Фоє
A mini-exhibition of ceramics by Anna Lysyk (from the collection of the KhRMA) as part of the exhibition project “Cheers!” (dedicated to the artists’ anniversaries)
8 May 2024 - 2 June 2024

KhRMA continues the project “Cheers!” dedicated to artists who will be celebrating their anniversaries in 2024. In a bloody war, Ukraine is fighting for Independence, for Freedom, for Identity. For the right to live freely on its land. Our museum is also fighting, popularizing national art that identifies us as Ukrainians.

“Anna Lysyk has no clichés. Her images appear spontaneously, according to her moods and feelings, so they are always unexpected. And the forms in which these images are embodied are always justified. Anna has no memorized techniques, she is able to change according to the task she sets herself. Her thinking is dominated by a harmonious component.” (Roman Yatsiv, Professor of Art History).

In the early 1990s, German customs officials refused to allow Anna Lysyk’s works to cross the border to Munich for an exhibition, claiming that they were of historical value and arguing that no one of her contemporaries was creating anything like them. It was only when art historian Orest Holubets provided them with relevant publications and photographs that the customs officers were convinced that they were looking at works of Ukrainian contemporary art.

Today, Lysyk is considered one of the most powerful ceramists in Ukraine, and her works are highly artistic works of art. In the artist’s hands, clay turns into the poetry of plastic. Ms. Anna’s works are an original and natural combination of archaic and the best practices of contemporary art. Her images balance on the edge of the real and the unreal, the modern and the ancient. The ceramist, with a virtuoso technological skill that is not typical of today, carefully works out every smallest detail, every smallest element.

The decorative layer created in 1993 during the symposium in Polonne is a clear indication of this. Two female figures, birds, fish, and shells materialize from the abstract forms of the nets. In Lysyk’s artistic world, man and nature coexist harmoniously and complementarily. The artist loves, feels and respects nature, which inspires her creative ideas.

Anna Lysyk: “The warmth of my palms, the warmth of my loved one’s soul, the comfort of the hearth, the heat of the flame that envelops the soft clay. The garden is winter. The trees in labor are at rest. In the labyrinths of sleep, they are hoping for the warmth to come and eternal revival.

The branches of the tree made thin black cracks in the winter vessel. And the last apple dived to the very bottom and remained somewhere there… in the snow. 

In the barrel of iced water, the ice formed a large sharp lens. A white ray of sunlight is powerlessly looking for salvation from the glass circle of magic in vain… 

Day sinks into night, and the blue lanterns of the mirror flicker sadly. Creatures wander among the trees – creatures of strange shadows, icy glitter and rustling dried flowers. Paths flow through the twisted branches and bushes into the gaps, into the abyss of the universe. A dream of nothingness.

You have become fragile, defenseless, winter garden, fragile like our whole world, like a circle of ice from a tub… We are like the creatures of the winter garden. And we dream of warmth and kindness. It is easy to touch the bark of a dented old pear – and a subtle tremor immediately passes through the soul of the living God’s creation. We are waiting through the night for awakening and, perhaps, resurrection?”

The embodiment of this white poem by the artist can be considered her work “Animal. The First Snow”. Maybe this is an old pear covered with snow, dreaming of warmth? Perhaps a small animal has found shelter next to it? However, a true artist always leaves room for interpretation, encourages the viewer to reflect on the meaning of life and the transience of time, on who we are and why we came to this world full of life.

In the composition “Snails,” Anna Lysyk created each of the amazing creatures with the characteristic features of human faces. Probably to remind us that these are our smaller brothers, that they also feel pain and need protection. The artist seems to be saying to us: look around, the world is so beautiful and defenseless. We are just an integral part of it. The multi-figure composition is made of chamotte, which has a rough granular texture. But these features of the material did not prevent the artist from creating an exquisite decorative surface, which is used to model the figures of quaint and cute creatures that evoke a kind smile and fascinate with the artist’s skill and brilliant imaginative thinking.

Today, environmental issues have become extremely acute, as the aggressor country is mining, burning, blowing up, and destroying everything in its path. Who knows what those snails would look like if the artist created them today?

FOR REFERENCE: 

Hanna Yevhenivna Lysyk (born on May 08, 1964, Lviv) is a ceramic artist. Daughter of the Honored Artist of Ukraine Oksana Zinchenko (1939) and People’s Artist of Ukraine, laureate of the Taras Shevchenko National Prize Yevhen Lysyk (1930 – 1991). Member of the National Union of Artists of Ukraine (1995). Graduated from the Lviv Institute of Applied and Decorative Arts (1987). She worked at the Lviv Experimental Ceramic and Sculpture Factory. Since the mid-1990s, she has been working as an artist. She is a Gaude Polonia scholarship holder of the Ministry of Culture of Poland (Wrocław, 2005). Since the 1990s, she has participated in regional, national, and international art exhibitions, including the Republican Symposium and the exhibition “Ceramics – 93” organized by the KhRMA (1993).

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