Dnipropetrovsk . Dnipropetrovsk Art Museum
17.09.2015 – 15.10.2015
"Malyshko's year" in Ya Gallery art center continues in artist's homeland - Dnipropetrovsk region. Mykola Malyshko was born in Znamenivka village, and graduated from Dnipropetrovsk art school in 1961. In the 1960s he gathered a group of like-minded artists in his studio apartment, where scattered in between tools and paints that lied "here and there" various art problems were regularly raised.
Today Mykola Malyshko's works are taken to the Dnipropetrovsk Art Museum for the first time. Though the museum had already held Ya Gallery's "new old masters" exhibition in 2011. Not really for "for the first time", because here on the first floor, more than half a century ago Mykola Malyshko studied the fundamentals of art amongst other art school students. His teachers would often point out to the fourth floor, as to the place where real masterpieces could be found...
Accompanied by the feeling that "the time is now", the project demonstrates master's best works of the recent years. The Figures and The Reader are absolutely new sculptures; they reflect the dynamics of change and development within "a wooden human" and author's personal beliefs. Mykola Malyshko immerses into the civic crisis with deep analysis and sympathy, and proves once again that art is the mirror of self-knowledge that everyone needs.
While still looking for new forms to express his thoughts, the sculptor creates a gallery of human figures. Each of them is a result of his long pondering about the destiny of man as a creator. Neither about Nietzsche's Übermensch, nor about a man trying to answer the question: "Am I a trembling creature, or do I have the right?" in some dubious "republics". But about a man, who is small and great at the same time, who continues to seek self-improvement until his last breath.
As the artist seizes the moment of human existence in a sculpture, he listens to the wood that is the closest material to us by nature. Malyshko's wooden man, like a living creature, goes through all stages in life and ,following the master's hand, finds himself embodied in symbols-obelisks. Sometimes, this man is magnificent and godlike. Especially when he raises his head towards the heavens in his search for answers about the universe. But sometimes he is small and imperfect: when he bends his head in a prayer or meditation, thinking about an upcoming day.
"To feel" instead of "to see". "To be" instead of "to exist". "To sympathize" instead of "to observe". Each of Malyshko's new sculptures summarizes his previous years reflections on multiple ways of human development, particularly the development within social confrontations. "The bride is coming", but is she happy? Or is she the one from Tychyna's poem?
Open the door,
*The bride is coming.
Open the door,
Only blue sky
Where a feather of cloud twists
My eyes, my heart
Turn into coral
As I wait.
Nowhere to hide
When the doors blew open,
Nowhere to lay his head
In wind and rain,
Darling, for every road
Shines with blood
And the night weeps
As God sleeps.
(Pavlo Tychyna, 1918)
While looking into sculptures as into books, the viewers are invited to take a look inwards. Not someday in the future, but here and now. By putting aside all compromises, to choose between the good and evil within them. Malyshko's sculptural concept, with its modernistic perfection, confronts the chaos of postmodernity, in which man serves only as a medium for viewpoints. Meanwhile, time demands to choose a solid position.
Despite naming every figure, the artist asserts that this name is just one of many others. Only the viewer can decide what The Bride, The Second or The Fifth Figure mean, and finally - what is his personal Today.
*Translation by Steve Komarnyckyj, with the exception of the second line that was translated here word for word as in the original poem.