One of the Boychukists. Sources to the biography of Kateryna Borodina

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.17721/2519-4801.2023.2.06

Keywords:

Kateryna Borodina, artist, the Boichukists, letters

Abstract

The present essay delves into the details of the biography of Kateryna Borodina, the Ukrainian artist and member of Mykhailo Boychuk’s school of monumental painters. Due to Kateryna Borodina's untimely death, her biography has been distorted and filled with false facts, with Boychukists being blamed by supporters of socialist realism as representatives of formalistic art. The article reveals that Kateryna Borodina hailed from a noble family, and her father was a renowned railway engineer. Despite being an ethnic Russian, influenced by Mykhailo Boychuk and his creative circle, the artist began to identify herself as Ukrainian. This shift was evident in various questionnaires where she repeatedly stated her affiliation, and she also adopted the Ukrainian language in her everyday life. Archival materials cited in the article provide additional information about the artist’s biography, including new details about her student years and the poor state of her health, ultimately leading to her premature death. The article includes illustrations such as childhood photos of the artist and two drawings currently known to belong to her friend Oksana Pavlenko. Despite Kateryna Borodina’s participation in the Venice Biennale and widespread representation of her paintings at Ukrainian exhibitions in the late 1920s, only two of her works are known in Ukrainian museums today. The article introduces various documents shedding light on the artist’s life, including her student archival file. Other documents depict the peculiarities of the everyday life of Ukrainian artists in the 1920s. The appendices of the essay contain nine letters from Kateryna Borodina to Oksana Pavlenko and Sofia Nalepynska-Boychuk, supplemented with comments.

Published

2024-01-23

Issue

Section

Modern and Contemporary art

How to Cite

One of the Boychukists. Sources to the biography of Kateryna Borodina. (2024). Text and Image: Essential Problems in Art History, 2(16). https://doi.org/10.17721/2519-4801.2023.2.06