For the last couple of weeks, it has been heartbreaking to hear of the developing events in Ukraine. We stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine, and those in Russia who also stand up for freedom. We can’t begin to comprehend what Ukraine – or any country experiencing war – is going through. While talking about art can seem so inconsequential and even superficial, we do believe that art can help us feel hopeful during dark times.

Today we would like to pay tribute and celebrate the work of Maria Prymachenko (1909–1997), one of Ukraine’s most celebrated folk artists. On February 27, 2022, the Ivankiv Historical Museum, which housed many works by Prymachenko, was bombed. Reportedly, brave local residents were able to retrieve art pieces from the burning museum before they were lost entirely, including 25 works by Prymachenko, but nonetheless this was an attempt against an important part of Ukraine’s cultural legacy.

My Beloved Plows the Field, 1983

Known for her vibrant and imaginative cultural motifs in bold colours, Maria Prymachenko was a self-taught folk artist whose work extended from embroidery and painted ceramics to gouache and watercolour painting depicting life in the Ukrainian countryside, dream-inspired characters and creatures. While her works are not exclusively political, she did create paintings of resistance, particularly during a stretch in the late 1970s during the Brezhnev years.

Our Army, Our Protectors, 1978
Ivan Gave the Landlord a Ride in his Gig and Fell Inside, 1983
(Left) May I Give This Ukrainian Bread to All People in This Big Wide World, 1982; (Right) I Give My Little Stars to Children, 1983

In 1966 Prymachenko received the Taras Shevchenko National Prize of Ukraine, and in 1970 she was recognized as the People’s Artist of Ukraine, the country’s highest cultural honour.

Flax Blooms and a Cossack Goes to a Girl, 1982

We hope that wherever you are, the work of this great artist brings you solace.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Hi, I hope this mail finds you well!
     
    I am Chiara and I work as an editor for Artland – a digital platform that seeks to make art accessible to all people through digital galleries and inclusive news stories from the art world.
     
    I am reaching out to you because I noticed you have a great informative article relating to Maria Prymachenko http://blog.paperblanks.com/2022/03/celebrating-the-work-of-ukrainian-artist-maria-prymachenko/​and I thought you might be interested in linking to our article on the same topic The Anti-War Art of Maria Prymachenko – Flowers for Peace
     
    Please, let me know if you have any questions or would like any advice on how this might be best featured on your website.

    • Hi Chiara, thank you for reaching out and for reading us. I’ll contact you via email to discuss further.
      Kind regards,

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