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Personal exhibition “Retro” by Nadiia Ponomarenko



Personal exhibition “Retro” by Nadiia Ponomarenko

On 22 February 2019, in the ILKO gallery, it was opened a personal exhibition of graphics of the Honoured Artist of Ukraine, associate professor of the Department of Design of the Transcarpathian Academy of Arts, Nadiia Ponomarenko. The author invites the viewer to plunge into the 70s of the last century in order to see and feel the world of that time through the eyes of a young artist. And at the moment of immersion a miracle happens – the gap of decades disappears and you feel freshness, modernity and progressiveness in each work.

The ironic name of the exhibition “Retro” according to the concept is a look into the past, an ontology of the development of the most important, search and preservation of the essential, which helped the artist to become herself. This is an appeal to the origins of the formation of her own images and visual language.

In the early 70's, the future artist studied at the Ukrainian Polygraphic Institute named after Ivan Fedorov. As the artist herself describes, “the years of study opened up a huge OTHER world to a person from the province — the world of art, which became for her infinite inspiration. In the works presented at the exhibition, there is a passion for the creativity of the idols of her youth – Lviv artists, among them Mariia Savka-Kachmar, Liubomyr Medvid, Laslo Pushkash, Ivan Ostafiichuk, as well as Baltic artists Birute Zhelite, Mare Vint, and Mare Leis. Thus, the artistic language of each artist is formed by the environment, but some dissolve in it, while others, having a special world view and their own core, borrow important things from the environment, while remaining noticeably different. Long-term friendly and creative contacts with the artists of the underground Lviv environment have formed the author both as a person and as an artistic personality, helping to stand in times of rejection by the Soviet official ideology.

Graphic works presented at the exhibition “Retro” are a kind of artistic speech, which the artist said, exchanged ideas and images with like-minded people during the ideologically stifling period – from the mid 70s to the mid 80s. In general, except for the two prints presented, the works were made by hand author's techniques – Indian ink, pen, glass-marking pencil, printing ink, and scratching. The absence of a classical material base in Uzhhorod forced the author to experiment, invent her own techniques to achieve the necessary aesthetics and expressiveness of form. In the early stages, black and white or monochrome compositions are complicated by individual colour accents; subsequently the colour, albeit conditional, will become dominant. Important to the author is the transmission of a viscous, barely perceptible transcendental atmosphere of that time with its intentions of anxiety and impromptness at the same time.

The artist professes the principle of irrationality, consciously avoids in the process of creating an analysis. According to her, “the artist feeds on various energies; subconscious streams that pass through us and which we react to.” And these energies flow smoothly to the viewer, excite his imagination and change his view of the past.

The exposition will last within a month.

Text: Liudmyla Kozlovska on the materials provided by the author
Photo: Nataliia Pavlyk
© Art & Culture Foundation Brovdi Art