SEPTEMBER

STEPS TO MEETING THE COLOUR

"I was so captivated by painting with oil that I thought — this will be my life."

The story about the life and work of Dmytro Yakutovych

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Dmytro Yakutovych at work.
The Carpathians, nearby the house, 1980.
The author of the photo — Heorhiy Yakutovych.
From the family’s archive

Dmytro Yakutovych has been working in professional art for more than forty years, despite the fact he did not receive professional education. Nevertheless, it is unlikely that any educational establishment in Ukraine could have offered the artist a program similar to which Ukrainian artists in the house at Kudryavskya developed personally for him. Dmytro’s teachers, in particular, were Hryhorіy Havrylenko, Anatoliy Lymariev, Mykhailo Vainshtein, Oleksandr Hubarev and Mykola Rapay. It was Hryhorіy who noticed Dmytro’s experiments with the colour and texture of oil paints and drew the attention of the artist to the fact that this was an interesting artistic decision. Consequently, the author's technique of Dmytro — oil drawing — was born. He defines his style as "expresso-impresario", one that combines the features of expressionism and impressionism.

Dmytro Yakutovych.
The Moon and the Sun,
1993, canvas on cardboard,
oil, author’s technique, 35x50.
The author of the photo — Ven. Larin

"Painting should be bright: there should not be white or black colours. But the light must be there. All my life I aspire to spiritually enlighten people with my artworks."

Dmytro Yakutovych, an interview for Yakutovych.Academy

Dmytro Yakutovych.
The Bottles and the Onions, 1988, canvas, drawing, oil, author’s technique, 80x65. The author of the photo — Ven. Larin

Dmytro Yakutovych.
The Stone House in Sedniv,
1991, canvas on cardboard,
oil, author’s technique, 35x50.
The author of the photo — Ven. Larin

Dmytro Yakutovych at work. The Carpathians, 1980. The author of the photo — Heorhiy Yakutovych. From the family’s archive

Dmytro Yakutovych at work. Kyiv, at Kudryavska Street, 47, 1978. From the family’s archive

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Dmytro recalls that he had a happy childhood, despite all the troubles — in particular, he was born at the sixth month of Asya’s pregnancy during a family holiday in Kaniv.

"The first word I said when I was three years old was “moon." My father took me for a walk in the mountains of Kaniv. There was a river, water ... "Moon" was the first word I said. It was very important to me."

Dmytro Yakutovych, an interview for Yakutovych.Academy

Dmytro Yakutovych and Asya Pavlovska. Hurzuf, 1979. Photo from the family’s archive

Dmytro Yakutovych. The Portrait of My Grandmother, 1981, canvas on cardboard, oil, 70x50. The author of the photo — Ven. Larin

In his childhood, the artist was fond of music. His remarkable hearing and skills were celebrated by friends of Yakutovych who gathered at his concerts at their home at Kudryavska. Dmytro even considered the conservatory as a future educational facility. In addition, the boy was mathematically gifted. His memory still impresses the artist's environment — he can set the exact date of the photo that was shot more than forty years ago.

In 1970, when Dmytro was twelve, he and Asya had to visit Heorhiy who at that time worked on the shooting of Leonid Osyka’s film Zakhar Berkut. During the trip amidst the mountains, the son and the mother got in a car accident which resulted in the hearing loss for both of them. Dmytro was enforced to leave musical training. However, he did not collapse and focused on painting. Dmytro started to draw early: when he was ten years old he created his first painting with oil paints. Synesthetic attitude is inherent to Dmytro’s oeuvre — he has discovered lost music in painting. Generally, the artist defines himself as "an optimist". So he thought of his father, adding to this feature a powerful adjective "radical". But for Serhiy, in his opinion, it was not applicable. The brothers were close but their relationship was rather temperate. Dmytro remembers that Serhiy said that there was not much to talk about but a lot to think of. He was not verbose and was able to select appropriate words.

During rehabilitation of the hearing after the accident, the young man spent a lot of time at Asya’s studio, watching her work with colours. Dmytro was inspired by it — now he thinks he has the sense of color "from God and from the mother." At the same period, he tested everything that was in the studio: watercolours, ink etc. Eventually, he chose oil paints.

Dmytro Yakutovych. The Self-Portrait in Red, 1990, canvas on cardboard, oil, 70x50. The author of the photo — Ven. Larin

"I was so captivated by painting with oil that I thought — this will be my life. I had still life canvases ready before my parents arrived. I really liked the texture of applying smears, the constructive assembling of objects. I had a feeling of color. I started with still life, and then proceed with landscapes."

Dmytro Yakutovych, an interview for Yakutovych.Academy

Aside from the mother, the artist had another close friend who significantly influenced his oeuvre — his grandmother from the mother's side Nina Manucharova. Nina was a well-established Soviet architect (in particular, the Dynamo stadium in Kyiv was built according to her project) and an art critic. Dmytro recalls that Grandma was very supportive of him in his search of own style — she always said that art should speak.

Serhiy Yakutovych. The Brother, 1986, etching, 52х63

"I was very close to my grandmother. In 1984, I even lived with her for two months, slept at her apartment and created her portraits. She loved me. She helped me with the preparation for the exams, taught the classes, looked after me. Together we rested in Irpіn, Sedniv. Together we often visited the House of Artists and the evenings of the writers."

Dmytro Yakutovych, an interview for Yakutovych.Academy

Dmytro Yakutovych and Asya Pavlovska. Photo from the family’s archive

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Heorhiy Yakutovych and Dmytro Yakutovych, 2000. Photo from the family’s archive.

The father was the main teacher of the artist. It was Heorhiy who, according to Dmytro, noticed his talent for painting. The father drew a lot with his son, and also turned to oil paints under Dmytro’s influence. They learned from each other: for Yura, who was a daltonian, it was important to understand how his son feels colour, although Dmytro believes that he had the perfect sense. His father lit the love flames for the Carpathians in the hearts of other people, so Dmytro spent a lot of time in the village of Dzembronia, drawing sketches nearby the house. The artist recalls that Heorhiy loved Ukraine and learned the Ukrainian language with Mykhailo Kotsiubynskyi’s Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors. Dmytro thinks he inherited "Ukrainian spirit" from the father.

Dmytro Yakutovych and Asya Pavlovska in the Carpathians. The 1980s. Photo from the family’s archive.

Dmytro Yakutovych. Summer Passes, 2000, canvas, oil, 70x60. The author of the photo — Ven. Larin

The painting Summer Passes Dmytro dedicated to his father. Now the artist defines the artwork as " marking the stage", "one of the best paintings." Dmytro also recalls that he started it before the death of his father, so Heorhiy saw the work. On the background of the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra the fresh flowers on a walnut leaf are depicted there. "This is the complete level of my mastery," Dmytro concludes.

"We traveled a lot with the father. I vividly remember that he carried me on his shoulders when I was a child. Because I was always nearby him, as well as Serhiy. We did not leave our father because he was a figure of great influence. He was more demanding to Serhiy and milder with me. We were spiritually the same. I consider myself a conscious Ukrainian, albeit our family are Russian speakers."

Dmytro Yakutovych, an interview for Yakutovych.Academy

Heorhiy Yakutovych and Dmytro Yakutovych. Kyiv, May, 1, 1964, the parade. Photo from the family’s archive

Dmytro Yakutovych. In the Carpathians while Sketching at Summer, 1996, canvas on cardboard, oil, 80x50. The author of the photo — Ven. Larin

Dmytro Yakutovych in the Carpathians. The 1980s. The author of the photo — Heorhiy Yakutovych

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The Yakutovychs’ circle, members of which often met at Kudryavska Street, had a great influence on Dmytro. Different people visited the parental house: directors, artists, poets, writers and scholars. The Yakutovychs were particularly close to Hryhorіy Havrylenko, Serhiy Parajanov, Svitlana Shcherbatyuk, Yuriy Illienko, Leonid Osyka, Olexander and Olexandra Danchenko, Olga Rapay-Markish and Mykola Rapay. Asya maintained close-knit relationships with Alla Horska. Dmitry calls himself "a consistent sixtier," because all his teachers were the sixtiers.

Dmytro Yakutovych. The Corner of Kudryavska Street, 1981, canvas on cardboard, oil, 80x50. The author of the photo — Ven. Larin

Dmytro Yakutovych. The Carpathians, Chornohora, 1982. The author of the photo — Heorhiy Yakutovych. From the family’s archive.

A plethora of Dmytro’s artworks is dedicated to the interior of the apartment at Kudryavska Street. He loved this place very much and he was extremely comfortable there. The story of how the Yakutovychs settled there is rather unusual and worth being told. At the beginning of the 20th century, Heorhiy’s grandmother Daryna (who, by the way, worked in the Secretariat of the Central Council together with Mykhailo Hrushevsky) and Heorhiy’s grandfather Peter lived in the thirty-first house on the Andriyivsky Descent. In 1903-1904 the Kotovs moved to the same house: the family comprised Fedir Makarovych, Akulina Matviyiivna, his wife, and their children. The Yakutovychs and the Kotovs lived very amicably together.

Dmytro Yakutovych. The Interior of Our Apartment, 1986, canvas, oil, 70x50. The author of the photo — Ven. Larin

The eldest daughter of the Kotovs Paraskoviya who studied well at the gymnasium prepared the son of the Yakutovychs Vyacheslav to the entrance exams of the Institute of National Economy. Subsequently, they married and moved with other members of their families to Petrivska Street, in the seventeenth house. During the Second World War, at the time when Kyiv was occupied, Fedir and Akulina began to make soap according to the recipes which a professor of chemistry shared with them (Fedir was a shoemaker, he made shoes for scholars). Heorhiy was born particularly in the house at Petrivska Street, 17. In 1943, the family temporarily moved temporarily to Ivan Yizhakevych’s place who was famous Ukrainian painter, a writer and a graphic artist ( (at that times Daryna, Paraskoviya and her children were evacuated to the village of Tonkino in the Nizhny Novgorod region, Russia). A few years later, the family acquired the forty-seventh house at Kudryavska where four separate families of the Yakutovychs and the Kotovs settled. After the war, Paraskoviya and Vyacheslav divorced, and Heorhiy’s mother returned to the house at Kudryavska Street with the children.

Dmytro Yakutovych. The Interior of the Apartment at Kudryavska Street, 1981, canvas on cardboard, oil, 80x50. The author of the photo — Ven. Larin

Dmytro Yakutovych. Blue Snov, 1977, canvas on cardboard, oil. The author of the photo — Ven. Larin

Dmytro Yakutovych in the Carpathians. 1986. The author of the photo — Heorhiy Yakutovych. From the family’s archive

Dmytro Yakutovych in the botanical garden. 1995. Photo from the family’s archive

Dmytro Yakutovych at the house in the village of Dzembronia. 1986. The author of the photo — Heorhiy Yakutovych. From the family’s archive

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In 1988, Dmytro got into the second car accident — he was ran over by a car at the Poshtova Ploshcha in Kyiv, when he was entering the bus. The man was heavily injured; due to numerous wounds and fractures, he received the second disability group. Immediately after illness, the artist wrote The Summer Self-portrait, depicting himself in light colors. In 1997, Dmytro joined the Ukrainian Society of the Deaf and the Union of Hearing-Impaired Artists Inspiration. Since then, the artist has been actively participating in the All-Ukrainian exhibitions of people with disabilities and deaf artists, inspiring and supporting their colleagues. Dmytro received numerous awards for his activities: in 2003 he became the winner of the All-Ukrainian Festival of People with Disabilities and received the Cup from the National Assembly; in 2004 he was awarded the International Prize Philanthropist, in 2006 — the International Prize BUZA.

Dmytro Yakutovych. The 2000s. The author of the photo — Ven. Larin

The artistic career of Dmytro began in 1977. At that time he took part in a closed exhibition of self-portraits of Kyiv artists in the studio of the Hryhorievs, where he was noticed, in particular, by Anatoliy Lymariev who invited Dmytro to his studio. In the same year, the painting of Yakutovych Jr. Blue Snov (which, by the way, was signed with Dyakut as the majority of his artworks) was exhibited at the first All-Ukrainian Republican exhibition I love you, life. His first personal exhibition took place in 2001 at the premises of the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra and was title The Steps to the Meeting.

Dmytro Yakutovych. Hurzuf, 1965. . The author of the photo — Heorhiy Yakutovych. From the family’s archive

According to Dyakut , his favorite artists are Claude Monet, Paul Cezanne, Giorgio Morandi and Kazimir Malevich. Kateryna Bilokur and Mary Pryimachenko also significantly influenced his oeuvre. In the childhood, Dmytro often visited the Museum of Folk Art where he encountered their artwork. In his opinion, these two Ukrainian artists created works at a very high level.

Dmytro Yakutovych. The Autumn Still Life, 1989, canvas, oil, 70x50. The author of the photo — Ven. Larin

As one of his best paintings (besides Summer Passes) Dmytro considers the artwork The Autumn Still Life.

Dmytro Yakutovych. The Forest Patterns of the Morning Sedniv , 1983, canvas on cardboard, oil, 60x50. The author of the photo — Ven. Larin

Dmytro Yakutovych. The Kettle and Roasted Cutlets, 2001, canvas on cardboard, oil, 50x50. The author of the photo — Ven. Larin

The artist defines it as "relief, corpus work", adding that it is unique. Dmytro likes the paintings where “the soul was put”. For instance, the artwork The Kettle and Roasted Cutlets is an important piece for Dmytro because it is "emotionally open, there is a lot of fresh air." The story of the creation of the painting The Forest Patterns of the Morning Sedniv is very simple: the artist recalls that on that day there were "beautiful frost patterns", so he "could not stand" and began to write them. It is a great example of Dmytro’s subtle sensibility to the environment and his ability to notice small changes and find beauty in tiny details.

Dmytro Yakutovych. The Summer Self-Portrait, 1989, canvas on cardboard, oil, 70x50. The author of the photo — Ven. Larin

The painter has been making steps to the meeting with genuine intense colour. He has a lot of creative plans: now the artist is organizing several exhibitions, one of which takes place at the House of Veterans. In 2020, Dmytro wants to realize a large exhibition of the Yakutovychs’ oeuvre. "All Yakutovychs and one Pavlovska" — he jocularly notes.

Dmytro Yakutovych. The Forest Thicket, 1997, canvas on cardboard, oil, 80x50. The author of the photo — Ven. Larin

Dmytro Yakutovych. Hurzuf, 1965. . The author of the photo — Heorhiy Yakutovych. From the family’s archive

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