Art Next Chicago

ZORYA FINE ART at NEXT 2010, CHICAGO April 29 - May 3, 2010

Since 2003 Zorya Fine Art has been bringing a bold new perspective to the art world with its presentation of established and emerging Ukrainian artists. Zorya Fine Art is the first gallery to create a context in the United States for understanding and appreciating Ukraine’s sublime and often dazzling artistic vision through historical and thematic exhibitions.  Zorianna L. Altomaro is the founder of the Zorya Foundation, as well as the C.E.O. and visionary behind Zorya Fine Art, the first of several entrepreneurial endeavors aimed at bringing the beauty and richness of Ukraine to a global audience.  

Zorya Fine Art now brings Ukrainian art to NEXT 2010, and its artists include Valeriy Skrypka, Ilona Sochynsky and Mykola Zhuravel, as well as photographs by Matthew Cherry.

"I am really excited that NEXT has a gallery that focuses exclusively on Ukrainian artists, said Ken Tyburski, Director of NEXT. Chicago has a rich history that is deeply involved with Eastern Europe due to the percentage of immigrants that originally settled in the area.  Ukraine has such a storied and wonderful history and culture, and it is important that there is a gallery focusing on it. Zorya Fine Art provides a provocative look at the powerful art from Ukraine."

Erroneously considered an appendage of Russian and Soviet culture and neglected in the West for decades, Ukraine’s art history is finally gaining recognition as an important area of European art history, both in its modern expression and in the enduring legacies of traditional cultures reaching back several millennia. Zorya Fine Art has been playing a lead role in revealing Ukraine to the wider public, and is developing its presence on the art market. The gallery was the first to introduce Ukrainian art at Sotheby’s with paintings by Vasyl H. Krychevsky, the founder and first president of the prestigious Ukrainian Academy of Arts in Kyiv [Kiev], Ukraine.

``For decades, artists from the nations once part of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union, were routinely identified as “Russian,” creating a perception among Western art patrons that “Russia” was a place of enormous richness of modern artistic talent while all others, be they Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, or the Central Asian states, were only repositories of ethnographic arts and crafts, not cutting-edge artistic innovation,’’ said Dr. Vitaly Chernetsky, President, the American Association for Ukrainian Studies. ``This has frequently led to misconceptions by Western curators and patrons. Now Ukraine, one of Europe’s largest countries, finally gets the proper recognition and attention.

With Zorya Fine Art, Zorianna follows in her great aunt’s legacy.  In 1932-1933, Stephania Pushkar, organized the first and only Ukrainian pavilion at the World’s Fair in Chicago, bringing a collection of Ukrainian folk art from Lviv where she was director of the Ukrainian National Art cooperative. This historic collection became the nucleus of the Folk Art Collection of the Ukrainian Museum in New York City.

For more information, please visit:                                                                                                                                                               

Press Contact :
Paula Rosado - PRPR - D: 917.446.5281 or M: 212.594.2552
Zorya Fine Art, LLC 38 East Putnam Avenue Greenwich Connecticut 06830
T: 203.869.9898 or C: 203.273.6588



Ilona Sochynsky creates richly colored abstract paintings that pour over the viewer in dazzling visual streams. Her works resemble kaleidoscopic images that seem to spin and then to fall into place, leaving behind glowing canvases with a magical sense of order. For several decades, Sochynsky has used photography and collage as source materials for experimentation and inspiration in her work. Her paintings create a sense of being in the eye of a storm. The paintings achieve a certain feeling of stillness and order that permit the viewer to reassemble the imagery into his or her own unique narrative. Of Ukrainian origin, Sochynsky’s work reflects both a strong classical art training and a marked contemporary sensibility. Very much a part of the group of artists that emerged in the 1970s, her work shares many common themes and concerns with her peers, most notably, with the Photo-Realist movement and the paintings of James Rosenquist. While this selection in NEXT covers a relatively brief chronological range, from 2008-2009, it displays the ongoing development and transformation of the artist’s vision into connected yet distinct themes.

Crucial to Sochynsky’s art is the emphasis upon, and appreciation of, the detail. In general, paintings are usually perceived as a whole, after which an observer may study various small parts—details—that comprise the full image. Sochynsky’s paintings can be apprehended as overall compositions, of course, as all well-made paintings should be, but they are in essence created from details. They may coalesce from bits of shattered imagery that interlock, as in Odyssey, or they may dominate a surface, presenting nothing but what would normally be considered a mere detail, such as the textured surfaces of Fetish Orange and Fetish Sepia. In such works the potential for abstraction inherent in a detail becomes the visual building block from which the total image is generated. In its evocation of vaguely organic forms—the indistinct flickerings of suggested vegetal or flesh-like surfaces in the Capriccios or the seductive involutions of fabric in the Fetishes—Sochynsky’s work prods the viewer’s imagination toward an animation of the abstract. 

Sochynsky received her Master of Fine Arts from Yale and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design. Her paintings are held in a number of private and public collections and she has held numerous solo exhibitions throughout the United States. Sochynsky works and resides in the United States.


Video installation and paintings

Mykola Zhuravel breaks the boundaries between painting, sculpture, performance and installation art by turning to nature to create thriving monuments to man’s links to the Earth. He searches for compatibility between Earth and mankind, while pointedly making reference to the obstacles that human beings have placed in the way of a harmonious existence. Zhuravel’s ambitious style results in a remarkable series of living images of a visionary utopia, ranging from his beehive sculptures to his thought provoking paintings. Born into a family of beekeepers, Zhuravel incorporates elements and products of beekeeping with traditional media into his work. He uses honey, beeswax, and the actual beehive itself, along with other unusual media, such as tea and wine to create unique works of art. The exquisite conceptual works present a deeply affecting array of images based on the age-old practice of nurturing honeybees. Equally striking are Zhuravel’s paintings. By using levkas, a traditional primer employed by icon painters, Zhuravel unites the legacies of Byzantine and Rus icon painting with his contemporary painterly technique. This results in richly vibrant and inventive contemporary works that emerge as modern-day icons.

Zhuravel was born in 1960 in Ukraine, and in 1989 graduated from the prestigious Kyiv State Arts Institute (now the Ukrainian National Academy of Visual Arts and Architecture). He has exhibited widely in Ukraine, Russia, Switzerland, Japan, and the United States. An active participant in the events of Ukraine’s democratic Orange Revolution of 2004, he currently resides in Kyiv, the country’s capital. His works are held in private and museum collections in Ukraine and the United States. 


Valeriy Skrypka’s work melds narrative symbolism and Ukrainian iconography into highly original works that shed light on universal experience. The figures, animals, birds, and objects in his canvasses speak powerfully of the artist’s ability to create aesthetic harmony, while not flinching from the contradictory discordant realities of twenty-first century life.

The figures, animals, birds, and objects --- touchstones from Ukraine’s ancient past and traditions --- are skillfully blended with the artist’s own original expressions of contemporary experience. These profound and enduring works of art invite the viewer to contemplate the very nature of existence. Skrypka’s aggressive use of paint makes him a powerful artist who is among the most original and expressive of his generation

Skrypka was born in 1964 in the city of Zaporizhzhia into a family of artists. He graduated from the renowned Kyiv Academy of the Arts with a Master’s Degree in art in 1992. His work sets the tone for Zorya Fine Art’s projects by presenting the powerful works of an artist who has recently emerged out of the richness of Ukraine’s ancient culture. Skrypka synthesizes images from Ukraine’s past with his own perceptions in imaginative and fully realized works of art that are true to contemporary experience.


Matthew Cherry’s photographs are documentary work made in Europe, South America, and Africa. Cherry was introduced to Ukrainian history and culture through a friend. In 2004, watching the Orange Revolution unfold had a profound impact on Cherry both as a political observer and an artist. Unbeknownst to him, those events would lead Cherry in 2006 to Caracas, Venezuela to rescue the artwork of Vasyl H. Krychevsky. Thanks to his efforts the work of the late Ukrainian artist was brought to America where it would be preserved and exhibited to the public for the first time, and to be appreciated by future generations. In this particular exhibition, Cherry presents his *Pysanka photographs—the series captures the rich symbolic traditions of Ukrainian culture.

A photographer and cinematographer, Cherry has worked in independent films and corporate video as well as commercial photography. Cherry draws inspiration from a wide range of artistic sources, most notably Italian and French cinema, American Film Noir and American Jazz artists of the 40s and 50s. It becomes a highly meaningful journey to find the artist once rescued and the artist who came to the rescue—their works presented together at these fairs. 

*Pysanka is a traditional Ukrainian Easter egg decorated using a wax-resist ‘batik’ method. The word pysanka comes from the verb pysaty, “to write,” as the designs are not painted on, but written with beeswax. Many of the designs used to decorate pysanky can be directly traced back to the Bronze Age, 5000 years ago, when the Trypillian culture prospered in Ukraine. The Hutsuls, Ukrainians who live in the Carpathian Mountains of western Ukraine, believe that the fate of the world depends upon the pysanka. As long as the egg decorating custom continues, the world (and those in it) will exist.  To give a pysanka is to give a symbolic gift of life, which is why the egg must remain entire. Each of the designs and colors on the pysanka has a deep, symbolic meaning. The star, “Zorya”, symbolizes life, growth and good fortune.