What do Pope John Paul II, Madonna and David Beckham have in common?

TORONTO, Jan. 19 /CNW/ - They all own or, in the case of Pope John Paul II, owned Yasenevs. What is a Yasenev? It is a painting by renowned Ukrainian artist, Oleg Yasenev. Yasenev is classically trained. A senior lecturer of fine art at the Ukraine State Art Academy, he has used his classical training to develop a minimalist, yet evocative and enticing style. His work lives in the real world. Abstraction he leaves to others. He is adept at making the human body a thing of elegance, sophistication and beauty. His "Morning", an oil on canvas shown here, typifies the subtlety of his work. The image emerges from the canvas as if she pierces through a fog or early morning mist. Colour is absent save for her earrings and a flower that serve as contrasting focal points poignantly brushed with turquoise. 

Yasenev has had his share of recognition. He received the Gold Medal Award from Pope John Paul II for a series of paintings of monasteries in Slovakia. He has exhibited work in Switzerland, France, Japan, as well as at the Lincoln Centre in New York. His first foray into Canada was the "Fields of Gravity" Exhibition staged at Bezpala Brown Gallery (BBG) last October. Darrell Brown, President of BBG, brought Yasenev and four of his Ukrainian colleagues as well as two other European artists' work back for an encore exhibition this month entitled "Potpourri: A Paris Salon".

Brown has much to say about the reaction to Yasenev, Bevza, Lytvynenko, Lebedynets, Vaisberg and the Korubins: "We had personnel from the AGO visit during our "Fields of Gravity" exhibition. They were shocked that a Gallery that they had not even heard of has works that in their words 'one would expect to find in a major public gallery or museum'.  What is disconcerting is the advice we have received from long-time private sector curators in the metropolitan area. Despite acknowledging the sheer brilliance of this collection, we have been told time and time again to forget anything other than Canadian art. Is Toronto really still that provincial?"

Brown doesn't pull any punches with his comments: "These artists are in public and private collections throughout Europe and, in some instances, in North America as well. It is only through our personal relationship with them that we have been able to hold on to the art for an encore exhibition. Frankly, they can readily sell these works in major art centres throughout Europe. Take Bevza, for example. He won the Salon International D`ART Contemporain Prize in Nice, France in 1996. This led to an exhibition at the Gallery Robin-Leadouze just off the Champs- Élysées in Paris. Fifty percent of his art on exhibition sold in one night. He has not looked back. We had planned to exhibit some of his recent works, a series of two metre tall abstract irises as part of the solo exhibition we had of his creations last May. He had painted 39 wondrous pieces. Three weeks before our Exhibition he informed us every last one had been sold. I first saw his work in 2001 when I was living and working in Kiev. The paintings in that exhibition have appreciated in value over 1600 percent.

"We have had a host of people express their gratitude at our devoting time to exhibiting this art work. We have also been fortunate to have had two other exhibitions of ours very positively reviewed in the Globe and Mail. But, at the same time, there has not been anywhere near the interest in purchasing this art here in Toronto compared to almost any other major art hub. We brought this art to Toronto because we believe in it and believe that it has a place in this City and this country. But, we have decided to send most of the current pieces back to Europe the end of January. We are taking money out of the hands of these artists every week we continue to hold this art here. One prominent artist from metro said to the Director of our Gallery last week, sell cheap Canadian art until you are accepted here. In five years, bring this art, then maybe it will be seriously considered.

"Our model was to open a Gallery here first, then open a twin Gallery in Kiev. We wanted to promote emerging Canadian talent in Europe while promoting established primarily Eastern European talent here. Perhaps the answer is simply to focus on Europe in Europe and New York where a broader base of the population not only appreciates the art but wants it in their homes and offices."

While Brown may sound somewhat frustrated, he has not thrown in the towel. BBG has scheduled a provocative series of exhibitions over the next few months, but that is the subject for another day. Until January 28th, art connoisseurs still have the opportunity to view "Potpourrie: Our Paris Salon" to catch the contrasting and complementary styles of the Ukrainian Five plus the Korubins.

/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: The photo accompanying this social media release is also available at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited members of the media/

SOURCE Bezpala Brown Gallery

For further information:

Fariz Kovalchuk, Gallery Manager, (416) 907-6875, fariz@bezpalabrown.com.
Bezpala Brown Gallery, 17 Church Street, Toronto, ON M5E 1M2, www.bezpalabrown.com

Profil de l'entreprise

Bezpala Brown Gallery

Renseignements sur cet organisme


Jetez un coup d’œil sur nos forfaits personnalisés ou créez le vôtre selon vos besoins de communication particuliers.

Commencez dès aujourd'hui .


Remplissez un formulaire d'adhésion à CNW ou communiquez avec nous au 1-877-269-7890.


Demandez plus d'informations sur les produits et services de CNW ou communiquez avec nous au 1‑877-269-7890.