Okhrim Kravchenko

  • Jump 2
  • Jump 3
Basic information
Okhrim Kravchenko
Date of creation
tempera painting
cardboard tempera
Dimensions (height x width, cm)
82 x 52
Information about author
Okhrim Kravchenko
Artist's lifetime
Ukrainian artist, bright representative of the Mykhailo Boychuk school. Born in Korosten village, Kyiv region. Studied at art studio in Bila Tserkva, from 1921 to 1924 – in Kyiv Art-Industrial Technical  School. In 1930, he graduated from the Kyiv Art Institute, where Mykhailo Boychuk was one of the teachers. This meeting was decisive in Okhrim Kravchenko's life. Shortly after graduation, he was arrested and deported from Ukraine "for systematic anti-Soviet activity". He returned to his homeland only in 1940 and received a residence permit in Stalino (Donetsk) and later in Kryvyi Rih. Avoiding possible post-war persecution and repression, he settled in Lviv in 1946, and taught at the Lviv Institute of Applied and Decorative Arts. He was subsequently accused of being a formalist and was fired. He worked as a senior laboratory assistant at the book design department of the Ukrainian Polygraphic Institute, from which he was also fired for formalism. In 1956–1959, he painted walls and created iconostasis' for churches in Zolochiv, Obroshyn, Sykhiv, Sokolovka and Yavoriv. His personal exhibitions were held in Kyiv (1967) and Lviv (1968, 1969, 1974). His artistic heritage includes about 170 easel works, about 140 drawings, watercolour paintings and pastels, album of sketches and drafts, most of which were created in postwar Lviv. Okhrim Kravchenko's most fruitful period of creativity was in the last 25 years of his 82 years of life.
Object description
Okhrim Kravchenko's work, like that of other "Boychukism", who learned from their teacher a strong affection for national themes, eternal subjects of folk existence and neo-Byzantism, is characterized by a generalization of images of the world around to the condition of a timeless sign-symbol: subordination of form to idea, rejection of superfluousness, simplification. The artist has been interested in ancient Ukrainian icon painting since his early days, using it as a good basis for his own reflection and search. On his canvases, Okhrim Kravchenko, appealing to iconography, tied the subject to everyday human reality. As a rule, he does not use factory colours, instead making his own, working in the ancient technique of egg tempera, sometimes with watercolour and charcoal on paper. Because of tempera the texture of the works seems to be tactile and velvet. Ohrim Kravchenko's works are mainly decorative, his colour range is cold and restrained, his composition is laconic and flat in character.