Leopold Levytskyi

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Basic information
Leopold Levytskyi
Date of creation
printmaking lithography
imprint on paper
Dimensions (height x width, cm)
36.5 x 22.5
Information about author
Leopold Levytskyi
Artist's lifetime
Leopold Levytskyi is a Ukrainian graphic artist and painter. He is also a master of printmaking. The artist had a key role in forming modern Ukrainian graphic art. He was born in the village of Burdiakivtsi, Ternopil region. He studied in Paris in 1930–1931, and later at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow (1931–1932). Levytskyi started his creative activity during his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, where he evolved as an artist. The artistic environment of Krakow formed the artist’s worldview, system of ideals, and political beliefs, which determined the specifics of the painter's artistic thinking. He was the initiator and co-founder of the Krakow Group. In 1932, he organized an exhibition, which was closed due to its social orientation and sharp themes of works. The artist was imprisoned for three weeks and expelled from the Academy. In the 1930s, he was constantly watched by the police. From 1935, he lived in Chortkiv, Ternopil region, sometimes visiting exhibitions in Lviv, Krakow, and Stanyslaviv. In September 1939, he headed the City Council in Chortkiv, collaborated with the newspaper "New Life", and worked as a decorator at the House of Officers. During World War II, the artist together with his wife Eugenia Nadliar fled to Uzbekistan. In 1946, he settled in Lviv and joined the newly formed Union of Artists of the USSR; his graphic works created in Uzbekistan served as the grounds for his joining the union. The artist's work was undoubtedly influenced by the Lviv environment. In the 1960s, the artist developed a unique stylistic manner, which combined spontaneity and technical skills. The artist died working at his desk with a chisel in his hand on May 14, 1973. He was buried in Lviv, in Lychakiv Cemetery. During his life, Leopold Levytskyi did not have a single personal exhibition. The first one took place in Lviv (1974) a year after the artist's death.
Object description
The works of the 1960s are a vivid example of the perfect artistic integrity of modernist formative searches and humanistic convictions of Leopold Levytskyi, whose creative work had a significant impact on the development of Lviv art in the second half of the twentieth century. During this period, there were changes that affected not only art. In 1962, at the invitation of friends, the artist went to Krakow to finally obtain a diploma in art education from the Academy of Fine Arts. During the meetings, it emerged that, despite the war, one of the artist’s friends managed to save a suitcase with cliches of etchings from the 1930s. Acquaintance with the post-war works, memories of his student years, as well as analysis of his own oeuvre were the impetus for changes in the creative work of Levytskyi. The artist allowed himself to experiment with the form, plasticity, composition, and plot. Working fruitfully in the field of printmaking, the artist crystallized his own graphic style based on the archetypes of primitive folk art and avant-garde stylization. Thus, the special features of the author's style were the form-building dynamic line that changed its thickness around objects, and the ability to stylize and simplify the form to naive simplicity.