"Sail away" by Olga Konoshchuk, 120x150cm, oil on canvas 2019
When introduced to Olga Konoshchuk’s artworks, one is eloquently confronted by ideas rooted in Matisse’s ideals of balance and purity. The artist is capable of exerting a calming influence on the mind, seemingly as a natural consequence of innate artistic sensibility, achieving a pensive and meditative supremacy over the viewer through exceptional mastery in her delicate use of palette and colour combinations as well as via a gentle yet instinctively dynamic bond with line and form. Konoshchuk possesses an artistic freedom that connects the most peaceful dimensions of her being to the profound depth and subtle movements in her work while simultaneously maintaining supreme compositional harmony.
Like De Stael’s, Konoshchuk’s use of colour and texture is extremely rich, beautifully expressive as well as deeply emotionally charged, and expertly balances the more abstract and minimalist character of the shapes and forms that support the paintings. Parallels can be found with Gauguin, as the relationship between Konoshchuk’s fluid colours display an exceptional degree of plasticity albeit her color pallette is perhaps somewhat more restrained, subtle and harmonious thus creating a powerful contrast with the sharper and dramatic contours contained within the geometrical elements; a pronounced trait that can be found in Schiele’s citiscapes and exemplified in Konoshchuk’s work ‘London’s Roof’.
In addition to her indisputable talent in conceiving highly elegant and balanced depictions, Konoshchuk further demonstrates rare artistic sensitivity in the manner she is able to immortalise and nostalgically reveal unique essences related to personal experience. Landscapes, seascapes and cityscapes constitute her primary source of inspiration, adding to the graceful nature of her artwork a strong sense of personality and character.
“Mirage” oil on canvas diptych, 150x240cm, 2018
This remarkable result is achieved by the artist through a clever manipulation of the objective features of the subject matter until all contingent elements are left aside and only its essential, distinctive character and emotional tone are extrapolated, preserved and sublimated into the abstract form, conferring to the canvas a spectacular sense of geometrical purity that is reminiscent of some of the best works of Paul Klee and Nicolas de Stael. It is a purity that feels almost spiritual, as exemplified in ‘Mirage’, where the entire composition is driven by the upward, vertical movement of the triangles, exuding the kind of powerful spiritual energy and longing that Rothko’s paintings are famed for.
Through the combination of pure, geometrical abstraction on the one hand and markedly personal, emotional character on the other, Konoshchuk’s paintings succeed in the difficult task of expressing both what is universal and what is particular and unique to each individual source of inspiration. As a result, Konoshchuk’s landscapes, while abstract or semi-abstract, are surprisingly distinctive and rather invite the viewer to establish a personal connection with them. It is as though, somehow, even though we may have never encountered that particular place before, the depiction is of a place where one could easily feel at home and for which the observer begins to feel a mounting sense of existential affinity, desire of belonging and ethereal serenity - a type magic that only great art can accomplish.
International Confederation of Art Critics