The Album-Monography is a tribute to the creative work of a famous Ukrainian landscape painter Nikolay Andreyevich Shelyuto. His life was closely associated with Odessa and his art, touching for a short time with avant-garde of 1920s, became unique example of ideas of South Russian School of painting. These ideas became basis for traditions of plein airs in Odessa and in Ukrainian Fine Art. Thanks to the artists of South Russian School Shelyuto started looking for interactions with European Landscape Schools of XIX-XX c.
He worked much not only in Odessa but also in Kiev and the Crimea. But it was Odessa painting where Shelyuto’s landscapes played very important role, connecting South Russian School with modern times. Thus realistic forms, despite variety of styles, still exist and develop. N.A. Shelyuto lived under social realism and having chosen realistic painting he managed to remain above ideological directions of that time. He tried to find perfection in impressionistic harmony of colours and tones, thinking that his creative task was the analysis and combination of nature with human feelings and emotions. Shelyuto didn’t approve socialistic limitations of realism and it probably became the reason of his unpopularity while alive. Even after his conferring to the rank of the Honoured Art Worker of Ukraine (1962) his creative work didn’t arouse interest among art critics.
The first serious publication about N.A. Shelyuto – Album-Monography by T.V. Basanets – covers the last 60 years of the artist’s life and creative work. Shelyuto’s oeuvre helps the author of the monography not only to carry out analysis of his painting, to retrace the formation of his world outlook and artistic ideas, but also to make an emphasis on each period of his creativity with their peculiarities and appropriateness. Thus we can find out some out-of-the-way items of information about the artist’s work of 1920s, the period of formation of his artistic principles, priorities, tastes. Analysing the painting of 1930s, the author of the album points out the influence of Barbizon School and impressionism on the artist (when Shelyuto was alive this evident succession was not noticed or was thoroughly concealed).
In the Monography particular emphasis is placed upon Shelyuto’s landscape painting in 1950-1970s, which was praised and at the same time criticized for the lack of “socially significant features” and “advantages of the pictures”. The paradox was that despite the criticism dozens of his paintings were bought by the most prestigious Ukrainian museums.
The text part of the Album (about 100 pages) relies on archival documents, newspaper and magazine publications, Shelyuto’s correspondence with family, pupils, friends. Of special interest are recollections of the artist’s colleagues, members of his family. Some pages of the publication are devoted to Shelyuto’s wife, Irina Ivanovna Remiz – artist, faithful friend and creative companion. The Monography contains more than 200 reproductions of Shelyuto’s works.
Critical apparatus of the publication contains the biggest catalogue of the artist’s works (1789 titles) with names of museums, where the works are kept; bibliographic database with all publications about Shelyuto’s life and creative activity; index of artists who were mentioned in the Album-Monography with their brief biographical data.
Author and compiler T.V. Basanets – K.: Polygraphic Company “Oranta”, 2008 – 304p.