9 December 2022, 22:49

The beauty of nature and life in Transcarpathia in the work of Ernest Kontratovych

The beauty of nature and life in Transcarpathia in the work of Ernest Kontratovych
Ernest Kontratovich is the author of beautiful landscapes, a reclusive artist who opposed the ideological standards imposed by the Soviet government all his life. He was born in 1912 and was very inquisitive in early childhood: he read a lot, listened to the musical works of Bach and Vivaldi, played the violin himself. However, Kontratovich's main passion was painting: after graduating from an art school in Uzhgorod, where Adalbert Erdeli and Iosif Bokshai taught, the young artist participated in several city exhibitions.
Kontratovich followed in the footsteps of his teachers, and also took up teaching. He honed his style in nature, traveling to nearby villages. Here the artist not only enjoyed the surrounding views, but also carefully studied the traditions and life of ordinary people. Next to the bright and emotional landscapes, dark paintings appeared, telling about the difficult human life.
And yet, nature was the main theme of Kontratovich's work, and not by chance. The painter deliberately moved along this path so as not to intersect with the socialist realism that was dominant at that time. In addition, he rarely appeared in public, and for many years remained invisible to both criticism and censorship. Only in 1968 did a major exhibition of paintings take place, after which Kontratovich was finally talked about, and museums began to acquire his works. In 1973, the paintings were exhibited at the Union of Artists in Kyiv, and over the next two decades, he received first the title of Honored, and then the People's Artist.
And Kontratovich also believed that there are no completed works of art, each of them can be brought to perfection all the time. That is why he more than once finished painting, even if he was pleased with his work. Kontratovich decided not to bind himself by marriage, as he believed that the artist remains free for creativity only in solitude.

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