An exhibition of works by Maria Prymachenko is being held at The Andrey Sheptytsky National Museum in Lviv. It was unveiled on July 27 and will run till October 30. It includes more than 100 works by  Prymachenko from the collection of Kyiv art critic and academic Eduard Dymshyts.

The opening event of the “I’m giving to Ukraine!” exhibition in Lviv. (Photo Credit: Aleksandra Klitina).

Maria Prymachenko (1909 – 1997) is a most recognizable and famous Ukrainian artist, and a bright representative of “naive” art, which produced a uniquely identifiable style; created a whole universe of strange creatures, beasts, birds, and flowers. Her work is featured by bright, harmonious, balanced coloring works, a variety of composition solutions, rich ornamentation — plant and geometric, and plot variety.

Most of the exhibited compositions at the exhibition represent the artist’s late period works, the last decade of her life. Researcher Eduard Dymshyts collected them over a period of 30 years. He bought most of the works from the artist’s family, in her parental home in the village of Bolotnya, Kyiv Region. The idea to organize this exhibition at the National Museum of Art arose spontaneously, admits the collector.

Artwork by Maria Prymachenko at the “I’m giving to Ukraine!” exhibition. (Photo Credit: Aleksandra Klitina).

After the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, the artist began to “speak” even more actively. The Russians destroyed the local history museum dedicated to her in the village of Ivankiv, Kyiv Region, where her works were stored. Luckily, the works were saved by local residents.

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A veritable renaissance of Ukrainian theater was on display in Canada, where the works of contemporary playwrights were read and discussed against the background of classics.

During two charity events in Venice and one organized by the Serhiy Prytula Foundation, two works by Maria Prymachenko were sold via auction. The proceeds, which ame to over $500,000, went to support the Armed Forces of Ukraine and cultural assistance initiatives and institutions. The Venice Biennale also presented two works by the artist this year.

Artwork by Maria Prymachenko at “I’m giving to Ukraine!” exhibition. (Photo Credit: Aleksandra Klitina).

There are several compositions in Maria Prymachenko’s creative work that are devoted to the topic of war, united by the signature proverb: “Atomic war, be damned!”.


One of them is on show at the exposition. “It is known that her beloved husband died during the Second World War. Reflecting on this loss, she painted soldiers’ graves, strange beasts that personified the war,” said Dymshyts.

The artist depicted scenes of seeing off her husband, brother, or son to war. Her bouquets and vases with flowers and birds were dedicated to soldiers and border guards; she wished all of them a happy return from the front.


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