Львович Бойчук

Ukraine • 1882−1937

Biography and information

Outstanding Ukrainian painter, graphic artist, teacher and art theorist. One of the founders of the monumental art of Ukraine of the XX century.

He was born on October 30, 1882 in the village of Romanovichi, near Ternopil in the family of a landowner. He began to draw in childhood, and his career as an artist was formed thanks to his art teacher, who advertised in the newspaper about an able pupil, and he became interested in the artist and teacher Julian Pankevich.
In 1898 he arrived in Lviv, where he began studying painting with Yu. Here the novice artist was associated with church art - he is engaged in icon painting and book miniatures.
1899-1905 studied at Krakow, Munich and Vienna AH, was in Italy.
1905-1906 enlisted in the Austrian Army, served in Dalmatia (Croatia).
1908-1911 he lived and worked in Paris, where he met Pablo Picasso and Diego Rivera.
A group of like-minded people forms around him, the core of the future school of "boychukists.
Also in Paris, he married the artist Sofia Nalepinskaya, who had studied painting at the Ranson Academy in 1909.
In 1910, Boychuk participated in the exhibition of the Salon des Independents at the head of the group "School of Revival of Byzantine Art.
Apollinaire noted that this group is distinguished by its desire to preserve the religious art of Little Russia in its entirety.
In 1910 he returned to Lviv, where he worked at the National Museum, restoring icons, as well as performing orders for the painting of various churches.
From 1914 to 1917 he was interned as a subject of Austria-Hungary in Arzamas (Nizhny Novgorod province).
In 1917 he settled in Kiev, where after the October coup he became one of the major local artists, calling for a decisive renewal of the national tradition and considering monumental painting to be the most appropriate form of art.
In an effort to express the pathos of a new life in monumental and epic forms, he turned to the experience of Giotto, Ukrainian icon painting and folk art.
In 1917, he worked on the restoration of frescoes in St. Sophia Cathedral in Kiev.
He was one of the founders in December 1917 of the Ukrainian Academy of Fine Arts, together with H. Narbut, V. Krichevsky, A. Manevich, A. Murashko, F. Krichevsky, M. Grushevsky, I. Steshenko and N. Burachek.

Since 1925 he was a member of the Association of Revolutionary Art of Ukraine.
He was a professor at the Ukrainian Academy of Arts (1917-22) and the Kiev Art Institute (1924-36).
1930-1931 - taught at the Institute of Proletarian Art in Leningrad.

However, the stylization of images in the works of his school ("boychukists") often did not meet the challenges of disclosing the new, Soviet themes.
In the paintings of the Krasnozavodsk Theater in Kharkov (1933-35), he and his students overcame the features of conventionality and archaization of form, typical of their early works.

In the spirit of Art Nouveau he combined in his work "eternal themes" (motherhood, labor, man and earth) with an acute sense of the surrounding social storms. He self-transformed the techniques of medieval and early Renaissance, as well as folklore mural paintings. A brilliant teacher and theorist, he united around himself a group of young artists. Their activity predetermined (since 1927) the program of the "Association of Revolutionary Art of Ukraine" (ARMU).

The most important collective works of M. Boychuk and his students:
-Frescoes in Lutsk Barracks (1919)
-Frescoes at the Cooperative Institute, Kiev (1922-1923)
-Frescoes in the sanatorium on the Khadzhibeyevsky estuary, Odessa (1927-1929)
-Frescoes in the foyer of the Krasnozavodsk Theater, Kharkov (1933-1935).

Students of M. Boychuk:
Ivan Ivanovich Padalka (1894-1937)
Vasily Sedlyar (1899-1937)
Oksana Trofimovna Pavlenko (1895/1896-1991)
Sofia Alexandrovna Nalepinskaya-Boychuk (1884-1937)
Timothy Boychuk (1896-1922)
Nikolai Iosifovich Nikolenko (1912-1975)
Manuel Iosifovich Shechtman (1900-1941)
"Youngboychukists :
Yevgeny Yakovlevich Sagaidachny (1886-1961)
Ohrim Sevastyanovich Kravchenko (1903-1985)
Nikolai Andreevich Rokitsky (1901-1944) and others.

From November 1926 to May 1927 - Mikhail Boichuk with his wife Sofia Nalepinskaya, as well as his students Ivan Padalka and Vasily Sedlyar went on a trip to Germany, France and Italy.
This trip was the official reason for the artist's subsequent arrest, allegedly on suspicion of involvement in a counterrevolutionary organization.
Accused of "bourgeois nationalism," the master himself and a number of his students became victims of Stalin's "Great Terror. All the murals they created were barbarously destroyed, and the notion of "boychukism" was for a long time considered a dirty word. Today this art is studied through old photographs, as well as the few extant easel paintings of the master (e.g., Women at the Apple Tree, early 1920s,
Museum of Ukrainian Art, Kiev).

Boychuk was shot in Kiev on July 13, 1937.

Rehabilitated by decision of the Supreme
Of the courts of the USSR on February 1, 1958.
Streets in Ternopil and Terebovlia are named after M. Boychuk.
In May 2000, the name of Mikhail Leontievich Boychuk
was awarded to the Kyiv State Institute of
arts and crafts and design.

Boychuk Mikhail Lvovich" abstract
Т. Zemlyanaya "Monumental painting of M.L. Boichuk and his school".2009