Maria Prymachenko: 11 interesting facts

Maria Prymachenko (Ukrainian: Марія Оксентіївна Примаченко, transcribed Mariya Oksentiyivna Prymachenko) (1908–1997) was a Ukrainian village folk art painter, representative of naïve art. The performer was functional with drawing, embroidery and painting upon ceramics. Laureate of the National Prize of Ukraine named after T.G. Shevchenko. Honored Artist of the USSR back 1970, People’s Artist of Ukraine. Pablo Picasso said after visiting a Prymachenko exhibition in Paris, “I bow down before the artistic miracle of this brilliant Ukrainian.” The year 2009 was acknowledged the Year of Maria Prymachenko by the UNESCO.

A Ukrainian painter, she is the most beloved painter in a country under siege, the national icon, her artwork appearing on her stamps, her portraits on her currency. One of the most famous artists of Ukraine, renowned Ukrainian artist Marya Przymachenko is a Ukrainian painter working in a childlike style. Ukraine is apparently very proud of Ukrainian folk artist Maria Prymachenko, having placed her works on stamps and awarded her the Taras Shevchenko State Prize (the highest national prize for cultural and artistic works) in 1966.

maria prymachenko folk art

Fortunately, the prolific output of Prymachenko meant only a tiny fraction of her paintings were destroyed, and nearly 650 of her works (dated 1936-1987) are held in Kyivs National Folk Art Museum. According to the Maria Prymachenko Family Fund, which handles catalogues for renowned Ukrainian painter Maria Prymachenko and is managed by her great-granddaughter, all the paintings in the Prymachenko museum were successfully saved by a local resident, CNN reported. Fortunately, according to the Ukrainian institute, the local residents were able to rescue 25 works of Prymachenko.

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However, according to the Ukrainian Institute, local residents were able to recover around 25 works of his from a burned-out museum before it was completely lost. While it is believed that 25 works at a museum in Ukraines Ivankiv Oblast are now lost, some 650 of her works could be in danger. As a result, Ivankiv citys historical museum in Kievs Ivankiv oblast Kievs Oblast was also destroyed by Russian attacks, according to art collector Ustyna Stefanchuk, The Kyiv Independent reported. As Kyiv suffers from a major assault, the 650 paintings and drawings of Ukrainian artists stored at the National Folk Art Museum are in danger, as is anything and anyone in the capital.

stop the war on ukraine maria prymachenko symbol for peace

Her own fanciful works were discovered at a street market by Kiev-based painter Titiana Floru, who invited a young Prymachenko to the central experimental workshop at Kyivs Ukrainian Museum, the workshop where a group of artists were working towards the inaugural republican folk art exhibition, first held in Kyiv in 1936. Kyivan-based artist Tetiana Floru saw the needlework of Maria Prymachenko (1909-97) in a Kyiv market, and invited the talented girl in 1936 to work at the Central Experimental Workshop of the Kyiv Museum of Ukrainian Art. It was embroidery, the skill passed down from her mother, by a Ukrainian painter, which first caught her eye, and she was invited to take part in the art workshops of Kyiv. The distinctly rural naivete of Pyrmackenko’s work allowed her to produce mysterious, deviously gruesome artworks more akin to surrealism than to Socialist Realism.

Prymachenkos subsequent paintings, which can be read at first glance as whimsical, or even downright stupid, followed his needlework works by quietly asserting the uniqueness of Ukrainian culture and identity. Prymachenkos works are inspired by the Ukrainian, and especially Polish, folk traditions. Maria Pryimachenko’s artistic works portray fantastical mythological beasts, which have roots in folktales and tales, feeding on real-life Ukrainian Reorle culture.

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Mysterious and emotionally charged, Maria Pryimachenkos works, a popular Ukrainian master of decorative painting, appear to absorb an ancient tradition from the generations of Ukrainian masters-makers, who, since the deepest centuries, brought out their own sense of right and wrong, of ugly and beautiful. Known for her lively, inventive cultural patterns rendered in bright colors, Maria Pryimachenko (1909-1997) was a self-taught folk painter, her works ranging from needlework and painted ceramics to gouaches and watercolors, portraying the lives of characters and creatures inspired by dreams of rural Ukraine. Trained in such folk arts as embroidery and decorating eggs at Easter before beginning painting on canvases in the 1930s, Maria Prymachenko was greatly influenced by the country’s craft traditions, and by its folklore, wilderness, and traditional motifs.

maria pryimachenko my house my truth

The Ukrainian painter found images that responded to famine, but fell silent during World War II, when Hitlers invasion of the Soviet Union made the embattled nation one of the first places where Jews were murdered in large numbers. At that time, her nephew, Petro Prymachenko, took time away from painting to help Ukrainian forces fighting against the Soviets. Another notable characteristic of Prymachenkos art was his acute sense of composition, especially apparent in his choice of format.

The intricate worlds of her images are drawn from her imagination as much as they are drawn from the whole system and content of Ukrainian vernacular poetry. Prymachenko is definitely classified as a painter in naivete–but this is not to say her work is not informed by an intimate knowledge of the rich cultural traditions. Prymachenko’s paintings are called naive art,a term used to describe works of artists who do not have any formal art training, who are entirely self-taught, without having much connection with art history.

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