a Ph.D. in Art Criticism, a researcher at Fine Arts and Decorative and Applied Arts Department of the M. Rykskyi Institute of Art Studies, Folkloristics and Ethnology, National Academy of Sciences Ukraine
Religious Topics in the Graphic Art of Yuliya Maystrenko-Vakulenko
The study of the creation of a new generation of Ukrainian artists, which has fully been formed after 1991, is just beginning. This applies, in particular, to Yuliya Maystrenko-Vakulenko, one of the most expressive modern Ukrainian female graphic artists, a Ph.D. in Art Criticism, lecturer at the National Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture in Kyiv. The most famous part of her works is etchings, levkas and collages on religious themes. The article analyses in detail the sheets Eve, Lilith and Exile from Paradise from the series The Lamps of the Garden of Eden (all – in 2001), the triptych The Last Supper (1999), the series Jesus, the God of Human (2000), the diptych The Manna from Heaven and Whims of the People of Moses (both – in 2002), and the series Tower up to the Heaven (2002), Temples of Ukraine (2003) and Wooden Churches of Ukraine (2014–2015). Her works are distinguished by the capacity of the images used, as well as the unexpectedness and even a certain creativity of their (images’) interpretation and application. At the same time, the female artist actively uses both traditional symbols and their purely authorial comparisons and combinations. Her early works are full of symbolism and are characterized by a certain esotericism (Eve; Lilith). The source of inspiration for most of the best and most famous works of Yu. Maystrenko-Vakulenko was the art of Byzantium, Kyivan Rus, as well as the Romanesque art of Western Europe, which altogether constitute a coherent, expressive, and most importantly – a very modern artistic language (see The Last Supper; Jesus, the God of Human; and Temples of Ukraine). In her new etchings, the female artist is no less creatively inspired by the Ukrainian art of the XVIth–XVIIth centuries (Wooden Churches of Ukraine). A highly important role for the artist is played by the extremely careful treatment of an original source, which prompts her both themes and images (The Manna from Heaven – Whims of the People of Moses). The simultaneously religious and symbolic graphic art of Yu. Maystrenko-Vakulenko are highly interconnected; their themes and images are constantly intertwined, mutually feeding and enriching each other.
Yuliya Maystrenko-Vakulenko, Ukrainian graphic art of 1990–2010, collage, etching, levkas.
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