Exhibition opening in Lviv. Left to right: Fedir Kurlak, Borys Voznyckyj, Ihor Derzhko, Oleh Mykyta, Yvanna Novakivska, Kateryna Shlapak, Petro Bodnarchuk

The AUGB’s Shevchenko Library and Archive collection of Gregor Kruk’s sculptures, acquired in 1985 and displayed earlier this month in Kyiv during the highly prestigious Great Sculpture Exhibition 2010, has now moved on to Western Ukraine for a month long exhibition at Lviv’s Gallery of Arts. 

The opening of the exhibition, entitled "Feminine image in Gregor Kruk's art", which was organised by the National Centre “Ukrainian House”, the “ART-Ukraine” magazine and the Lviv Gallery of Arts, took place in Lviv before a large number journalists and VIP guests.  Speakers included the quite remarkable Director of the Gallery, Borys Voznyckyj (who very genuinely merits a separate article in his own right!), Kateryna Shlapak of the Ukrainian House in Kyiv, Fedir Kurlak (AUGB CEO), Ludmila Pekarska (Curator, Shevchenko Library & Archive), Oleh Mykyta (Lviv Branch of the Ass’n of Ukrainian Artists), Ihor Derzhko (Deputy Chair of Lviv’s Regional /oblastna/ Council), Yvanna Novakivska (Lviv’s Gallery of Arts), Petro Bodnarchuk (from G.Kruk’s home village), Ihor Kalynec (Deputy Chair of the International Institute of Education and Culture /IIEC/) and Y. Lemyk (IIEC).

This month was historic in that it was the first time that some of Kruk’s works have gone on display in Ukraine.  As was the case in Kyiv, the 25 sculptures have been very publicly promoted and received in Lviv as artworks of the highest quality.

The exhibition will remain open to the public until 21 April.

Gregor Kruk (1911-1988) is widely recognised in the European art world but remains virtually unknown in Ukraine. Born in Bratyshiv, Ivano-Frankivsk region, he graduated from the Lviv School of Decorative Art in 1934, continued his studies at the Krakow Academy of Arts (1937) and then at the Berlin Academy of Arts (1940), where his teachers included A. Focke and A. Breker.

After the end of the Second World War Kruk settled in Munich where he composed sculptures in bronze, clay and stone featuring (mainly) figures of peasants, kozaks, working women, bandura players and dancers.  Though his works were exhibited in cities across Western Europe and the North American continent (his first exhibition in the UK took place at London’s Olympia in 1954), Kruk’s main dream was to have his works displayed in Ukraine.  This dream has finally been partially realised this month.

Ukrayinska Dumka


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