Ukrainian folk artist Yekaterina Belokur
Ukrainian folk artist Yekaterina Belokur (November 25, 1900 – June 10, 1961) was born in Poltava Governoraten of the Russian Empire, and lived all her life in the Soviet Union. “If you ask me – she wrote in one letter – why I draw only flowers? But I can’t help drawing them, they are so beautiful! I myself, when I start to paint another picture with flowers, sometimes I think: that’s when I will finish this one, then I am going to draw something from people’s life. But while I am finishing the picture, there are a number of new paintings in my head, one is more wonderful and beautiful then another – and all of them are the flowers. Here’s the whole story. And spring comes, the grass turns green, and then the flowers bloom … and my God! As you looked around – these are good, and those are even better, and I forget everything, and again I draw flowers! Do not be angry with me, my family and distant friends that I paint flowers, because of them pictures are beautiful.”
To say exactly when the future artist Yekaterina Vasilyevna Belokur began painting – hard to say, but obviously it happened in childhood, and in adolescence. She draw with charcoal on pieces of fabric. At 14 years old, Katerina Belokur was caught behind this meaningless as everyone believed occupation. Resorted to emergency measures – the rod and a strict ban. From now on, the girl had to paint in secret.
In 1939 Katerina was 39 years old. The artist was visiting a cousin, who lived on the other side of the river, and heard on the radio a song by famed Oksana Petrusenko. Or song, or voice, or perhaps both, so startled Katerina that all night she was writing a letter – and sent it in the morning on rather unusual address: “Kiev Academic Theatre, Oksana Petrusenko.” She put a drawing on a piece of canvas – “Kalina” in an envelope along with a letter – Oksana Petrusenko was amazed. She consulted with her friends – artists, went to the center of folk art, and insisted on arranging an exhibition for Katerina Belokur.
And now in 1940 in Poltava House of Folk Art was held a personal exhibition of the self-taught artist from Bogdanovka Katerina Belokur. The exhibition consisted of only 11 paintings. The success was huge. Katerina Belokur was awarded a prize – a trip to Moscow. The artist visited the Tretyakov Gallery, Pushkin Museum, Lenin Museum. The greatest impression she got from Russian artists Peredvizhniki and the French Impressionists. Some time after that she could not even work: “Well, how I can be an artist? I am nothing! My spotting is worthless! Where am I, stupid rural girl, thinking about art? But calmed down, she again paints flowers – 1941 Belokur creates “Wildflowers”.
Master of Ukrainian folk decorative painting Katerina Belokur became the subject of study and research of art historians. In Yagotino, where Katerina was born, historically deployed two regional museums with the exhibition of paintings and graphic heritage. The State Museum of Ukrainian Decorative Folk Art in Kiev also has a hall of best paintings by Katerina Belokur. Composer Les Dychko in 1983 created the ballet “Katerina Belokur”. In 1980 was filmed the drama of Katerina Belokur, and in 1986 a documentary film “The Magical World of Belokur” (1986) and the art two-part film “Lush” (1989).