Collection

Crimea. Old Gurzuf

Mykola Hlushchenko

  • Crimea. Old Gurzuf 2
Basic information
ID
Ж-5452
Author
Mykola Hlushchenko
Name
Crimea. Old Gurzuf
Date of creation
1974
Country
Ukraine
Technique
oil painting
Material
canvas oil
Dimensions (height x width, cm)
100 x 79.5
Information about author
Author
Mykola Hlushchenko
Artist's lifetime
1901–1977
Biography
Mykola Hlushchenko (1901, Novomoskovsk, Dnipropetrovsk region – 1977, Kyiv) is one of the brightest figures of Ukrainian painting of the twentieth century. In 1918, he graduated from a commercial school in Yuzivka (now Donetsk), after which he was mobilized into the Volunteer Army of Anton Denikin. Together with the army, he retreated abroad and was interned in Poland. He managed to escape from the prisoner of war camps and reach Berlin. It was in this city that Hlushchenko began his art education. Pavlo Skoropadskyi, Volodymyr Vynnychenko, and Roman Smal-Stotskyi, the representatives of the Ukrainian emigration, noticed his abilities. They financially supported the young artist; it was thanks to their patronage that he was educated at the private art schools of Hans Baluschek and Arthur Kampf, and later at the Berlin Higher School of Fine Arts. In Germany, Hlushchenko joined the art association "Neue Sachlichkeit'' ("New Objectivity''). In 1925, the artist took part in the famous exhibition "Neue Sachlichkeit'' at the Mannheim Museum, where he exhibited his works alongside the works by Otto Dix and Gino Severini. In 1925, Hlushchenko moved to Paris, and it was at that point in time that he evolved as a mature artist. The artist immersed himself in the French painting tradition. There he opened his own art studio on Volunteer Street, 23, his works regularly appeared on the pages of authoritative publications, actively exhibited, as well as communicated with Louis Aragon, Elsa Triolet, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Pablo Picasso, and Henri Matisse. Moreover, it is known that since 1926, he worked for the Soviet intelligence under the pseudonym "Yarema". Over the years, he handed over to Moscow about 205 types of secret drawings of military equipment, including aircraft engines and fighters. Due to constant waiting on an arrest in 1934, Hlushchenko moved to Spain, where he was waiting for the permission to leave; in 1936, he was finally recalled to the USSR. In Moscow, the Hlushchenko family was given a room of 9 m2 in a communal apartment. From 1944, the artist and his family settled in Kyiv, which they dreamed of, immediately after the liberation of the city from the German occupation. There he eventually got a large art studio, the opportunity to teach at the Art Institute, and pay more attention to his creative work. Those years were full of travels abroad, personal exhibitions (the USA, Great Britain, Canada, Germany, and Japan), as well as pedagogical activities. During his life, Mykola Hlushchenko created more than 10,000 paintings, had 59 solo exhibitions, and about 110 group exhibitions in many countries (from the United States to Japan). His works are stored in numerous museums as well as in private collections in Ukraine and abroad. He is buried in Baikove Cemetery in Kyiv.
Object description
The formation of Mykola Hlushchenko's artistic style developed on the ground of European, first of all French, painting of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Paris, with its various art schools and movements, played a major role in the artist's career. The original "Hlushchenko" style was gradually formed under the influence of the Impressionists Claude Monet and Henri Matisse, the post-Impressionist Paul Cezanne, as well as Pierre Bonnard, a member of the "Nabi" group. The characteristic features of his works were a bold colour, an expressive pattern, as well as brightness and color saturation of the paintings. In his works, Hlushchenko used almost open colors, including spectral or even bright aniline ones. Combining in his palette, at first glance, incompatible things, he went from mechanical mixing of paints to a separate stroke, namely to optical mixing. The colors became "airy", lighter, and less material. Mykola Hlushchenko worked in various genres, but the landscape always remained the most favorite and fruitful theme for him. Hlushchenko himself considered his early works and the works of the last period of his life to be the only worthwhile paintings; the works of the Soviet period were created under the forced influence of Socialist Realism; that is why he asked his relatives to burn the works of that period, personally selecting 250 works for destruction. However, the paintings were saved; they were handed over to museums on the condition that they would never be exhibited.