04.06.2020 – 04.07.2020


Artists who participated in the project: Mykola Kryvenko

Shcherbenko Art Centre presents a personal project of the master of abstract painting Mykola Kryvenko The Pink Toucan at Dawn that includes a series of his non-objective paintings and bronze figurative sculpture.

Most of the paintings that formed the basis of this project were created during the last few months of quarantine isolation and only a few of them are works of 2018. Shambhala, The Cloud Canvas, The Sermon on the Mount. Saint Ioann, The Astral Canvas, …In the Air and other paintings demonstrate a meeting with another reality. The reality of his own and at the same time forced self-isolation that led the artist to deep immersion into the inner world.

These works also bring the painter back to his earlier interest in Eastern philosophy and the way he transferred its lightness and meditativeness to the canvas. Work with color as the plan of composition transforms into the study of existential categories. “The deep unspeakable meaning is closely intertwined with the dew-like texture and cause dyes that finally turn into color-time and color-space unities. All of this confuses, jumps in, and causes elusive fear. This is the abstraction I strive for“, says the artist in his article “What Hryhoriy Havrylenko gave me”. There he outlines the basis of his artistic approach that he established in the 80s and follows today.

The process of creating a work is gradual and multi-layered. The canvas can be changed up to 10 times, layer by layer complementing the previously created image like a handwritten palimpsest. The use of standard painting techniques gradually changes to freedom in solving visual problems. As the artist comments on the new series, “The Pink Toucan at Dawn is fresco-shaped palimpsests similar to the desire for creative freedom and mockery of common sense“.

All of the paintings are the result of intuitive movements made without sketches and compositions. In this series, the artist deliberately avoided bright colors and worked with the palette of Hryhoriy Havrylenko in the 60s. These are ocher, red, brown, and cobalt blue colors. Later, he began to add red and purple.

However, the project The Pink Toucan at Dawn is not limited to painting. An important detail, which became a cross-cutting line of the artist’s practice and united different periods and styles of his art, will be the figurative sculpture The Leap created in the late 80s. Figurative art and abstraction, sculpture and canvases, shapes and colors, the 80s and 2020. The project becomes an organic symbiosis of long-term transformations and experiments of the artist.