The Odessa Museum of Art in Ukraine preserves more than 10,000 works since the 16th century, including early works by the pioneer of abstract art Wassily Kandinsky.
In addition to this, another contemporary art museum in Ukraine, The Ivankiv Museum, also preserves the works of the folk painter Maria Primachenko, who is called the national painter. Unfortunately, it is said that 25 of her paintings were burned down during the Russian invasion.
Maria Oksentiyivna Prymachenko was a Ukrainian folk art painter, who worked in the naïve art style. A self-taught artist, she worked in painting, embroidery and ceramics. In 1966, Prymachenko was awarded the Taras Shevchenko National Prize of Ukraine.
Born in a rural Ukrainian village, spent the majority of her life in the village of Bolotnya in the Ivankiv Raion, Kyiv Oblast, situated only 30 km (19 mi) from Chernobyl. Most of all, she was unable to attend school except for four years in all her life, and had to help with farming, sewing, knitting. Also, She had physical impairment from polio, which impacted her life and art.
She drew often many gouache paintings with watercolor. Her works were inspired by Ukrainian, and in particular Polesian, folk traditions. They describes references to the natural world and to fairy-tales.
Below are some of her representative works.
The picture below shows the Ukrainian flag with a yellow field and blue sky as a motif.
Below is the name, " May that nuclear war be cursed(1976)". Eight years after she drew this picture, a nuclear disaster struck the nearby Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
The peasant couple in the picture is drawing water from a well. The couple look very rich and happy. There are chickens around, pecking at food. A stork perched on the roof will bring great luck to this house.
Until the invasion of Russia, Ukraine was the home of the Ukrainians, who had such a beautiful everyday life like a fairy tale. But today we have just to watch a little boy, who separated from his parents and weeping alone, crossing the border into Poland.
Who destroyed this fairy-tale town and trampled on the dreams and hopes of a child?
It has been 12 days since Ukraine was invaded by Russia. As each day is added, the sacrifices of innocent civilians are increasing. I pray that the war will end soon and true peace will come.
Below is an acrylic painting I drew a while ago. The colors and motifs seem to represent the hopes of Ukraine. In the end, I hope that the Ukrainians will win everything and restore peace.
Myungja Anna Koh