Description of the artwork «Youth»
The artist said that everyone understood Youth in one's own way and that this picture would remain a mystery to herself forever.
In 1969, in the open air in the town of Sedniv, Yablonska most likely managed to find herself at the intersection of cosmic streams, simultaneously emanating several meanings and messages. While one cosmic stream was working on the birth of incredibly clean colours and a downward perspective, the other was concerned with finding the right subject. The artist drew a sketch in a country meadow, next to a small lake. A young man who was passing by noticed her and stared at the lake, wondering what Yablonska had found in it. “Wait a minute, please,” she said.
This picture is untimely and unconventional, it is completely devoid of national, temporary, personal ties or explanations. It could appear in some surreal artistic atmosphere and take its place, for example, next to the René Magritte’s men in bowlers. It would be absolutely appropriate in the 21st century as graffiti on some blank grey wall in the centre of a big city as a philosophical social message to passers-by. And the fact that Youth appeared in 1969 in the Soviet Union from under the brush of the artist, who at that time was twice laureate of the State Prize, is only explained by Tetyana Yablonska’s acute susceptibility to those universal meanings being in the air.
Now the painting beongs to the permanent exhibition of the National Art Museum of Ukraine, but during her life Yablonska modestly waited for her time in the closed funds. The artist’s daughter, Gayane Atayan, described how in 2001, a Japanese bank clerk, amazed by the painting, decided to see it live. Taking advantage of his business trip to Paris, he went to Kyiv for a weekend to look at the Youth. He was not lucky. On weekends, it is simply impossible to get into the funds of the National Museum of Ukraine. Surely, the Japanese lover of beauty took this as a continuation and part of the incomprehensible mystery that surrounded this picture.
Author: Anna Sidelnikova