"Red icons" - images on glass from Hutsul and Pokuttia regions from the collection of Ostap Lozynsky


Venue: Lviv, Virmenska Str. 26

Date: 2014-12-17 - 2015-01-20

For the third time during Christmas period Contemporary Sacred Art Gallery Iconart goes away from its main task – to present contemporary iconography – and offers an exhibition of ancient folk icon painting.

Icons on glass are one of the brightest pages of Ukrainian folk art. This phenomenon is well known in Central and Eastern Europe from the XVIII century, spreaded on the territory of the Ukrainian Carpathians from the mid- ХІХ century and lasted generally only a few decades - until the early XX century. However, for all lovers of culture of Pokuttya, Bukovyna and Hutsul regions icons on glass are perhaps the most significant of its achievement. These icons, which were also called "red", apparently because of the dominance of bright ringing red paint on icons were very common in rural homes near Kolomya, Bohorodchany, Kuty, Kosiv, Kosmach, Chernivtsi, Vyzhnytsia. And actually they did not exist in the churches. The list of saints and stories on icons was limited to the most popular - St. Nicholas, the Mother of God, the Saviour, Saint George, St. Barbara, Crucifixion ... With the proliferation of cheap printed reproductions of lithographs and photographs, these icons were driven out of use, and the tradition of icon painting on glass was interrupted. Most icons from the early XX century were often objects of interest of museum staff and collectors. However, private collectors began to form the most interesting collections of iconography on glass only in 1960-70 years. One of the first collectors of Lviv, who devoted himself entirely to this matter, was Ivan Hrechko. Actually, the gallery Iconart presented icons on glass the first time at the feast of Epiphany in 2012 from the collection of famous Lviv social activist and "patriarch" of Lviv collectibles who has been gathering his collection during fifty years.

Then, on Christmas period of 2012-2013 the exhibition of folk home icons on the board from Pokuttya, Bukovyna and Hutsul regions from Lviv private collections was organized. This year's Christmas exhibition continues this tradition and represents an excellent, though not such an old collection of the young artist and collector Ostap Lozynsky.

Ostap Lozynsky is primarily known as an artist and initiator and participant of many significant art events. However collectibles is also one of the bright sides of his personality. That is, after all, natural,  since he was born and raised in a family, where Ukrainian art had special treatment – parents of Ostap are famous Lviv artists and collectors.

Actually, the foundation of Ostap's collection of icons on glass became images that were acquired by his parents back in 1970-80. However, the entire collection was assembled by him recently and has about 40 unique Hutsul and Pokuttya images. In particular, to the rarest and most valuable collection of icons belong icon of Archangel Michael that kills Devil and triple icon with St. Nicholas, the Crucifixion and the Protection of Virgin Mary. However, the main feature of this collection is its "youth". This collection shows that with a strong desire and hard work exceptionally good collection even in our time when seemingly increasingly difficult to find authentic items in their original environment can be created. Another interesting feature of this collection is its contexture in relation to the creation of Ostap Lozynsky, the icons serve him as examples for his own work, and also a source of deeper inspiration in his painting ... For many who formerly knew Ostap Lozynsky primarily as an artist, the exhibition of icons from his collection will help to understand his work better and to look at him as a truly integrated personality.

Roman Zilinko