Ivan Marchuk

Who likes Ivan Marchuk’s paintings? After all – the question wants more than a personal aesthetic statement. Marchuk is incredibly East-y if you know what it may mean. Spiritual, complex and with some philosophical ambitions. Thus, saying yes to his vision seems like supporting a specific world-view.

Marchuk’s painstakingly detailed works, at once lyrical and disturbing look like clinical operations on the open heart. The open heart of living things – the intricate microcosm of structured chaos, stylized forms emerging and dissolving back into itself.

Some more info on painter’s life and work here.

About kasia

Born in Poland. Lives in Ireland, Cork. Visual artist. View all posts by kasia

10 responses to “Ivan Marchuk

  • Stan

    His work is beautiful, intricate, and poignant somehow. My reaction to the image here, and to the other Marchuk paintings I subsequently saw, was an immediate ‘yes’ – but I don’t know what that might imply about my world view!

    The filamenty style reminded me of Jack Morefield‘s paintings.

    • skonieczna

      Hi Stan. So nice to ‘see’ you again. I would roughly divide people on those who prefer reduction, clarity and simplicity and those who thrive on complexity – would it be in the way they perceive world around or just how they spend an evening out with with friends! Eastern people (again simplification) are more prone to distrust the minimal options. When Malevich painted his black square on white canvas – he attached entire philosophy to this simple gesture, while Picasso would do this for the gesture in itself. Marchuk’s vision is that of the fractal super-complexity our world is made of. You may have pre-rational preference to see things around this way… Just an option… See you soon, take care…

      • Stan

        Hi Katarzyna, it’s good to see you blogging again, and thanks for your thoughtful response. Although I’m fond of minimalism (and clarity and simplicity), you might be right about my ‘pre-rational preference’ for complexity. It’s difficult to tell, since it’s pre-rational!

        Simplifications aside, I think there’s something paradoxical in the division between minimal and more explicitly complex works. Complex imagery reflects a complex reality more authentically — it seems a more direct correspondence — whereas simple images overlook gross complexity but might connote a deeper unity. Each approach implies the other, and both can be partly true at the same time.

  • skonieczna

    Indeed – there is no experience of dark without light, good without evil – but simplicity/complexity seesaw is different – each alternative is complete and necessary, positive and enriching. With me is more or less like that – I may adore minimalism and its elegance – yet as an artist I find myself simply unable to follow it. I tried once to be Rothko-like, I finished with Rauschenberg copy. I pasted two walls with painted canvas and everything I could find in a skip. Extravagance of a confused soul, dear and daring…

  • Pacze Moj

    I wonder why the littlest fruits are left untouched by the “decay”. Maybe small things are the most permanent? (the squiggles seem to take over both living and dead objects). Also, the way in which the background appears closer than elements of the foreground: my brain…


    I hadn’t heard of this painter before. Thank you.

  • john marchuk

    I just stumbled upon his art
    i cant believe i never heard of him. I would love to see more..It seems very sad to me.One made me think of Stalins starving the Ukranians..My grandparents immigrated ln 1910.

  • john marchuk

    The painting i was referring to was ”
    Empty Nest”I may have misinterpreted his meaning.It seems the more i look at his work the less i understand. I know very little about art, but his work certainly touched me, If you could explain his usf layr

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