Yuriy Koval

The artistic practice of the painter Yuriy Koval is undoubtedly anthropocentric. The drama of the artist’s paintings is gradually unfolding: around the image of a person, through the portrayal of the body and its fragments, portraits, and self-portraits, placed into different subject environments; as the story of observation and self-immersion, arguments about the integrity and harmony, conflict and destruction, the outline of zones of influence and comfort. Physicality in works of Koval acts not only as an aesthetic factor but as a universal code, as an emphasis on the importance and vulnerability, the fragility of human life in general, and the significance of each individual, their fears, aspirations, desires, taboos.
Just as a body can simultaneously symbolize defenselessness and strength, the artist builds his compositions on contrasts that increase the tension of a picturesque dance, he combines monochrome and warm nude colors, sharp angles of two-dimensional planes with soft and smooth volumes, tumultuous object movements with a frozen void background. Thus, in the series “Manifestation”, a homogeneous, mostly white, the background appears as if the primary silence, muteness, where the images, associations, fragments that form the basis of language and pictures of appearing from. All these series are the record of the process, as the footage of the newly captured film, where the outlines of different states, different emotions: fear, conflict, acceptance, dismissal, etc emerge gradually.
By collaging objects, the author creates a kind of theatrical entourage, dramatic and sometimes absurd, but one that reflects the paradox of the world and the variety of circumstances that a person faces throughout life. The naturalistic depiction gives robots an eerie persuasiveness, immersing in contrasting unions of incompatible. In today’s intensive flow of information, different realities overlap, and it becomes almost impossible to distinguish real and fictitious, to find where exactly the reality benchmark actually is. The flow of disassembled shots in the works of Koval is like a flicker of images in the mind, which we encounter every day and what the information background is formed from, which inevitably affects everyone.
In his hyper-realistic paintings, Koval speaks of the body as a territory, as an alive space that has certain outlines and characteristics – with strengths and weaknesses, painful spots, injuries. Space can be common, controversial, open, or isolated, with fixed or moving boundaries. Your own body is the only area the contours of which are safely outlined. But even this border is blurred and fragile. The outlines of the body are the visible physical boundaries of the inner, sacred, and private space. Its movements are expansion into the surrounding space, its appropriacy, permanent establishment, and destruction of territorial boundaries.

Natalia Matsenko


Yuriy Koval
born: Lviv, Ukraine
2002 – 2004 Faculty of interior design at Lviv Academy of Arts, MA in Fine Arts
1994 – 1998 Faculty of Advertisement in architectural environment, Lviv College of Arts, BA in Fine Arts
personal exhibitions:
• 2018 «Disappearence/Manifestation», Karas Gallery , Kyiv, Ukraine
• 2017 «Outline Territory», Golden Section, Kyiv / Dzyga Gallery, Lviv, Ukraine
• 2016 «Balance», Sky Art Foundation, Kyiv, Ukraine
• 2014 «Old line – New line. Interaction.», Hudgraf Gallery, Kyiv, Ukraine
• 2014 «Old line – New line. Interaction.», Bunkermuz Gallery, Ternopil, Ukraine
• 2013 «Old line – New line. Interaction.», Detenpula Gallery, Lviv, Ukraine
• 2012 «Aesthetics. Subconscious», Green Sofa Gallery, Lviv, Ukraine
• 2012 «Taboo», Lenin Gallery, Zaporizhzhya, Ukraine
• 2012 «Taboo», Dzyga Galley, Lviv, Ukraine
• 2009 «Marionettes», Green Sofa Gallery, Lviv, Ukraine
• 2001 Gerdan Gallery, Lviv, Ukraine
• 2019 «La línea del frente. El arte ucraniano, 2013-2019», Museo Memoria y Tolerancia, Mexico city, Mexico
• 2019 «Intro», Ilko Gallery, Uzhgorod, Ukraine
• 2018 Biruchiy Art Contemporary, «Neoshamanism.The Power Of The Ritual», Zaporizhzhya, Ukraine
• 2018 «Ukrainian Still life», Modern Art Research Institute, Kyiv, Ukraine
• 2018 «Life, Love, Fear, Spirituality, Death, Resurrection», Korydor Gallery, Uzhgorod, Ukraine
• 2018 «Blue», Uzhgorod, Ukraine
• 2017 Biruchiy Art Contemporary, «The Birth of Tragedy from the Spirit of Music», Kyiv Art Week, Kyiv, Ukraine
• 2016 «Book», Коrydor Gallery, Uzhgorod, Ukraine
• 2015 «Greenlife», Modern Art Research Institute, Kyiv, Ukraine
• 2015 «Rezydencia», Mona Gallery, Poznan, Poland
• 2014 «Under the blue sky», Art Kyiv Contempopary, Art Arsenal, Kyiv, Ukraine
• 2013 «Biruchiy contemporary art project», Biruchiy, Ukraine
• 2013 «Slice of contextual presence», Dzyga Gallery, Lviv, Ukraine
• 2013 «One from N», Detenpula Gallery, Lviv, Ukraine
• 2012 «Week of Actual Art», project «Quattor Elementa», Museum of Ideas, Lviv, Ukraine
• 2011 «Fine Art Ukraine», Art Arsenal, Kyiv, Ukraine
• 2010 «Ukrainian ZRIZ», Lublin, Poland
• 2009 «Unrepresentable», Green Sofa Gallery, Lviv, Ukraine
• 2006 «World of Enamels», National Museum of Fine Arts in Lviv, Ukraine
scholarships, residencies:
• 2019 Istambul Art Residence
• 2019, 2018, 2016, 2013 Biruchiy Art Contemporary, Ukraine
• 2015 Scholarship of Polish Ministry of Culture Gaude Polonia

now in gallery