Contemporary art, in which, it would seem, everything has already happened, never ceases to amaze us with unexpected discoveries, especially when it comes to Ukrainian artists. Gone, in the end, are the past interpretations of sculpture in its narrow sense – a realistic reproduction of the human figure or animalistics. There is no need today to solve sculptural problems in decorative ceramics, wood or glass. After all, a generation of young sculptors is growing, who, overcoming any restrictions, boldly experiment, expanding the horizons of creative search.

Viktor Prodanchuk is one of such artists. His sculptural sculpture makes a unique impression due to two factors. These are, first of all, somewhat unexpected and original figurative characteristics, dominated by mysterious, surreal-fairy-tale intonations, capable of reaching the secret world of children’s fantasies in our subconscious. They define a wide range of associations – from frivolous grotesque and irony to subconscious anxiety and fear.

The figurative solution in the compositions organically complements the unique interpretation of three-dimensional shapes. If in the case of fireclay, wood or sheet metal, whimsical masks and human figures, trees or plants imbued with organic-natural “flow” of the form, with numerous, as if alive, pointed processes, are perceived quite logically, the embodiment of such ideas in casting in bronze is really impressive. This approach provides the plastic with an unexpectedly active, organic entry into the surrounding space, although, at the same time, causes significant technological complexity (series “Forest”, “Aqua”, “Idols”).

V. Prodanchuk’s works make a strange impression: they seem to appear on their own, like amazing creatures, growths on tree cows, stalactites in caves, smoothed by wind and time stones (series “Flora”, “Ancient”). The presence of the author is practically not felt here. In fact, such an effect is an obvious sign of his skill. The artist’s attempts to introduce color into the sculpture provoke an ambiguous reaction, which reveals a frankly pop-art background, reinforces the contemporary feeling of grotesque and irony (the series “Dead – Living”). The expressive priority of handicraft and inner warmth in the artist’s compositions is successfully complemented by the exquisite comparison of the sculpture with plastically modeled stone or glass stands.

In addition to sculpture, the plastic concept chosen by V. Prodanchuk finds organic development in graphic works. And in this case, the artist remains true to himself, looking for original forms of embodiment of ideas. His graphics, mostly of an unusual elongated rectangular format, do not carry a specific pictorial plot, but represent an unusual planar “fixation” of irregular plastic forms adopted by internal movement. Their natural and organic origin is quite obvious. Living lines and spots, intertwined with each other, can resemble caterpillars, bizarre creeping plants or prints of withered leaves (“Forest” series).

The main secret of the emotional impact of V. Prodanchuk’s compositions lies, perhaps, in endless fantasies, unexpected and sincere visions, completely devoid of the usual “sculpture” deliberate for the sculpture. The viewer’s reaction to works of art always remains ambiguous: everyone gets the opportunity to compare their emotions with personal associations, fantasies, memories.

Orest Golubets

doctor of art history


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