Home > Artists > Kugai, Anatoliy > Peonies and Lilies of the Valley


Anatoliy Kugai was born in 1936 in the city of Dnepropetrovsk. In 1960 he graduated from Dnepropetrovsk Fine Arts College. In 1961-1967 he studied in The National Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture (The Kiev State Art Institute) in the battle painting studio guided by professor V. Puzirkov. A member of The Ukrainian Union of Artists since 1987. Having graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts he worked in art workshops of Poltava (1967-1972), in the Museum of folk Architecture and mode in Pirogov (1972-1974), in Kiev art workshop "Artist" (1974-1994). While constaltly improving his professionalism Anatoliy Kugai has mastered along with the easel painting numerous techniques of monumental art, which enhanced greatly his creative abilities. He performed monumental painting and decided in complex the interior decoration making use of a wide spectrum of artistic techniques and materials: hot and cold encaustics, wood-carving, mosaics, ceramics, engravings. The work in the museum of folk Architecture and mode gave him the additional skills of a restorer. This period appeared to become the decisive one in establishing Anatoliy Kugai's creative personality, in his artistic credo formation. Having got involved in the treasures of the ukrainian folk culture he has found his place in the contemporary artistic process. All his following works are full of the sense of relation with the fate of his people – sincere, warm, lyric and highly epic painting. He worked persistedly at the new plastic and coloristic decision to perform the glorious theme of Ukrainian folk history. In 1973 Anatoliy Kugai participated in the republican art exhibition in Kiev – the industrial landscape "Night Shift in Dniprodzerzhinsk". In 1987 the personal exhibition of art works took place in the National Union of Artists of Ukraine.

His monumental compositions are of even greater importance, where the artist has completed great complex tasks on creating the corresponding atmosphere which supplements and decorates state buildings of Kiev, Poltava, Kryviy Rig, Priluki and many other Ukrainian towns and villages. One can distinguish in the varied artist's work many prominent works, great not only by size, but also by creative energy involved. For instance, in 1977 – an engravement at the stop of the speed tram "Sosnin Family" (23 м2) in Kiev. In the cafe hall of the Poltava artifical diamond plant there are monumental frescoes 1980-1981 "Sorochentsy Fair" (hot encaustics 36 m2); hexagonal engraved mahogany doors with relief images and ornamented door-posts – "Cossack Mamay" engraved two-side compositions "Steppe Birds" (9 m2) and "Steppe flowers" (9 m2); mosaic composition "The Sea World" – decoration of the leisure area swimming pool for workers of the plant. In 1983 he created mahogany engraved panel "Folk Song" (21 m2) in the interior of the restaurant in Kryviy Rig as well as 8 separated compositions on two architectural pilons (65 х 65 х 300 cm) united by the common topic "Folk Holidays": "Wreath of Fate", "Spring Holiday", "Kupava on Summer Bank Holiday", "Maid Princess" and others. In 1884 he performed frescoes "Ukrainian Cossacks" (cold encaustics 22 m2) and 7 carved wood compositions "Flora and Fauna of Ukraine" (0,7 m2 each) in Mankivka Cherkassy region. Frescoes "Seasons of the Year" (hot encaustics 23 m2) in 1985 in conference hall of Kiev transport organization. 1986 – frescoes "Folk Dance" (cold encaustics) in the culture palace dance hall in Agromomiya village, Mykolaiv region. 1987-1988 – complex interior decoration of the Head Post Office in the town of Priluki: monumental painting "Ancient Priluki" (hot encaustics 33 m2); composition "Priluki" – woodcarving (5 m2); a series of compositions on the theme "Chumak's Songs" (chamot, ceramics 60 x 35 cm). Hi is the author of the epic picture of life of our people "Sorochentsy Fair", where he creates the common image of a folk holiday as of the traditional Ukrainian culture representation by the means of monumental art. Positive sunny colorite of the painting, fair misanscenes full of warm humour, brightly depicted personages, characteristic of ukrainian peasants – altogether it raises the idea of the holiday, kindness and happiness of existence. The historic painting "Ancient Priluki" which is decoratively generalized, full of spirit of heroism, of the struggle for national liberation.

The restoration of the last in the World War II panel picture "Election of Martin Pushkar as a Colonel" by Sergey Vasilkovsky, which was created for the Poltava Country building (now the Museum of Regional Studies) in 1903-1907 is considered to be an eminent work of Anatoliy Kugai. Only small black and white photograph images are left from the original canvas by Vasilkovsky, that is why all the work on restoration of the color potence of the picture and image development was held in 1995-1996 by the author almost from the very beginning. The restoration of Illinska Church frescoes in Podol, Kiev challenged a lot of author's experience in art materials technology and his ability to adapt the contemporary painting previously formed ancient atmosphere. In 1999-2000 the artist took part in the reconstruction of frescoes in the interior of renewed St. Michael Golden Domes Cathedral in Kiev – he worked on frescoes of three figures of the saints depicted on the architectural pilons. Art works of the easel painting take a special place in the activity of Anatoliy Kugai. He brought much energy in realizing of historic events, folklore stories and national customs plots. The favorite elements of his canvases are the brightly outlined field and meadow flowers, sunflowers, poppyflowers, guelder-rouses, the author depict with the keen excitement of the true hunter fisher's and hunter's trophys, fish, cray-fishes, dry-fishes. He depicts with the genuine artist's taste and lyrical poetry the city motives of ancient and contemporary Kiev, Poltavian landscapes smelling of fresh air. Numerous easel paintings by Anatoliy Kugai are presented in author's collection as well as private collections of connoisseurs from Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, Germany, Britain, the Usa and other countries.

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Artwork name: Peonies and Lilies of the Valley

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Oil on Canvas,
(23 1/2"x21 1/2")

Price: POA

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