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A mini-exhibition of works by Danylo Dovboshynskyi (from the collection of the KhRMA) as part of the exhibition project “Cheers!”
9 July 2024 - 4 August 2024

The KhRMA continues the project “Cheers!” dedicated to artists who will be celebrating their anniversaries in 2024.
“A strong concentration of sensuality in the paintings of Danylo Dovboshynskyi, the elder of contemporary Lviv painting, is manifested primarily through colour and texture. The theme or even a biographical fact becomes subordinate: the suggestion of the author’s writing endows any pictorial motif with the features of a real experience. For more than 50 years of his life in art, he never had to use an artistic image outside his own existence.” Roman Yatsiv, art critic.
At school, the young Danylo Dovboshynskyi’s desire to paint was supported by his teacher Jan Jasek. He used the watercolour paints he had been given to make copies of reproductions of famous works. Despite the dramatic events taking place in Ukraine at the time, the boy’s desire for art did not disappear. When the frontline began to rapidly approach his native village, the Dovboshynskyi family was forced to leave their home. In the autumn of 1944, the boy and his father were mobilised to the Red Army, but after a year in the army, Danylo’s health was so bad that he was discharged.
At the Lutsk Drama Theatre, where he combined the position of actor and set designer, the chief artist was a graduate of the Warsaw Academy of Arts, Yurii Myts, who actually insisted that Danylo Dovboshynskyi receive an art education. In 1946, he was enrolled as a fourth-year student at the Lviv Art School, and a few months later he was transferred to the newly established Institute of Applied and Decorative Arts. At the university, he became friends with, among others, Karlo Zvirynskyi, Volodymyr Patyk, and Sofiia Karaffa-Korbut. This was the cohort of students who sought deeper meanings in art, as opposed to the only method of socialist realism approved by the Soviet authorities.
Roman Selskyi, one of the founders of the Lviv School of Painting, a graduate of the Krakow Academy of Arts and a lecturer at the university, had a great influence on students who were looking for their way in art. In his time, Danylo Dovboshynskyi would say that he learnt his “painting culture” from him. “From him, I quickly adopted the harmony of complementary colours, but later I believed myself, my understanding of harmony, because I felt that I disagreed with many provisions, namely with rather straightforwardly coordinated colours, and listened to my inner voice – it told me something else. I am attracted by a deeper tension of colours, as in icons, based on powerful clashes, in which a solemnly disturbing melody full of strong feelings sounds, as in nature, which speaks with the complex drama of its existence.”
The works presented in the mini-exhibition demonstrate the artist’s special philosophy of colour, the influence of impressionism and deep meaning. Polychrome and uninhibited painting creates an effect when each open layer of paint vibrates with numerous shades and light. Dovboshynskyi’s colours are like a symphony orchestra – sometimes they sound lyrical and dreamy, and sometimes they explode with drama and sadness, as, for example, in “The Magic Flute”. Why don’t the young man and woman dressed in wedding costumes radiate happiness? On the contrary, they are enveloped in sadness and longing. The beautiful Bride does not look happy and joyful either. She is thinking about something, looking directly into our eyes.
Danylo Dovboshynskyi: “I reacted strongly to the evil that overwhelms humanity. I am constantly worried and often ask myself: why does this evil exist? It permeates me and makes me react painfully, reflected in my works by the presence of an overt drama. I can feel it in the character of the Volyn landscape, in the quiet hills or brooding fields, in our towns and depressed villages devastated by the previous “civilisation”, from which song has been etched and drunkenness imposed – where did the cruel desire to destroy, humiliate, and maim everything come from?” Unfortunately, today, when the Russian Federation is trying to destroy Ukraine, these words of a wonderful artist, a highly educated person, a wonderful teacher who was loved by students, have gained particular relevance.

Olena Skoruk, researcher at the KhRMA.

REFERENCES:

Danylo Dovboshynskyi (27.07.1924, Kolky village, Volyn region – 08.08.2012, Lutsk) was a painter and teacher. People’s Artist of Ukraine (2005). Member of the National Union of Artists (1967). He graduated from the Lviv Institute of Applied and Decorative Arts (1953; teachers: Y. Bokshai, I. Severa, R. Selskyi), where he taught until 1984. He worked in the field of easel painting and monumental art. He is the author of monotypes, landscapes, portraits, everyday scenes, and still lifes. Participant in regional and all-Ukrainian art exhibitions since 1955. Personal – in Kyiv (1986), Lviv (2004).

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