The most expensive artist of Ukraine Anatoly Kryvolap: exhibition in the Kyiv Art Gallery

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 The most expensive artist of Ukraine Anatoly Kryvolap: exhibition at the Kyiv Art Gallery

On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Kyiv Art Gallery Museum, a landmark exhibition “Anatoly Kryvolap. Classical Painting” was opened, which gathered a crowd of the artist's admirers.

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The centenary of the famous museum “Kyiv Art Gallery” was celebrated with a large exhibition of Anatoly Krivolap, an artist who for many years has been the leader in sales of his works in the West. The 76-year-old maestro was wearing a luxurious purple jacket, white trousers and dark glasses. Together with the painter Focus figured out what the recipe of his style consists of and why it is often called the “calling card of Ukraine”

Despite the air raid alert and the postponement of the opening time, at least half a thousand visitors came to the Krivolap exhibition in Kyiv over the weekend. In six halls, the maestro was presented both with his “classical” works, that is, canvases that brought him world fame, and canvases made forty years ago in the style of impressionism.

The most expensive artist of Ukraine Anatoly Krivolap: exhibition at the Kyiv Art Gallery

 The most expensive artist of Ukraine Anatoly Kryvolap: exhibition at the Kyiv Art Gallery

Perhaps, there were not enough abstract canvases of Kryvolap, where he imitated, for example, the American abstract expressionist Mark Rothko (1903-1970). Because without abstract art it is impossible to understand where the unique Krivolapov style of painting came from.

Journalist Fokusa directly asked the maestro about this, pulling him out of the predatory clutches of the public (with its endless “selfies with a star”) – and Anatoly Krivolap kindly spoke about the nuances of his formation as an artist. In just a few minutes, his interesting and difficult path opened up to us.

“From the late 1990s, I worked in the style of abstract art for ten years. I successfully sold these paintings in Germany. But I felt that my heart was empty of these works,” says the artist. “And I went to the village of Zasupoevka near Yagotin, where I I spent my childhood on my favorite lake Supoy. I have been there before, but on short trips from Kyiv. And then I came for a long time, settled in order to be alone. That day there was a fantastic sunset – I generally love them, and now I was covered: I understood that you can combine abstractionism and my favorite Ukrainian landscape. That's how my new style was born. It was in 2001.”

 The most expensive artist of Ukraine Anatoliy Kryvolap: exhibition at the Kyiv Art Gallery -anatolij-krivolap-vystavka-v-kievskoj-kartinnoj-galeree-b1f7b52.jpg

 The most expensive artist of Ukraine Anatoliy Kryvolap: exhibition at the Kyiv Art Gallery -anatolij-krivolap-vystavka-v-kievskoj-kartinnoj-galeree-66b4710.jpg

Krivolap adds: “Note that 100 years ago the landscape was revolutionized by the Impressionists. And throughout the twentieth century it was a rather conservative genre. And I revolutionized it again by combining the Ukrainian landscape with abstract art. I had more than one such work that day, I immediately made preparations for a few: a horse, huts, a lake… I already knew exactly what I wanted to see on the canvas.”

 The most expensive artist of Ukraine Anatoliy Kryvolap: exhibition at the Kyiv Art Gallery -anatolij-krivolap-vystavka-v-kievskoj-kartinnoj-galeree-7a711df.jpg

This is how everything opens great. Anatoly Kryvolap's formula: Ukrainian landscape – abstract art – abstract Ukrainian landscape.

Krivolap opened his “signature” style at the age of 55. The first serious sale of works at the Phillips auction happened when he turned 65. That's it! We must not give up: loyalty to oneself, perseverance and talent made the Ukrainian artist a star of world art.

It should be noted that Ukraine has traditionally offered rural landscapes to the art market (which has already set the teeth on edge), at a time when urban art was more valued in the world, as less patriarchal. Abstractionism is an urban form of painting (although when it comes to folk patterns, they are cosmological, and even the founders of abstractionism, Wassily Kandinsky and Kazimir Malevich, saw a connection with them in their painting).

Kryvolap made an almost perfect combination for importing Ukrainian cultural products to the West: an urban form of abstract art plus Ukrainian content. It is no coincidence that rocker Oleg Skrypka made prints on fabric from the bright landscapes of Krivolap for his clothing collection in 2013.

 The most expensive artist of Ukraine Anatoliy Kryvolap: exhibition at the Kyiv Art Gallery -anatolij-krivolap-vystavka-v-kievskoj-kartinnoj-galeree-0d084b8.jpg

It is curious that the painter often uses two polar colors from the color spectrum: red (lower), the color of passion, and purple (upper), the color of the spirit.

“They say that red is aggressive, exciting, but on the contrary, it calms me,” the artist says to Focus.

No wonder, because he took his red Krivolap from heaven – from sunset. Yes, and purple – from the same place: at sunset, this paint is often present. In connection with the abstract form, Krivolap succeeded in another feature: his landscapes turned from contemplative into meditative ones. The difference is that when you contemplate, you observe some object from the side, and when you meditate, you place the object inside yourself, your soul, your imagination.

Therefore, the same horse from the painting “Horse. Evening” (2012), sold at Phillips for $186,000, is a phantom in the form of a horse, symbolizing, for example, energy.

 The most expensive artist of Ukraine Anatoliy Kryvolap: exhibition at the Kyiv Art Gallery -anatolij-krivolap-vystavka-v-kievskoj-kartinnoj-galeree-79ee6ef.jpg

His horses, huts and lakes are like springboards for a journey into spiritual space, where, in principle, abstractionists invite, but Kryvolap has a more specific address – this is the spiritual Ukrainian space. Perhaps that is why the works presented at the exhibition are all “Untitled”.

Malevich's “White on White” is one white square inscribed in another, while Krivolap's is a hut “inscribed” in a snowy field. But both there and there, the objects in the picture have a meditative ghostliness. What can not be said about their prices.

 The most expensive artist of Ukraine Anatoliy Kryvolap: exhibition at the Kyiv Art Gallery -anatolij-krivolap-vystavka-v-kievskoj-kartinnoj-galeree-1185e63.jpg

 The most expensive artist of Ukraine Anatoliy Kryvolap: exhibition at the Kyiv Art Gallery -anatolij-krivolap-vystavka-v-kievskoj-kartinnoj-galeree-e545b3d.jpg

The three most expensive paintings by Anatoly Krivolap

1. Anatoly Krivolap. “Horse. Evening”, 2012. London, Phillips auction house. Sold on June 28, 2013 for $186K

The most expensive artist of Ukraine Anatoly Krivolap: exhibition at the Kyiv Art Gallery

 The most expensive artist of Ukraine Anatoly Kryvolap: exhibition in the Kyiv Art Gallery

2. Anatoly Krivolap, “Horse. Night”, 2009. London, Phillips auction house. Sold on October 13, 2011 for $124,000

 The most expensive artist of Ukraine Anatoliy Kryvolap: exhibition at the Kyiv Art Gallery -anatolij-krivolap-vystavka-v-kievskoj-kartinnoj-galeree-e5b3dfe.jpg

3. Anatoly Krivolap, “Untitled”, 2013. London, Phillips auction house. Sold on December 10, 2014 for $107K

The most expensive artist of Ukraine Anatoly Krivolap: exhibition at the Kyiv Art Gallery

The most expensive artist of Ukraine Anatoly Krivolap: exhibition in the Kyiv Art Gallery

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