Anatoliy Kryvolap “The Museum Collection”
19.03.16 – 19.05.16 Cultprostir Hub, Kyiv History Museum, Kyiv/Ukraine
Since mid March Cultprostir Hub, located in Kyiv History Museum, holds an exhibition of Anatoliy Kryvolap. It is a great luck to see about 60 works of the most expansive of today’s Ukrainian Artist in one place. Part of exhibited works is provided by collectors, so harry up to see them, because these gentlemen rarely donate their masterpieces for display.
Kryvolap represents abstract or non-figurative art. The name speaks for itself – here you will not find a clear image of classical landscapes or portraits. It is always a realm of colours, uncertainty and geometric forms. Being born in 20th century, when artists became bored of expressing really realistic reality, Abstractionism nowadays has a whole load of directions. Indeed, why to create realistic landscape, when you can just push camera button and here you go – oaks and bushes, sunsets and whatever you want… So, to some extent, tech progress have played a trigger role for berth of multiple “-isms” of art: cubism, suprimatism, surrealism, etc. Artists sought to express themselves each in their own way, so 20th century gave rise to more directions in arts, than any previous millennium.
In Soviet Union after 30s of 20th century abstractionism was not in favour. Proletarian leaders didn’t really understand all these creative thrills, what to say about ordinary people. Social realism was far much more interesting for them – children, farms, “constructions of century”. All clear, strict, huge. Paintings 1x1m and everybody smiling. There were few lovers of other kind of art went underground, sharing experiences and knowledge in narrow circles. To be fair, I should mention that socialist realism has several very good samples, now valued quite expensively. After all, it reflects an era, which has sunk into oblivion, and it is always a lively interest for connoisseurs. But that is another story.
But let’s get back to Anatoliy Kryvolap. In Such circumstances, naturally, he became unrecognised genius. For about 20 years he created pieces, as he says, for himself. Talking to “Novoe vremia” magazine he confessed, that first money, earned from sales of his work he spent on the market to buy a jacket on the sheep fur. “Before I have been for 20 years wearing the same coat that froze me to fury”, said Anatoliy. Fame came to the artist in the ’90s, when tastes and ideology changed. And views on art, as well. Now his works cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. “The Steppe” painting was sold in 2011 for $ 98.5 grant. And in 2013 the work of “Horse. Evening ” had been bought for $ 186 thousand. It was a record price for Ukrainian artist. In art there is a general rule: if once paid a tidy sum, you’re granted with a ticket to the five-digit numbers and above, usually lifelong.
To describe the work Kryvolap in three words, for me it is colour, space, energy. Standing near the blades, it is impossible not to feel the energy, they excrete. I suppose they heat up the pieces somehow. Here they are heated, I suppose. But the colour is still at the forefront. Absolutely stunning, glowing, penetrating into the very deep of your heart. The artist once said: “the direction in which I have to move, I chose intuitively. First it was the colour. Still in youth I decided that until I master colour harmony, will not write any stories or landscapes or still life”(magazine” Antiques, June 2011.)
I must say that to the mentioned forms the artist haven’t addressed actively, focusing on color instead. Certainly, in some works one could guess a landscapes, village houses, and horses of course. Still, the overall impression is a colour kingdom. Looking at his work, I am somehow reminded of Henry Matisse – French painter, founder of “Fauvism”. Translated Fauvism means “wild”, for a riot of colours of Matisse shocked public, accustomed to the muted tones. Visiting in Vienna one of the largest exhibitions of Matisse, I was stunned by his colour combinations. Of course, Matisse is an artist of planetary scale, Kryvolap still does not apply to such inhabitants of heaven, but this association has come to me.
The secret of success of Kryvolap, I think is in his dedication to the chosen path. By the way, this is a sign of truly outstanding artist. The great Van Gogh did not succumb to the temptation and did not change his way, although his work stood unsold, and he lived from hand to mouth. But now his paintings are worth millions of dollars. Anatoly Krivolap is luckier – he was recognized in his lifetime.
And yet 20 years of silence is a lot. Nor giving up, nor despair, stubbornly following own individual style – few have such strength. And some day Universe said – test accomplished, and number of years transformed to quality of work and appreciation of contemporaries. Well, it is his – to create, and ours – to admire.