Alexis Gritchenko. The power of “Dynamocolor”

Alexis Gritchenko is one of the most prominent representatives of Cubo-Futurism and Primitivism in art. His early works of 1909-1912 are marked by an interest in the work of the Impressionists. Later he was influenced by Russian icons, Italian fresco painting, Cubism and Fauvism. In the late 1910s he developed his own style, which he called “dynamocolor” (painting structure with the help of colour).  Using mainly the techniques of expressionism, he approached the interaction with nature in a new way: in his work on the painting the artist refused from the pre-drawn pattern, building the form solely on the laws of colour.

Grishchenko’s works are in many private and museum collections all over the world. Exhibited in Madrid, Stockholm, Gothenburg, Strasbourg and Moscow. Grishchenko’s pictorial works are kept in famous collections of the world, in particular in the Paris Museum of National Modern Art, the Bernays Foundation in Philadelphia (USA), the Kerrigan Collection in New York, the Royal Museums in Brussels and Copenhagen, the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, the Montreal Museum of Canada and so on.

Painter, graphic artist, art theorist

He became interested in art at the age of 17 under the impression of the collection of paintings of the Hermitage in St Petersburg. In 1905 he studied in the studio of painter S. I. Svyatoslavsky in Kiev, in 1910-1911 – in the studios of K. F. Yuon and I. I. Mashkov in Moscow. At the same time (1905-1912) he studied at the philological faculty of St. Petersburg, Kiev and Moscow Universities.

In the 1910s Gritchenko became known not only as a painter, but also as an author of sharp polemical reports and articles on art issues. He wrote the articles “On the links of Russian painting with Byzantium and the West. XIII-XX centuries. Thoughts of a painter” (1913), “On the group of artists “Jack of Diamonds” (1913), “Russian icon as the art of painting” (1917), “The crisis of art and modern painting” (1917).

In 1917 he became a member of the “World of Art”, took part in the exhibition of the association in December 1917. In 1918 he exhibited his works at the exhibition of the society “Free Creativity” in Moscow, in 1919 – at the exhibition of modern painting and drawing in Petrograd. In 1919, together with A. V. Shevchenko, he organised an exhibition in Moscow entitled “Tsvetodinamos and Tectonic Primitivism”, accompanying the catalogue with theoretical articles and a manifesto.

In May 1917 he joined the Council of the Professional Union of Painters of Moscow, in 1918 – the All-Russian Board for Museums and Protection of Antiquities. He organised the removal from the front line and rescue of paintings by old masters from the collection of the Bariatinsky princes.

In 1919 in Moscow, Oleksiy Hryschenko and artist Oleksandr Shevchenko organised a group exhibition entitled “Dynamocolour and Tectonic Primitivism”, publishing a manifesto under the same title. “Painting is our element. Primitivism is our way of expression. Dynamos is our conscience,” the artists wrote. This exhibition, in which 69 of 182 works were Hryschenko’s, became the first big success for the artist in the Russian Empire; over 10,000 people attended the exhibition, and one of Alexis’s works was bought for 5,000 roubles.   

At that time, Oleksiy Hryschenko, born in Krolevets, Ukraine, had completed studies at the Biology and Philology departments in Kyiv, Moscow and Petersburg. He also took courses at the studios of well-known Kyiv landscape painter Sergiy Svitoslavsky; the Moscow art school of Konstantin Yuon; the studio of Pyotr Konchalovsky and Ilya Mashkov; Tatlin’s workshop; as well as four months living in Paris while studying French at the Sorbonne and copying classical works in the Louvre. He had already become a professor of the First State Free Art Workshops and was known in artistic circles.

Gritchenko was included in the lists of artists whose works were obligatory for acquisition by the Tretyakov Gallery. After some time he was even offered the chance to become director at the Tretyakov, but having decided to leave Russia, he turned down the proposal.   

Gritchenko descended from the ship in Constantinople and saw that the city was filled with war refugees. And even though he often had to live in dire circumstances – he wrote that he ate only onions for a whole month – he never stopped painting. The artist described everything he saw and experienced in his diary in a very sophisticated and sensual way. Here are his first impressions from Aya-Sofia: “Today I managed to get to Aya Sofia. What architecture! The rhythm of rounded lines rises higher and higher, captures you victoriously and pulls you into a celestial central sphere, wide like the creation itself, like the cupola of the starry sky. What width and inspiration in the architect’s idea, what connection and what constructive force with the finest nuances that complete it all!” 

Alexis Gritchenko painted most of his work from that period using watercolours. Every day he went out to the city to make sketches. Later these “Constantinople watercolours” would bring the author recognition at the Paris Autumn Salon. Now he was busy attempting to visit all of Istanbul landmarks: the sketches of churches and frescoes bring him commissions and money. 

It is interesting to note that in his memoirs from 1919 the artist recalls that he was reading The Diary by his compatriot Marie Bashkirtseff, an artist and a writer born in Ukraine who had achieved fame and recognition in France. Possibly, it was her detailed diary that motivated him to document his life as well: later, he published four books of his memoirs.

Turkish friends-artists Turkey 1920 – 1921

Working tirelessly, Ukrainian artist Alexis Gritchenko quickly became “relatively famous” among Constantinople’s expansive community of refugee intelligentsia. There was significant English, French and Italian military presence garrisoned around the city, and Alexis had to seek shelter there. Though his financial situation was not good, soon after his arrival he became friends with Turkish artists.

on bbc news
on hindi news
on the news today
on channel 7 news
ôrf news
campo grande news ônibus
ôpera news
campo grande news greve de ônibus
l1 news horário dos ônibus
l1 news ônibus
lago azul news ônibus
news österreich
news österreich heute
news österreich aktuell
news öffentlicher dienst
news österreich corona
news öl
news österreich orf
news ö3
news österreich heute aktuell
news österreich sport
ö24 news
ölpreis news
öbb news
ösv news
österreich news krone
övp news
özil news
öffentlicher dienst news 2023
österreich promi news

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *