Halyna Zubchenko

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Halyna Zubchenko
ZubchenkoGO Better.jpg
Halyna Zubchenko at an art exhibition in Kiev, 1999
Born Halyna Zubchenko
(1929-07-19)19 July 1929
Kiev, Ukraine
Died (2000-08-04)4 August 2000
Kiev, Ukraine
Nationality Ukrainian
Education Kiev Art Institute
Known for Painting, mural

Halyna Olexandrivna Zubchenko (Ukrainian: Галина Олександрівна Зубченко; Russian: Галина Александровна Зубченко; 19 July 1929 – 4 August 2000) was a Ukrainian painter, muralist, social activist and member of the Club of Creative Youth. She joined the Union of Artists of Ukraine in 1965.[1]

Early life[edit]

Halyna Zubchenko was born in Kiev in 1929 into a family of scholars. Her father, Alexander Avksentevich Zubchenko, studied agricultural sciences and her mother, Ganna Skripchinskaya, was a researcher at the Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.[2]

Career beginnings[edit]

Zubchenko's first art teacher was Okhrim Kravchenko, a painter of the Boychukist school. She continued her studies at the Palace of Children's Creativity under Elizabeth Piskorska, a student of Fedir Krichevsky and Mykhailo Boychuk.[3]

From 1944 to 1949, Zubchenko attended the Republican Art School, where she took painting and drawing lessons from Vladimir Bondarenko, another disciple of Fedir Krichevsky. After secondary school, she studied at the Kiev State Art Institute under Oleksii Shovkunenko. She graduated in 1959.[4]

In the summer of 1956, Zubchenko went to Lemkivshchyna, a region in the lowest part of the Carpathian Mountains, to practise en plein air painting.[5] She became keenly interested in the customs of the local Hutsul community; drawing inspiration from their everyday life, she set to make studies and sketches that would become the base for her painting Arkan,[6] completed later that year. Many years later, the painter said, "The Carpathians are my inner world, my dream that has come true. Since my childhood I've been living as in two different epochs: in the ancient times of Kievan Rus and in the present. I've been always so much attracted to the ancient past but I could not find what I was looking for in Kiev. But there, in the mountains, I've discovered the spirit of ancient times ... of ancient Kiev ... I've seen it in the way people live, in the clothes they wear, in their customs, in the way they speak."[5]

Carpathian Evening

In 1957, Zubchenko returned to the Carpathians, this time to Richka, a village near the River Kosovo, where she lived with a Hutsul family. There she painted various portraits and landscapes, including A Girl from the Village of Richka, Willows, Without a Musician There Would Not Be a Fest and Where the Mountain Bears Live. The following summer, she went to the village of Brustory to continue with her series of portraits. She painted Girls from the Village of Brustory (now part of a private collection in Philadelphia, United States), A Girl among Flowers, Semen Paliy, A Churchwarden, A Little Princess (now part of a private collection in Australia), Silver Evening, A Neighbour's House and many landscapes.[7]


Zubchenko decided to paint a traditional Hutsul wedding for her degree. Hutsul Wedding, a large oil on canvas, depicts a wedding procession coming down a hill; it is one of her central works, in which she reflected the experience of travelling around the Carpathians for three years.[8]

The Kiev State Art Institute staff found the painting overly nationalistic and compelled Zubchenko to modify it. Even though Oleksii Shovkunenko, the supervisor of her project, strove to avoid this, she had to change the background and the appearance of the main figures.[8][9]

Carpathian paintings[edit]

Between 1959 and 1964, Zubchenko made several visits to the Carpathian Mountains and produced another series of paintings of the Ukrainian countryside and Hutsul people. Some of the works from this period are Moysyuchka, Princess Paraska, An Old Fortune Teller, Mistress of the Mountains, various portraits of men (Owner, Hutsul Nicholas, Legin) and children (Vasyuta, Vasyuta and his brother, Chichko) and the landscapes Above the Cheremosh, Clouds Walk above Verkhovyna and Dreamy Evening.[10]

Monumental art[edit]

Movement, (1969). Mosaic.
Science Sports Palace in Svyatoshino, Kiev.

In 1962, Zubchenko joined the Club of Creative Youth (Клуб творчої молоді), a multidisciplinary group founded by Les Tanyuk in 1959 and dedicated to promote the Ukrainian culture.[11] She and other artist friends – Alla Gorska, Nadiya Svitlychna, Victor Zaretsky, Halyna Sevruk[12] and Lyudmila Semykina – created a division specialising in visual arts, directed by Veniamin Kushnir.[13]

In 1964 Zubchenko, Gorska, Opanas Zalyvakha,[14] Semykina and Sevruk made Shevchenko. Mother, a stained glass window for the lobby of the Red building of the Kiev National University. As the work was considered "ideologically hostile", the university's authorities ordered to destroy it.[9][15][16][clarification needed]

In 1965, while working for the Academy of Architecture, Zubchenko was commissioned to decorate the exterior walls of the School No. 5 in Donetsk.[17] Alla Horska helped her with the sketches for the eight mosaics, which measured between 10 m2 (110 sq ft) and 15 m2 (160 sq ft) each. While working on the sketches, Zubchenko and Gosrka consulted painter Gregory Sinica, who became director of the project. Other members of the Club of Creative Youth such as Zaretsky, Svitlychna, Gennady Marchenko and Vasil Parakhin collaborated with them.[18] Participated in the creation of the following monumental and decorative panels: "Space"[19], "Elements of water"[19], "Fire"[20], "Earth"[20], "Miner's Edge" ("Prometheus")[21], "Wind and Willow"[22], "Sun"[22], "Subsoil"[23], "Animal World"[23].

Zubchenko married painter Gregory Pryshedko in 1967. The couple worked together for ten years on the decoration of several public buildings in Mariupol and Kiev – in particular, the institutes of the Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. They produced the large-scale mosaics Blooming Ukraine (1967, Zhdanov), Movement (1969, Science Sports Palace in Svyatoshino, Kiev), Victory (1971, Institute of Oncology, Kiev), Blacksmiths of Modernity (1974, Institute for Nuclear Research, Kiev), Masters of Time (1975, Institute of Cybernetics, Kiev) and The Triumph of Cybernetics (1977, Institute of Cybernetics, Kiev).[24][25] After Pryshedko's death in 1978, she continued working on monumental art designs.

1980s – 1990s[edit]

In 1981, Zubchenko made the stained glass window Spring, Summer, Autumn for the Institute of Urology in Kiev and various mosaics for the Dubrava Health Resort in Zheleznovodsk, such as Legend of the Narty, Tales and Legends of the North Caucasus and Merry Sun.[9] The remaining sketches and cartoons for these mosaics were transferred to the Museum of the Sixties, Kiev, in 2010.[citation needed]

In 1985, Zubchenko returned to the Carpathian mountains after a long time. She painted The Last Ray of Sun, Rogatynyukiv's Farm, Princess Yaroslava and Carrying Pears and Plums.

Throughout the 1990s Zubchenko worked on a series of more than 100 watercolours depicting Crimean natural sceneries, some of which are in the Simferopol Art Museum and the Sevastopol Art Museum in Crimea. She also painted views of the Kiev Monastery of the Caves and landscapes of Central Ukraine, such as Morning above the Ros. Other works from this period, including The Power of the Spirit and Our Lady of Pochaev, are based on Christian themes.[citation needed]


Zubchenko took part in several international, national and municipal expositions and organised five personal exhibitions.[1] In 1999, the Embassy of Croatia in Ukraine invited her to stage an exhibition of her works in Zagreb.[26]

Her paintings are in the Museum of Hutsul Folk Art in Kolomyia, the Mariupol Art Gallery, the Kirovohrad Art Museum, the Ivan Honchar Museum in Kiev, the Sevastopol Art Gallery and the Simferopol Art Museum, as well as in art galleries and private collections in the United States, Canada, Argentina, Japan, Australia, Taiwan, Germany and Croatia.[1]



  1. ^ a b c Poshivaylo, (1999), p. 15
  2. ^ Poshivaylo (1999), p. 1
  3. ^ Poshivaylo (1999), p. 3
  4. ^ Artists of the USSR: Biobibliographical Dictionary. Vol.4 (in Russian). Moscow: Art (Искусство). 1983. p. 381. 
  5. ^ a b Poshivaylo (1999), p. 16
  6. ^ The arkan is a Hutsul folk dance.
  7. ^ Poshivaylo (1999), p. 17
  8. ^ a b Poshivaylo, (1999), p. 18
  9. ^ a b c Korchinskiy, Vasyl (2009). Згадую… (Спогади про Галину Зубченко) [I remember ... (Memories of Galina Zubchenko)]. Artanіya (in Ukrainian) (2): 57–63. 
  10. ^ Poshivaylo, (1999), pp. 21–22
  11. ^ "Biography of Les Tanyuk". Dissident movement in Ukraine. Virtual Museum. 
  12. ^ "Like any well-built work, Ukraine's history has its own composition". "Day" newspaper, Kiev. 
  13. ^ Poshivaylo (1999), p. 7
  14. ^ "Opanas Zalyvakha - The Road to Truth". The Ukrainian Museum, New York. 
  15. ^ "A chronicle of the Communist inquisition. 1961–1964". Memorial Society of Vasyl Stus. 
  16. ^ "The Role of Ukrainian Museums in the United States Diaspora in Nationalising Ukrainian Identity" (PDF). Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism: Vol. 8, No. 2, 2008. 
  17. ^ "В Донецке может погаснуть огонь Прометеев. Мозаики школы №5 ("The fire of Prometheus may be extinguished in Donetsk. Mosaic of the School No. 5")" (in Russian). 
  18. ^ Ogneva, Ludmila (2008). Pearls of Ukrainian Monumental Art in Donbass (in Ukrainian). Ivano-Frankivsk: Lіleya HB. p. 52. 
  19. ^ a b Yunakov 2016, p. 319.
  20. ^ a b Yunakov 2016, p. 320.
  21. ^ Yunakov 2016, p. 321.
  22. ^ a b Yunakov 2016, p. 322.
  23. ^ a b Yunakov 2016, p. 323.
  24. ^ Kiev: Overview of Architectural Monuments and Ensembles (in Russian). Kiev: Budivelnyk. 1978. p. 131. 
  25. ^ "Киевские мозаики советского периода ("Mosaics in Kiev. Soviet period")" (in Russian). 17 April 2012. 
  26. ^ Halina O. Zubcenko. Galerija Viseslav (in Croatian). Zagreb: Matica hrvatska NIN. 1999. 


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