MARIA PRIMACHENKO (1908-1997, UKRAINE)
Maria Primachenko was born in Bolotnya, a village near Chernobyl (Kyiv), in 1908. As a young girl, she contracted polio, and this grave illness affected her childood’s life.
At an early age she used to paint the interior of her home and of her neighbours. Primachenko’s works caught the eye of Tetiana Floru. In 1936, Primachenko was invited to join the experimental workshop of the Museum of Ukrainian Fine Arts in Kyiv. She proved to be a prolific artist – becoming involved with drawing, embroidery, painting on ceramics. In 1936 she took part in an exhibition of folk art and won the first-class diploma.
Her works can be subdivided into thematic, symbolic and ornamental pieces. All compositions are characterized by a subtle and fluent rhythmical arrangement. Her latest works impress one by their daring decorativeness of form. Primachenko gravitates to the world of fairy-tale and mystery: her birds, beasts and plants interact on her pictures just as harmoniously and easily as they do in natural surroundings. The artist often resorts to her favoured device of personification: she depicts fabulous animals with large eyes surrounded with a trim of eye-lashes.