(1939 - 2002)

Victor Gryhorov (Hrygorov) was born in Semenivka village of Melitopol region in 1939. 1961 - graduated from the Art School in Simpheropol 1967 - graduated from the Kyiv National Institute of Art. Since 1976 - had been the member of the National Union of Ukraine Artists. Honoured Art Worker of Ukraine. Died in 2002.

Monumental works:

National Taras Shevchenko University of Kyiv, relief, 1980. The hotel "Salyut", Kyiv-exterior "Motion", 1988.
The hotel "Intourist", Kyiv-stained-glass windows, gobelin, 1989.
Painting of St. Mikhael Cathedral of Golden Domes, 1998 -2000, Kyiv.

Main exhibitions:

"Dialogue through ages' - on the occasion of the thousand
anniversary of Christening of Russia. The National Art Museum of Ukraine, Kyiv

1989 - "View". Berlin, Germany
1990 - Exhibition in Malmo. Sweden
1991 - Personal exhibition. Vienna, Austria
1991 - "Unity": 1000 Ukrainian artists of the world - on the occasion of the centenary of the Ukrainian colonies in Canada
1992 - Exhibition of Italian Art-galleries. Padova, Italy
1993 - Personal exhibition. Lille, France
1993 - Personal exhibition in "Brama" Centre of Arts. Kyiv, Ukraine
1994 - Personal exhibition. Sorento, Italy
1996 - University - gallery "Autumn opening day". Kyiv, Ukraine
1996 - Gallery "Lehalle". Paris, France
1997 - Personal exhibition. Edinburgh, Scotland
1999 - Personal exhibition. Rouen, gallery "Old mill", France
2002 - Personal exhibition "I am Grigorov". The National Art Museum of Ukraine, Kyiv.


It is the incontestable fact that Victor Grigorov is a realized painter. Moreover, he is not and never was like a fixed classic in his lifetime. His style and his brush are recognized at first sight however, it is really surprising that perhaps 'a priori' a certain creative canon does not exist within fixed movement in a personal circle. His lines are lively, always moving in a fan­tastic dance, turning into an inconceivable maze full of vague images.

Grigorov depicted a true, real act of living without any beginning and end. Moreover, I would say that it is a perpetual act, despite that it sounds like a pathos. Therefore, probably the great number of his canvases and drawings are simply called - "The Act". And the whole irre­pressible process, both the life of the painter and his subtle sparkling images is turning into a "tight knot" of the really saturated and life long action expressively and desperately named "I am Grigorov".

In this catalogue there is a presentation of the art works, which were made by Grigorov in the last decade of his life. There is no doubt that a lot of these canvases will leave this native country as well as others. Since Grigorov is a Ukrainian painter, well-known in the world, lots of foreign muse­ums and private collections boast of his works. However, Grigorov is Ukrainian and the most known of his art works will stay here forever. Because, first of all he is a painter-monumentalist.

Kyiv St. Mikhael Cathedral of Golden Domes and many other important and symbolic objects had being painted by Grigorov. Just the knowledge of main principles of monumental painting makes his works not only expressive and dynamic, but tectonic and structurally rigid, saturated by clear and sharp lines according to the composition and colour spectrum.

His works are not excessive of numerous colors. They seem to be almost graphical. The images are not making an impression as if they are very complicated and difficult to under­stand. They are minimally simple and so they are syncretic and symbolic. They are symbols of "the act", "the motion", "the course of time and space". Despite such not simple "base", "lin­ing", Grigorov's works are incredibly masterfully easy. Everything, experience and understanding of material and process, creates the great simplicity to perceive his pictures and the stylization, which does not destroy the image, but conversely it keeps in an openly realistic way, without "a peel" of unnecessary details.

One more distinctive feature of this exposition is the presence of monumental education as well as monumental ideology which making an impression of the whole integrated space aggre­gated from fresco segments.

Different size canvases and the plot diversity seemed to be painted on the walls of a temple (Slavonic? Byzantine?) or a refined hall or an antique building, "repainted" by ethnic and reli­gious layers of coming times.

Who can understand the painter? Nobody can. Even the painter "does not know what he is creating", because he never knows who leads his hand and what actually is going to appear as a result.

The painter still could not explain the process of vision birth, its content, sense and genetic code. However, it is unnecessary for him. Real mystery cannot be solved, otherwise it is not a mystery. What can be more enigmatic than mystery of creation?

Grigorov's creation is worth paying attention to. His works can be liked or not, they can irri­tate or give pleasure, but there is no doubt that Victor Grigorov is the extraordinary painter. He has to be seen and known, because probably "the lack of such knowledge" is a complete igno­rance. As clever people noted about him: "Grigorov paints taking pleasure of free motion of the line, weightless black snowflakes of blots: creating the negative of woman's flesh that became almost like a spirit, aroma and mystery of feelings, beauty like a guest from heavens, who is keeping a mystery of whole existence, like a dream in a sleep. Victor Grigorov experi­enced fame and social recognition, went through destruction of his works, wealth and poverty, was loved by his friends and was not completely understood by them. He is the painter, who is living nearby us and creating for us".

Svitlana PHESENKO,
painter of graphic arts, editor of culture department of "Policy and Culture" Ukrainian weekly

Being always optimistic and romantic, Victor was not adapted to this life, believing and thinking that all people were as sincere and kind as he was.

I have never heard from him any bad words about his colleagues.

Such a rare thing!

For me Victor is a MODEL of a pure soul. I do not know anyone more sincere and open as he was.

It has become empty without him. He overworked himself.

I can not reconcile myself to the fact that we won't see each other any more!

However, he is with us.

Long life to his canvases, where he painted the most beautiful of all-women!

Grigorov! And that's it! There is nothing else to say!

national painter of Ukraine

Victor Grigorov is a serious and talented figure in the constellation of famous Ukrainian painters. He is worth of thorough and professional art investigation.

He even commented his photographs from Paris in the following way: "It is ME and Monmartre", "It is the ME and the Eiffel Tower", "It is ME and Paris"

It is likely a key for understanding of his poetic soul, his unique personality. It seems to me that using those words Grigorov explained his artistic nature, feeling himself in this boundless world.

Grigorov is really a painter with especially sensitive feeling of himself. Victor was well-educated knowing the history and development of world of European art in the second half of the XIX-XX centuries in particular, which distinctive feature was the declaration of new understanding of a painter's personality as a unique one.

For Victor that was very close and important.

"I would like to draw a line, but it has to be obvious for everyone that I have done it" - the Painter said.

I think that was the positive, which created Grigorov, whom we all know, respect and love.

I saw and felt how he permanently tried himself on regarding great others, and that made him closer to them.

Because of his inner power and soul anxiety Grigorov goes-together with Van Gog, Gogen, Modiliani, at the same time he had some features of Gogol.

Grigorov is the volcano, where outside everything is majestic, splendid and calm. The grass is growing, the flowers are blooming, but inside, in the depth of the heart, something is always boiling, burning, happening.

The light of his creation does not go out.

His canvases are filled with special inner energy, with Grigorov's individual expressionism.

He never served anyone. His God was high and pure art.

Victor is the unique painter indeed. He actually carried through his whole life one motive, one theme, his "nu".

By his own creation he confirmed that real art does not need any "great" topics with numerous fig­ures and images, complication of composition and numerous quantity of colours.

Grigorov's palette is white and black with just some more (two or three) colours in addition. But the effect is tremendous. His canvases are literally filled of special vibration, pulsation, the energy of his soul.

He had so powerful creative potential that he always faced the lack of clear canvases. He passed away on the high wave of creativeness. Actually he did not exhaust himself.

Volodymyr PASIVENKO,
honoured painter of Ukraine, Shevchenka Prize Laureat

In France Victor Grigorov is considered as a French painter. I spoke with him about this on many occasions. It is difficult to deny the correctness of this opinion and whether it is worth doing that at all. We know that many artists, who were well-known in their homeland, nevertheless they went to France for any reason and later achieved some social recognition, fame and they became French painters. It hap­pened with Picasso. And now there are many artists, who live and work in France. Among them there are Mazurik, Solomaha, Makarenko etc.

Victor believed that those French people who had helped to discover France for him, discov­ered him in France.

honoured pamter of Ukraine

Long time ago by chance Victor showed me his student's work named "Akanfa". I was very surprised by its perfection (later Victor completed it and exhibited). Then I asked him how he managed to achieve such skill and knowledge in Melitopol. Victor told me about his teacher who was studying at St. Petersburg Academy of Arts some time and then developed in him love to the Crimean land, music and works of Olexandr Green. The teacher's name was Illariy. Just shortly before Victor's death, he had told me the teacher's surname, it was Chubich. I do not know anything about this painter and his works, however, what Grigorov had been taught by him in Melitopil only with the help of one drawing done with the perfection of St. Petersburg Academy of Arts (other schools in Odessa and Simpheropol are also good, but in a different from St.Petersburg’s way) overwhelmed me with a profound respect to Illariy Chubich.

Moreover, when Victor became a Head of Art Council of the monumental workshop, he introduced a rule: any opinion about the art work every member of the Art Council was able to express just in the presence of the author. It helped to avoid any indirect references and intrigues outside.

Now I understand why Victor insisted on that. He knew his own worth and understood his place in the art space.


I have never thought that I would write these several lines. Just after the brilliant exhibition "I am Grigorov", which had been lasting for two months in the National Art Museum of Ukraine, together with Grigorov we were inspired with numerous ideas and one of them was about publishing of the catalogue of Grigorov's canvases.

Now, I imagine, how maestro Grigorov would have been glad if he had seen the realization of our plans. It even seems to me that he sees it and as only Grigorov could do this he is now delighted where his soul is. I do not know why, but I am convinced of that. Because one of the values that I took during the years of our friendship and for what I am always grateful to Victor is his fantastic ability to enjoy and smile to life's face every moment in the whole diversity of colours and paints at the sunrise and the sunset...

Volodymyr OLIYNYK,
idea author, manager of "lam Grigorov" project, sincere admirer of Victor Grigorov's talent

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Artwork name: Kiss

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