Toulouse, France. Toulouse Gallery Espace Croix-Baragnon
24.05.2014 – 31.08.2014
Pavlo Gudimov's Ya Galley Art Center
As part of Group exhibition Anaconda
Mykola Malyshko's sculpture will be shown in France for the first time marking a new stage of presenting this author's art outside Ukraine. 14 sculptures, each representing a life state, form an image of a “tree-man” – a symbol of the artist's faith in the power of human spirit. Increasingly relevant, Malyshko's works further approach the universal meanings. They voice states of deeply intimate personal history rooted in the national past.
On one hand, this story translates relevant for every Ukrainian authentic “codes” the archaic foundations of which are reflected in cultures of the entire European region. On the other hand, author's philosophy of “action” that involves practice of constant re-thinking and rework of the artistic material demonstrates surprisingly modern approach to artistic practice. In support of this, the artist argues that “the best art is one created at the moment”: “My art is rather modern than archaic. And modernism always rejected what was supposed to go”.
Close connection of formal and conceptual brings the sculptor's art to the level of Ukrainian artists that he considers his teachers. Their influence is not obvious for it manifests through complex layering of Malyshko's own findings. Here, next to monumental expressiveness of Ivan Kavaleridze's sculptures, is the natural grandeur of the human person, both strong and fragile like a tree, that Malyshko tenderly explores for many years. While the “architectural” foundation of the work reminds of Oleksandr Archypenko's constructivist experiments with their polychromy, conciseness and movement. No less important in terms of emotional expression for the sculptor is the legacy of recently discovered by the world Ioan Georg Pinzel. His lively and passionate, “non-canonical” saints change the perception of the nature of faith – exactly what Malyshko searched but couldn't find in the monumental examples of Soviet plastics.
However, a distinct and greatest factor of influence for the author is wood itself. His favorite material, most identified with a human: “just like a person a tree lives and grows”, it can be touched and “read” not just with the “eye of the mind”, but with all the bodily senses. It is through wood that the sculptor expresses eternal dichotomies of human existence – freedom and limitation, greatness and infamy, rise and disappointment. Malyshko's sculpture becomes a diary that carefully records important moments of life and truth. Meanwhile, it acquires timelessness.
The exhibition included the film about Mykola Malyshko “Line”, created by director Maksim Vohin.