At a time when the world is becoming more and more globalized, boundaries are blurred, differences, borders - it is important not to lose self-identification and self-awareness, not to forget about spiritual origins, that are the source for the formation of the present. In her works from the series «Ribbons» Ganna Kryvolap turns to the topic of Ukrainian traditions, which is a reflection of the mentality and the soul of the people. The inspiration for the creation of works of art became the famous wedding ceremony, when girls tie ribbons on the fence, making their most innermost wishes. In these works of art, we can see how, thanks to the unique expressive colorful style of the artist, a traditional holiday installation is transformed into a modern art work. The artist experiments with means of expression and adds to the image of the "ribbons" on the picturesque canvas its prototype, which becomes a unique guide for the viewer in the synthesis of tradition and modernity. Like those ribbons on her canvases, Ganna Kryvolap intertwines Ukrainian cultural tradition into a contemporary international art context. Exhibitions of the works of the artist have taken place in many cities around the world. Today I am pleased to welcome her in New York City!

Curator Lyudmila Rabij


"The Ribbons" and “Landscapes” of Ganna Kryvolap.

The colored silk ribbon is a special sign in Ukrainian folk culture. Not only a traditional decoration of women's clothing and festive rituals, but perhaps something more – a poetic symbol, which over the years holds an all the more diverse range of contents and meanings, where women's love and fidelity intersect; a sincere message that connects people in love and in separation; a gift, a charm. ... 

The Kyiv artist Ganna Kryvolap has called the new series of her paintings “Ribbons” ("Strichky” in Ukrainian). On her canvases, they then fly, then float over Ukrainian landscapes, as a sign of memory tied to a fence. Vast scopes of Ukrainian spaces are punctuated by vibrant dynamics of colorful lines by the wind that blows them above the ground.   This series originated in the creativity of the artist not accidentally.  It in a certain way combines the main themes of her paintings - landscape and free vivid color writing, admiration for decorative elements of paint in space.

People have been talking about Ganna Kryvolap since the late 1990s, when she was still a student of the National Academy of Art and Architecture [in Kyiv] and began to exhibit her paintings in Ukraine and abroad, soon becoming a laureate of an art competition in Tagasarì, in Japan. Since that time, exhibitions of her works have been regularly held in Kyiv, Tbilisi, Nuremberg, Berlin, Zurich, Istanbul, Miami, San Diego, Houston, Sarajevo and Vienna.  Anna is a member of the Ukraine National Union of Artists and the International Art Association «Syrlin Kunsverein International”.  In 2013, her works were awarded the first prize of the Ukrainian Trìenale of Painting.
Already the first works of the artist, bright textured drawn abstract compositions, demonstrated her great gift for color, creative energy and freedom, free mastery of her material – paint; and the capture - from the very process of painting – of the application of paint onto the canvas.  And although from the very beginning of her artistic activity she has always worked intensely, her works produced the impression of lightness and ease, as if leaving beyond their borders the hesitations and doubts always inherent in creativity. Obvious has also been the influence of her father – no less than the most famous painter in Ukraine today, Anatoly Kryvolap. However, the works of Ganna immediately have been marked by her own personal intonation and artistic vision, which exposed painting as an exciting holiday event, "a game of color in space" where important were the very movement of the brush, the author's gesture and the immediacy of the expression. 

This being said, the creativity of the artist is not limited only to painting but also has used picturesque techniques in various artistic applications. In particular - in artistic events, in which she enthusiastically participated at the beginning of the 2000s. "Painted Bodies" of body art, were spectacular performances that transformed the creative act of painting into a theatrical performance, embodied this internal dynamic, which always is overwhelming in her painting. In the environment of color of her paintings appeared also images of human figures that appeared to pass into them from these performances. That was how the artistic space of the artist was built and grown; where one form completed another, leaving on the canvas its influence and experience.

The artist likes to work in series or cycles, which give the opportunity to develop, refine, vary a certain theme, motif, picture, “painting" it with its different sound. In this series - landscapes of Kyiv, Istanbul, Gurzuf and Sarajevo. Pushing away from real experiences, Ganna Kryvolap transforms them into almost fable-like, fantastic landscapes, wonderful "FATA Morgana", billowing on her paintings as dreams and fantasies. And here again, as is generally inherent in her creative vision, the “landscape” becomes this figurative "material from which the artist builds her world of color. Blue, red, black, yellow, white in her paintings as fragments of priceless mosaics form in tightly structured compositions, hiding in themselves this relaxed free energy of painting so loved by the artist.

In "the Strichky "cycle, this energy spills out onto the surface. Now this is not simply "pure" painting. In her canvases the artist includes "real"ribbons, introducing the subject of the painting in their figurative structure. However, an important semantic element appears here:  the motif of the iron latticework fence, which appears to separate two worlds - ideal Ukrainian landscapes in the depths of the paintings and colored ribbons on their “real” foreground. 

What inspires the artist? Desires again, as at the beginning of her work, to "go beyond the picture plane"? To combine different realities -painting and artifacts of folk rites?  Ganna explains: 
"Once in the evening, while driving outside of the city, I was impressed by colored ribbons, which were tied to a fence. The light of the headlights captured them from out of the near-darkness; they glowed and moved in the air. These ribbons seemed to me like human fates that hover in the background of the eternal natural landscape. I began to draw them, and then to apply them to the fabric, cutting holes in it and tying the ribbons through them. I wanted to combine the depth of the painted landscape and the movement of flat colored streaks on its surface.” 

That is how appeared the series of works that today perhaps most eloquently describe the artist Ganna Kryvolap. The artist who at once plunges into the depth of the colorful dimension of painting or seeks to go beyond its limits, or then builds her canvases as complete conditional decorative structures, infusing them with real experiences, then transforms her paintings into whimsical art-objects. And yet the heart in her art remains the color writing of painting, which in each new work is revealed anew. 

Galina Sklyarenko