Author: Petro Humeniuk

Venue: 26 Virmenska Str., Lviv, Ukraine, 79008

Date: 2011-08-23 - 2011-09-25

Petro Humeniuk is known in Lviv not only by the works presented in numerous exhibitions, but also as the L. Kurbas theater artist. The exhibition «The Cognition of the Heat» represents the creative works of Petro Humeniuk in the field of sacred art - an icon-painting, easel painting and graphics.


The personal comprehension of Christianity can be traced in the creation of artist since the 80th, when the artist worked in the restoration workshops of the National museum in Lviv. Petro Humeniuk devoted ten years of his life to restorations of ancient icons. The comprehension of icon in this period took place under the influence of prominent art critic Vira Ilarionivna Sventsitska. She has opened for Petro Humeniuk a beauty of a folk icon.



The next turning point in the sacred creation of P. Humeniuk was the work on iconostasis for the Greek-Catholic Church of Three Handed Virgin of the Ukrainian community of Tallinn. Artist managed to create an iconostasis adapted to the medieval architecture, so in the walls of the Roman temple emerged a unique environment of the Byzantine liturgical space. The photos of this project can be viewed at the exhibition.

Humeniuk’s sacred art is characterized by a distinct non-confession features — his works does not assert only one Christian tradition, but rather go to main — Christ. Using both Eastern and Western iconography, Humeniuk does not feel limited by it - the Christian tradition of the past for him is a good ground for personal reflection and personal search.


In his sacred works Petro Humeniuk is concentrated foremost on the tragic themes such as “The Carrying of the Cross” or “The Kiss of Judas”. Probably such choice is dictated not only by personal perception and experiencing of Christianity, but also by his own expressive visual language. Among the classics of the twentieth century modernism Humeniuk is the nearest to Ernst Kirkhner and Max Bekman, a deep cognation can be also seen with painting of Khaim Sutin and graphics of Tadeush Kulisevich. Among the Lviv graphic artists - Volodymyr Loboda and Ivan Ostafiychuk. Founding out parallels in the Lviv painting, is worth mentioning painting of Andrey Humeniuk, the brother of the artist. Both Humeniuks unite not only near manner of painting but also deep comprehension and experiencing of presented domestic themes in the epic light.

In the painting and also in the icon-painting of Petro Humeniuk is felt his previous experience of graphic artist — a very expressive form collects more deep sounding due to an unusual color. Often it is a deaf and tense color. Particularly in painting of the artist, it is rarely possible to see the expressive open color; more often it is a color of shade, which predicts a drama.


That is why it was so important to present not only the recent paintings and icon-painting works of Petro Humeniuk on the exhibition but also to show the sources of this art — we can find them exactly in the early graphic works of artist. Very often it is not “classic” themes of Christian iconography. Their sacred meaning is hidden behind the seemingly everyday subject. These graphic works can be interpreted on different levels — the sacred, the local, the domestic.

Creation of Petro Humeniuk is many-sided — often unexpected, often charming. His personal interests include theatrical space, church art and machine graphic arts. Gallery “ICONART” is especially pleased to present at least one area of creative searches of this deep and serious artist.

 Markiyan Filevych

Video from the exhibition launch can be viewed at: