Olaska Novakivsky Expressionist Art - Essay Example

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He lived and worked during the late 19th and early 20th century in the Ukraine, Poland, and Russia. Since it was a turbulent time for the Ukraine during this period, Novakivsky evolved from an impressionist to an expressionist. World…
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Oleska Novakivsky was a Ukrainian painter. He lived and worked during the late 19th and early 20th century in the Ukraine, Poland, and Russia. Since it was a turbulent time for the Ukraine during this period, Novakivsky evolved from an impressionist to an expressionist. World War I had a great impact on Novakivsky. The struggle between Poland and Russia over Ukraine territory made Novakivsky jaded. During this time Ukrainians already had a national identity dating back to the 9th century, so the contribution Novakivsky made was Ukrainian. However, since the Ukraine now was under Polish and Russian rule, Novakivsky contributed to the Krakow and Lviv societies as well. The painting chosen is St. George’s Cathedral. This painting was completed after World War I during Novakivsky’s expressionist period.
St. George’s Cathedral has heavy colors (Novakivsky 1921-1922). Even the lighter colors of white, yellow, and blues are darker than needed. The scene is of a church on top of a hill surrounded by wild foliage. Instead of looking like a serene place to worship, this church appears foreboding. A white figure appears at one of the openings. The viewer might think religion or this church has an elusiveness that is not obtainable. This expressionism feeling of anger at the loss of a higher power can be felt upon looking at the painting.
Novakivsky began his career as an impressionist. Novakivsky was an illustrator, as well as a painter (Mudryĭ 1962:225). He studied at “Odesa (1888–92) and at the Cracow Academy of Fine Arts (1892–3, 1895–1900)” (Hordynsky 1993). Groveart (2000) states “Here he developed a painterly Impressionism.” Before World War I, Novakivsky had a more of a defined brush stroke, lighter colors, and lighter subjects. After World War I, Novakivsky like many other Ukrainians felt rage, indignation, and lucky to be alive. This was reflected in his paintings. St. George’s Cathedral displays this rage and indignation. The rage against a world that murdered God with a stupid needless war made Novakivsky upset. This reflected in his work.
In the historical and social context, Novakivsky exemplified the Ukrainian culture. When Novakivsky was born, Ukrainian culture dominated the region. The events happening in the Ukraine between Russia and Poland after World War I influenced Novakivsky like many other Ukrainian artists. During this period most individuals think of Russian or Polish art, but seldom think about Ukrainian culture. There was a unique culture in the Ukraine. Novakivsky’s paintings showed the diverse culture that was not Russian or Polish. He also contributed to the art movement in the Ukrainian territory.
In a social context, Novakivsky’s evolution as an impressionist as defined by Osinchuk (1947) to an expressionist was significant. St. George’s Cathedral was an example of the end result of a painter than started as an impressionist and ended up an expressionist. This made his contribution to the Ukrainian culture invaluable. He not only represented his period, but influenced many other Ukrainian artists. One source suggests:
Ukrainian artists of the 20th century are represented in the Museums Fine Art collection. The Museum is fortunate to have in its holdings works of several artists that have made considerable contributions to Ukrainian Modernism…Oleksa Novakivsky, painter and founder of the Novakivsky School, which influenced new generations of Ukrainian artists. (The Ukrainian Museum 2009)
His school and paintings paved a way for a new generation of exclusive Ukrainian art. The whole Ukrainian culture benefited from paintings like St. George’s Cathedral.
Oleska Novakivsky’s St. George’s Cathedral showed his personal development after World War I. He changed from an impressionist into an expressionist. The benefits of Novakivsky’s work impacted the Ukrainian art movement. His school and work impacted the Ukrainian culture greatly.
Hordynsky, S. (1993). Novakivsky, Oleksa. Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3.
Groveart. (2000). Artists’ biographies. Accessed 16 January 2010
Mudryĭ, V. (1962). Lviv: a symposium on its 700th anniversary. Shevchenko Scientific Society.
Novakivsky, O. (1921-1922). St. George’s Cathedral. Accessed 16 January 2010\N\O\Novakivsky_Oleksa_St_George_Cathedral_1921_2.jpg
Osinchuk, M. (1947). Contemporary Ukrainian Painting. 29 December 1947. The Ukrainian
Weekly. Accessed 16 January 2010
The Ukrainian Museum. (2009). A collection revealed: The Ukrainian Museum at 30—paintings
and sculptures. Accessed 16 January 2010 Read More
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