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1 - Dimensions : 43,5 x 53 cm 2 - Dimensions : 43,5 x 53 cm
Yaroslav (Slavko) Krushelnytsky was born in 1916 in Dolyna, a city in west-ern Ukraine. Upon graduating from high school in the city of Berezhany, he continued his studies at the Lviv Polytechnic and later in Poznan, Poland, majoring in natural sciences and pharmaceuticals. From 1941 to 1944, while attending the Lviv Polytechnic, he also attended the highly esteemed Oleksa Novakivsky Art School and became actively involved in the art circles of Lviv. By becoming a member of the Ukrainian Fine Arts Association in Lviv, he participated in exhibitions organized and sponsored by this Association.

Towards the end of World War II he immigrated to Western Europe, journeying through Luxemburg to Paris where he lived for a few years. As of 1948, while in Paris, he participated in the annual exhibition in the Salon des pated in the post War exhibition of Artists Emigres’ in Paris in 1949, submitting three of his oil paintings. Due to financial difficulties in Paris, Krushelnytsky moved to Luxemburg where he lived and worked until his untimely death in 1973. In the 1950s and the 1960s Krushelnytsky continued to particiapate in group exhibitions in Los Angeles. He also had one-man exhibits in Basel, Bern, and Zurich, Switzerland, as well as in the Ukrainian National Museum in Chicago and Wierschen Gallery in Luxemburg. Towards the end of the 1960s, Krushelnytsky became seriously ill and died in 1973, practically a forgotten artist.

Life in Luxemburg for Krushelnytsky was rewarding. He quickly became well known and quite the favorite artist of Luxemburg. The press always reviewed his exhibitions favorably. In one such review we read: “ Few of the artists who exhibited their works in Luxemburg left such bright and powerful recollections, full of stimulating thoughts, as did Slavko the Ukrainian…Slavko of luxurious colors, Slavko the emigrant who found among us appealing and agreeable surroundings. In his paintings one feels an inner passion, because love and ecstasy reside in the heart of this artist. His vitality creates this rhythm and colors, their glowing vision which set fire to the object.”

Yaroslav (Slavko) Krushelnytsky was part of the avant-garde movement which came to Ukraine at the beginning of the 20th century. The new generation of Ukrainian artists were aware of and close to the new trends in the art of Western Europe such as Expressionism, cubo-futurism, neo-primitivism, among others. Expressionists of Western Europe were greatly influenced by the events of World War I. Krushelnytsky was not only greatly influenced by expressionistic art, but also by his own life experiences filled with tragedy, destruction, poverty, and exile. The period prior to, during, and post war years also had its impact on his creativity and the style of his work. Krushelnytsky used art to express the inner feelings is soul, his emotional state.

He was influenced by his teacher Oleksa Novakivsky (1882-1935), as well as in his works by the post-impressionist works of Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1880), and the expressionist works of Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1860-1938). Art critics claimed that “in his works, Krushelnytsky along with other Ukrainian artists shared the possibility of the use of color, space, and light. The use of color was the strongest trait in Ukrainian art. He continuously combined color, space, and the psycho-logical aspects of nature and man. In his works we see a continuous search for harmony in nature.”

Those who studied his art expressed the following:” Slavko’s paintings…its agitation, cascades, triumph of lines, form, colors…features of Slavko’s art are known – structural, basic. Dynamic…fresh-ness of his inspiration, boister-ousness in execution, brilliant colors make him a herald, a messenger, a conscious creator who continuously regenerates.” At a posthumous exhibit in Luxemburg, Dr. I.P. Schneider gave his appraisal of Slavko’s art: “These paintings strike us by their fiery passion, the combination of artistic honesty, esthetic forms where next to some post-impressionistic and post-fauvist characteristics dominates powerful expressionism.” And Liliane Marienburger stated: Slavko chose exile, in order to have freedom of esthetic expression so trampled and violated in his country by foreign powers. In his, so typically Slavic love of beauty, his art expresses vitality and freshness of a Ukrainian soul through serene and optimistic affirmation, so foreign to Russian nihilism.”

The Ukrainian Museum and Library of Stamford Connecticut is fortunate to have over 30 oil paintings of Slavko Krushelnytsky.