Artists of Ukraine. Maria Prymachenko
Artists of Ukraine.  Maria Prymachenko
Maria Prymachenko. "May That Nuclear War Be Cursed!" (1978)
Artists of Ukraine. Maria Prymachenko

Prymachenko’s works were inspired by Ukrainian, and in particular Polesian, folk traditions. They include references to the natural world and to fairy tales. During the 1930s, she made a transition from embroidery to painting, and her works from this period are painted onto white backgrounds. Her bold and expressive linework was developing and she was combining traditional Ukrainian motifs in new ways. During the 1960s to 1980s, her style continued to develop, with paintings having an increasingly vibrant color palette and a new choice of bright backgrounds for her works.

The Ivankiv Historical and Local History Museum, where many works by Prymachenko had been held, was burned during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, with the supposed loss of 25 of her works. However, according to a social media post by journalist Tanya Goncharova, local people were able to save some of Prymachenko’s works from the fire.

About the Author:

Maria Prymachenko
photo by Yurii Rost
Maria Prymachenko
Bolotnya village in the Ivankiv Raion, Kiev Oblast, Ukraine

Maria Prymachenko (Ukrainian: Приймаченко Марія Оксентіївна) (1908–1997) was a Ukrainian village folk art painter, representative of naïve art. She is famous for her drawings, embroidery, and painting on ceramics.

Maria was a peasant woman. She was born and spent her whole life in the village of Bolotnya in the Ivankiv Raion, Kiev Oblast, situated only 30 km (19 mi) from Chernobyl.

Іn her childhood Maria was taken ill with polio, and this painful disease influenced the girl’s life.

In 1966, Prymachenko was awarded the Taras Shevchenko National Prize of Ukraine. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared that 2009 was the year of Prymachenko. A street in Kyiv and a minor planet are both named after her. Pablo Picasso once said, after visiting a Prymachenko exhibition in Paris, “I bow down before the artistic miracle of this brilliant Ukrainian.”

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Maria Prymachenko Мария Примаченко
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A collection of poems in Russian. Published by Khudozhestvennaya literatura. Moscow, 1990.

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