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Alexey (Oleksa)
Novakovsky

Ukraine 
1872−1935
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Biography and information

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Alexey Kharlampievich Novakovsky, Ukrainian Oleksa Novakivsky (March 14, 1872, the village of Sloboda-Obodovka, Podolsk province - August 29, 1935, Lviv) - Ukrainian painter and teacher.

Features of the work of Oleksa Novakivsky: Odessa and Krakow art schools merged in the artist’s works, which later embodied in Lviv modernism. Novakivsky used the most diverse style, in his works there is academicism, modern, expressionism, however, in general, his work has a clear imprint of post-impressionism. Over the years, Novakivsky has developed his own unique style of writing, based on a combination of textures, colors and reflecting his philosophical thoughts. In 1923, Novakivsky opened a private Art School in Lviv, from which a whole galaxy of internationally recognized artists emerged.

Famous paintings by artist Oleksa Novakivsky: "Awakening", "My muse", "Ukrainian Madonna", “Mother of Mercy”.

See also: "Ukrainian Art Nouveau: the style of free artists"

Of particular importance in the work of Oleksa Novakivsky was the ancient Ukrainian and European sacred art. His first acquaintance with him took place in the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in the native village of Sloboda-Obodovka, Podolsk province. At the age of 16, Oleksa arrived in Odessa, where for 4 years he studied under the direction of artist-decorator Philip Klimenko. Count Tadeusz Grokholsky, brother of the landowner Gelena Brzozowska, in whose estates the ranger Oleksa’s father ranger, made sure that the talented young man continued his education. In 1892, Novakivsky entered the Krakow Academy of Arts, studied under Vladislav Lushkevich, Jan Stanislavsky,Stanislav Vyspiansky - These luminaries of Polish painting, whose art was based on the principles of impressionism.

After graduating from the Academy of Arts, Novakivsky lived for many years in the village of Mogila near Krakow. Here he met his future wife, Anna-Maria Palmovskaya, in whose mother’s house he settled. When the girl grew up - and at the time of the first meeting she was only 13 years old - Oleksa offered her a hand and a heart. They were called the most romantic couple of their time, two children were born in the marriage - Yaroslav and Zhdan.

After the first solo exhibition in Krakow (1911), Novakivsom received recognition. A significant influence on the artist was made by his acquaintance with Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytsky, and, as a result, contact with the spiritual and cultural heritage of Lviv, where he moved in 1913. This became an impetus for the development of the artist’s creative potential, strengthened his interest in the possibilities of a modern interpretation of the ancient Ukrainian icon-painting tradition. As a friend and pupil of Novakivsky, Svyatoslav Gordinsky, wrote, “thanks to the support and patronage of the Metropolitan, Novakivsky could do what he wanted to do, not by order, but by inspiration. This gave him the opportunity to fully show his artistic individuality, which very few of our artists managed to do. ”

In 1921, with the support of Metropolitan Sheptytsky, Novakivsky organized an art school in Lviv, where he trained and educated a new galaxy of Ukrainian and Galician masters. Studied here in different years Mikhail Moroz, Svyatoslav Gordinsky, Stefania Gebus-Baranetskaya, Leonid Perfetskiy, Kirill Mazur, Grigory Smolsky, Sofia Zaritskaya-Omelchenko. Then. In 1921, he held his first Lviv solo exhibition, which was a great success with the public and the press. Pedagogical activity completely absorbed Novakivsky, he worked with students all year round and even during his own vacation. In 1923, the Novakivsky School formally became part of the Lviv Secret Ukrainian University with teaching in the Ukrainian language, created as a protest alternative to the higher education system in Galicia.

Thanks to the support of Metropolitan Sheptytsky, the first private Lviv art school founded by Novakivsky worked until the death of the artist, who died in 1935. His last work was the work “Mother of Mercy” for the Cathedral of St. George in Lviv.

After many years of oblivion, in 1972, the art and memorial museum of Oleksa Novakivsky was opened in Lviv. In 2016, Slovak professor Nikolai Mushinkadonated to the museum in Lviv named after Andrey Sheptytsky 50 paintings and graphic works of the artist.


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