The current exhibition at The Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art (UIMA) is of the private collection of the late Bohdan Kowalsky.. The art collections consists of paintings, sculptures, lithographs, wood cuts and drawings by Polish, Ukrainian and Ukrainian-American artists, such as Archipenko, Nowosielski, Gritchenko, Trusz, Hnizdovsky, Solovij, Milonadis, Urban and many others. His collection was bequeathed to UIMA in 2008.
Two of my favorite artworks were bronze figurative sculptures by Gregor Kruk (1911-1988). Although he had a third sculpture there, it was simply a reclining female nude and did not interest me much. However, the two sculptures I show you here were lively and emotional pieces of art and I very much appreciated their honesty and expression.
The first one is “Untitled (Female Figure with Dress)” from around the 1960s. The second “Untitled (Standing Male Figure)” from 1962. I include an image that my friend Dilbarra took of me with the sculpture of Gregor Kruk to give you a better idea of the size of these gems.
According to a page on the site of the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain:
“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, Kruk’s main dream was to have his works displayed in Ukraine.”
There is also a photo of the artist at work at the link above.
Exhibition runs through April 10, 2011.
Here is an interesting article on the life and journey of the collector Bohdan Kowalsky.. I especially found interesting the World War II statistic that of the 11,000 soldiers in a Ukrainian division advancing towards the Russian Army, only 3,000 made it through. Get the details yourself by clicking on the link above.
Happy Birthday to my Uncle George and my cousin Jessica