UKRAINE, POLAND AND HUNGARY
Many European countries are known to represent
beautiful, with the added mystery of Ukraine,
Poland and Hungary being rarely surpassed. In fact
some refer to them as the capital of such beauty.
As far back as the mid-twentieth century several
Western academics including, Czesław Miłosz
and more recently, Yuri Andrukhovych have
expressed an interest in the idea of a Central
Europe that does not oppose Western Europe,
but more one that complements it.
Highlighting the differences Aleksander Fiut
famously said that «Central Europe happened to
be able to preserve values, including ethical
values which in Western Europe faded and
scattered long ago.»
Now in modern times this idea is reinforced with
the rebirth of cultural constituent parts throughout
the Ukraine, Poland and Hungary.
Whatever clashes have occurred between these
three nations in the past has not detracted from
the artistic merit they have to offer and none more
so than the contemporaries; Taras Shevchenko,
Adam Mickiewicz and Sándor Petőfi. It would be
easy to imagine these three befriending one
another, but sadly it was never the case. One
found himself in exile, another at war and the
third emigrating. Still they were as unified by
their negation of the Empire as were the painters
Shevchenko, Matejko and Munkácsy.
Artdoes not require translation and is generally
understood, or at least appreciated regardless
of culture, heritage and nationality. It achieves this
status largely through media attention, galleries and
museums the world over.
This is especially true in the East, which is largely
occupied by authors from ‘monopolist’ countries
such as those of Europe and America. Whilst the
talent of these is not in question there is a strong
argument that others are and have been overlooked
in their favor at times — perhaps unfairly so.
Painters of the Ukraine, Poland and Hungary have
responded to this with a unique appeal to both the
East and the West. Shevchenko himself painted
Eastern children with undisguised sympathy and
sentiment. In fact it is only in Central Europe that
the phenomenon of an author belonging to several
national cultures is common...
Trans Carpathian Adalbert Erdályi was a Hungarian
by ethnicity and yet brilliantly represented by
Ukrainian pictorial tradition. Moreover, Henryk
Siemiradzky was born in a small village near
Kharkiv and yet is a national painter of Poland.
While the world is so often torn by contradictions,
painters of Central Europe are on the same
wavelength as one another. Perhaps this is due to a
shared language at times, with both Hungarian
and Polish spoken in the Western Ukraine.
Regardless, the undisputable power of Central
European art is incomparable in many ways,
particularly in terms of the originality of its impressions.
Cultural heritage of these countries plays a
part here, as does the unspoken language of art,
which can be felt throughout history here...
The famous post-modernist Borges joked once
«I have never read Hungarian poetry, but I am
sure there are a lot of masterpieces there.» Within
half a century Hungarian cinema school became
renowned the world over, just as it had for Poland
Next on the waiting list is Ukrainian art, but unlike
cinematography, paintings can do without astounding
investments and marketing in order to reach the
hearts and minds of another country more quickly.
By this standard it would be impossible to overestimate
the noble initiative of N2N — a Ukrainian
gallery inspired by multi-cultural ideas and
anuntarnished love of art. Its mission is not limited
to therepresentation of one country or another, but
uniquely in its «unity in parity» concept. It is this
that offers the special inner affinity creating the
links to this cultural chain, which naturally
stretches itself between continents, consolidating
their union forever.