Мистецька вітальня
Reverse shot
Виставка живопису Тараса Дудки (м. Слов'янськ)
5 June 2024 - 7 July 2024

From August 23 to September 26, 2022, the Khmelnytskyi Regional Art Museum exhibited a representative exhibition of works by of artists from Donetsk region “East. Level of Freedom”, which our museum organized together with the Donetsk Regional Art Museum (Kramatorsk). It was was the first such project in the Khmelnytskyi region since Ukraine regained its independence. The exhibition introduced visitors to the works of artists who were born in Donetsk region but have long been known beyond its borders: Roman Minin, Serhii Zakharov, Petro Antyp, Ivan Bazylevskyi, Yurii Savchenko, Serhii Sadchykov, Andrii Kutana, Anastasiia Hasan-Chystiakova, Olena Melnykova, Hanna Yashyna, Volodymyr Trutko, Denys Adushkin, Oksana Dashyvets, and Taras Dudka. Almost all of them had to leave their homes and their usual way of life, but continued to make art.  

It was while working on the project “East. Level of Freedom” project, we came up with the idea to present these artists’ solo exhibitions of these artists. The exhibitions of paintings and graphics “Magic Power” by Oksana Dashyvets (Novoselivka village, Kramatorsk district), “Quiet Happiness” by Serhii Sadchykov (Bakhmut), “Traveling the World” by Andrii Kutana (Sloviansk).

With the exhibition “Reverse shot” our museum continues to introduce visitors to the artists of Donetsk region and presents the works of Taras Dudka, an artist from Sloviansk. This artist is a supporter of experiments, he likes to research a certain visual anthology filled with new conceptual views and meanings. In 2020-2022 (the quarantine period in Ukraine), the artist worked on his own project “Classics in Postmodernism,” which, according to the artist, was an attempt to paint a classical composition in abstraction. This return to the classics has a gradation close to the flashback method as a flash of vivid memories of the past, to what is known in literary studies as a retrospective and in cinema as a “reverse shot.” Thus, the exhibition includes a series of works in which the plots of the works of the “old masters” are read with elements of modernist tasks: “Finding Moses” (based on Paolo Veronese’s “Finding Moses” of 1588), “Arcadian Shepherds in Search of Malevych” (based on Nicolas Poussin’s “Arcadian Shepherds” of 1540-1560), “Judith and Olofern” (based on Michelangelo da Caravaggio’s of 1599), and others.

The artist “tests” himself in many directions and genres. The only portrait in the exhibition, Reflections, goes beyond traditional ideas, beyond mere physical resemblance, to convey the essence of a person in a completely new way. This is a kind of self-portrait of the artist, which delves into the complexity of identity, emotions, and the author’s inner self.

In his decorative still lifes, the artist actively experiments with color and form, reveals the internal structure of objects, gives them liveliness with the help of compositional rhythms and spots of local color (“Still Life with Samovar”, “Rural Still Life”).

The landscape works, created mainly during plein airs in Donetsk, show the artist’s focus on pictorial and realistic aspects (“Spring,” “In the Fields,” “Rocks. Autumn,” “On Etudes”) or emphasize the impermanence, variability of the depicted (“Landscape with Clouds,” “Summertime”) and, most likely, the admiration for the Impressionists.

Other works by the artist are bright and somewhat naive, with simplified forms of trees and generalized architectural structures (“Small Motherland,” “Childhood Street,” “Sviatohirsk”), reminiscent of illustrations for children’s books. These works by Taras Dudka are characterized by a rich color palette and are “mosaic”: he seems to generalize the subject and create a decorative mosaic from it, which was typical for the Fauvists. “I have never been interested in creating monochrome works. For me, color is like a melody for a song, because it immediately sets the mood,” the artist notes. ”The bright landscapes of my short trips are our landscapes, the landscapes of Slavic Ukraine, the landscapes of Kharkiv and Donetsk regions. We have a beautiful land with chalk mountains, chalk ridges… The Siverskyi Donets River gives such incredible beauty that I want to show.”

Now it is very painful for the artist to paint his native land far away from it. “Fate happened in such a way that I ended up in Upper Austria with my family,” says Taras Dudka, “The mayor of this town, having learned that I was an artist, offered to help. This gave me the opportunity to be creative.” The main theme of the paintings is the picturesque landscapes of Upper Austria. But the artistic search did not stop: this is how the series of works “Civilization” and “Zweite Natur” (“Second Nature”) appeared and, as a result, the exhibition “Without War” took place.

The artist has no plans for the future yet, because life makes its own adjustments, and not always good ones: “I live in the present. But I dream and hope that the time will come when my family and I will return to our native Sloviansk, to our native landscapes, to the street of our childhood.” He hopes that in reality, as well as on the canvas, there will be a flash of vivid memories of the past, the very “reverse shot”.


Taras Dudka is a painter, born in 1970 in Sloviansk, Donetsk region; in 2022 he moved to Lviv with his family, and later to Austria.
He graduated from the Kramatorsk Institute of Economics and Humanities (qualification – cultural studies, specialization – fine arts).
Artistic education is studio-based – in 1984-1989 he studied with the artist Yurii Savchenko (academician of the Ukrainian Technological Academy, for more than 30 years he ran a fine arts studio in Sloviansk).
He started his exhibition activity in 2000. He has participated in regional and international exhibitions and plein airs, including
– Regional project of avant-garde art “ART – Step” (Sloviansk, Kramatorsk, Horlivka; 2010-2015);
– “Impression – 2016” (Kramatorsk);
– All-Ukrainian art project “East and West Together” (2021);
– “East: The Level of Freedom” (Kramatorsk, 2021; Khmelnytskyi, 2022);
– regional plein airs “Prelesnyansky Plein Air” (2016, 2017), “Steppe Blues” (2017, 2018), “Flashback on the Steppe Canvas” (2019-2021).
– art project Art Fest “Kunst Am Berg” (Oberschlierbach, Austria; 2023).
– He has held more than a dozen personal exhibitions, one of which is “Ohne Krieg” (“Without War”) (Oberschlierbach, Austria; 2023).
During 2022-2023, the paintings were exhibited at the regional art museums of Khmelnytskyi and Chernivtsi under the curation of scientists of the Donetsk Regional Art Museum (Kramatorsk).

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