experience. Seeking analogies in music, armed with a sense of the magical power of the word, predisposed toward esoteric symbols, metaphors, and synesthesia, symbolist poets created a highly evocative, personal, and transcendental poetry.

Symbolism in Ukraine was influenced by both the French and the Russian movements (in Galicia, Polish influence was also pronounced), but it never attained the stature it did in France or Russia. Symbolist trends rather than a self-conscious organized movement existed in Ukraine, although there were periods during which symbolist or quasi-symbolist groupings were active.

The first symbolist tendencies manifested themselves during the late 1890s in a noticeable de-emphasis on civic themes, the abandonment of realist poetics, the rejection of ‘utilitarian’ literature, and the revival of poetry. In 1901 Ivan Franko noted that young writers were placing emphasis on psychology and mood. Pursuit of the beautiful and defense of the autonomy of poetry (‘art for art's sake’) became prominent leitmotivs in the literary community. Writers betraying any of those inclinations were variously referred to as symbolists, decadents, or modernists. Alarmed reactions to the new literary vogue on the part of populist and realist figures (Ivan Nechui-Levytsky, Serhii Yefremov, Franko), a conservative reading public, and the unenviable political status of Ukraine no doubt restrained poets from moving away more decisively from their social obligations into private and personal spheres.

Mykola Vorony was the first major exponent of modernist sentiments in Ukraine. The guidelines he set for contributors to the almanac Z nad khmar i dolyn (From Above the Clouds and Valleys, 1903) testify to a distinct symbolist orientation, and in his correspondence with Ukrainian writers he speaks explicitly of ‘taking from symbolism’ its best virtues. Vorony spoke out in defense of ‘pure art,’ a refined estheticism, and urged writers to embrace a philosophical attitude (whether pantheistic, metaphysical, or mystical) that would depict the ideal, the beautiful, and the mysterious. His own poetry fulfilled those requisites with considerable formal merit, although like a majority of his generation he never completely rejected engagé verse. Vorony's symbolist poetry was not designed to supplant the poet's civic responsibility; it was designed to serve as its complement, which would reinvigorate the poet for the challenges of the ‘real’ world.

Ukrainian literary criticism of the 1900s and 1910s linked (not always appropriately) a number of names to the symbolist or decadent trend. Among them were Olha Kobylianska, Natalia Kobrynska, Oleksii Pliushch, Hnat Khotkevych, and Ahatanhel Krymsky. It is a testament to the uncrystallized nature of early Ukrainian modernism that many writers expressed indignation at those labels and renounced them.

A far more self-conscious modernist attitude, with definite symbolist overtones, was evinced by the group Moloda Muza, founded in Lviv in 1906. Its theoretical positions (as expressed by Ostap Lutsky) were nearly identical to those promoted by Mykola Vorony, but the actual extent of the symbolist or decadent presence in the members' works varied considerably from author to author (Vasyl Pachovsky, Petro Karmansky, Mykhailo Yatskiv, Bohdan Lepky, Stepan Charnetsky, Sydir Tverdokhlib, Volodymyr Birchak). Those Western Ukrainian writers found kindred spirits in the celebrated poets Oleksander Oles and Mykola Filiansky, whose works reached them from Kyiv, where Ukrains’ka khata promoted modernist tendencies (most notably through the critical writings of Mykola Yevshan and the poetry of Hrytsko Chuprynka), although the journal's shift away from ‘estheticism’ and ‘pure art’ in the direction of ideological and political commitment is noticeable.

‘Symbolism’ acquired wide currency in Kyiv during 1918–19, when a loosely organized but coherent group of poets became associated with the name. Their identity was derived less from explicit self-definition than from opposition to the futurists and the older generation of realist writers. In their circle Pavlo Tychyna was the outstanding poet; others included Yakiv Savchenko, Oleksa Slisarenko, Dmytro Zahul, Volodymyr M. Yaroshenko, Volodymyr Kobyliansky, and Klym Polishchuk. In 1918 those writers created an ephemeral association, Bila Studiia, and collaborated on Literaturno-krytychnyi al’manakh. In May 1919 (with the participation of Mykhailo Zhuk, Pavlo Fylypovych, Halyna Zhurba, and others) they published Muzahet, which, however, officially declared itself a nonpartisan publication. As an organized literary coterie the poets remained elusive; their literary credo was poorly articulated, yet their collections and periodic publications gave them a distinctive presence in the literary world. Symbolist influence extended beyond that identifiable group, to touch such diverse writers as Maksym Rylsky and Hnat Mykhailychenko (his Blakytnyi roman [The Blue Novel, 1921]). The consolidation of Soviet power in Ukraine undermined the ideological and material foundations of the movement, and it quickly declined. Some poets, such as Slisarenko and Savchenko, became active later in futurist organizations. For all its limitations and vagaries, symbolism played an important revitalizing role in Ukrainian literature during the first two decades of the 20th century.

Revolutionary events of the 1917–1921 provided favorable cultural policy. Following the Russian Revolution of 1917, the Russian Empire was broken up and the Ukrainians, who developed a renewed sense of national identity, intensified their struggle for an independent Ukrainian state. In the chaos of the Great War and revolutionary changes, a nascent Ukrainian state emerged but, initially, the state's very survival was not ensured. As the Central Rada, the governing body, was trying to assert the control over Ukraine amid the foreign powers and internal struggle, only a limited cultural development could take place. However, for the first time in the modern history, Ukraine had a government of its own and the Ukrainian language gained usage in state affairs.

As the Rada was eventually overthrown in a German-backed coup (April 29, 1918), the rule of a Hetmanate led by Pavlo Skoropadsky was established. While the stability of the government was only relative and Skoropadsky himself, as a former officer of the tsarist army, spoke Russian rather than Ukrainian, the Hetmanate managed to start an impressive Ukrainian cultural and education program, printed millions of Ukrainian-language textbooks, and established many Ukrainian schools, two universities, and a Ukrainian Academy of Sciences. The latter established a Committee on Orthography and Terminology, which initiated a scholarly and methodological research program into Ukrainian terminology.

The Hetmanate's rule ended with the German evacuation and was replaced by the Directorate government of Symon Petlura. However, Ukraine submerged into a new wave of chaos facing two invasions at the same time, from the East by the Bolshevik forces and from the West by the Polish troops, as well as being ravaged by armed bands that often were not backed by any political ideology. The nation lacked a cohesive government to conduct language and cultural policies.

Ukrainian State Universities in Kiev and Kamyanets-Podolsky, Pedagogical Academy, Ukrainian State Academy of Arts, the State Ukrainian Archival Depository, National Gallery of Arts, Ukrainian Historical Museum, Ukrainian National Library were founded. Ukrainian Academy of Science was founded in 1918. Its first president was V. Vernadsky, a prominent scientist.


Practical Class 8

Date: 2015-01-02; view: 1131

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