YEVGEN LUCHENKO (UKRAINIAN 1914-1994)
On the Balcony, 1970
oil on canvas
148.5 x 99.5 cm (58 1/2 x 39 1/8 in.)
signed lower right
Jurii Maniichuk and Rose Brady Collection
New York, Ukrainian Institute of America, Ukrainian Socialist Realism: The Jurii Maniichuk and Rose Brady Collection, September 14-October 7, 2012 (illustrated on p. 35 of the exhibition catalogue)LITERATURE
Jurii Maniichuk, Realism and Socialist Realism in Ukrainian Painting of the Soviet Era (Kiev: LK Maker, 1998), p. 169 (illustrated)
Yevgen Dmitrovich Luchenko was a Ukrainian painter, known best for his genre scenes, portraits, and landscapes. Luchenko studied under influential Ukrainian artists Karp Trokhymenko (1885-1979) at the Kiev Arts Technicum (1931) and Fedir Krychevsky (1879-1947) at the Kiev Art Institute (1934-1946). Although his education was interrupted by the outbreak of the Second World War, Luchenko returned from the front in 1946, completed his degree, and became a member of the Artists' Union of the USSR the same year. Luchenko made his artistic debut at the All-Union Art Exhibition (Moscow, State Tretyakov Gallery and the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, 1947); and his first personal exhibition opened in Kiev in 1988. The painter's works are held in collections of the National Art Museum of Ukraine, as well as in nearly a dozen regional art and historical museums.
On the Balcony bridges two of Luchenko's strengths: portraiture and landscape painting. The balcony door ajar, the viewer is invited to observe the intimate scene in the foreground (the woman in red counters our gaze, further enabling the relationship between the viewer and the viewed): a young boy and two women enjoying tea. The figures, carefully observed from life, are set against an inviting nightscape; a brilliant orange moon illuminating the waters.
The following lots come from the collection of the Ukrainian-born American lawyer Jurii Maniichuk (1955-2009), who amassed nearly 150 large-scale pieces of Ukrainian Socialist Realism of the 1950s-1980s. Maniichuk acquired these paintings (primarily from working artists or their heirs) while working in Kiev as a legal consultant for the World Bank in the 1990s, and brought them to the U.S. in 1999. With UkraineÕs newfound independence from the USSR in 1991, Socialist Realism fell out of favor with collectors and curators. Recognizing their historical value and aesthetic appeal, Maniichuk made it his preeminent goal was to preserve the paintings for future study and appreciation. As part of that effort, his widow, Rose Brady, now the collectionÕs owner, lent nearly half of the collection long-term to the Ukrainian Institute of America in New York (2012-2018). Select works have also been featured at the Brooklyn Museum (Russian Modern, 2011-2016), at East West Fine Art (formerly known as Gallery on Fifth) in Naples, Florida (We the People. Everyday Life in Post-Soviet Union and modern-day Southwest Florida, November 29-December 20, 2014; Rescued from the Flames, Soviet Era Social Realist Paintings from the Collection of Jurii Maniichuk and Rose Brady, December 2013-January 2014), and at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, Florida (Ukraine: The Maniichuk-Brady Collection of Socialist Realist Art, August 27-December 4, 2015).
This lot is being sold without reserve.