Theodosics of Petro Bevza


It is hard to overestimate the significance of the creative personality of Petro Bevza in the contemporary context.

In addition to their aesthetic value his paintings act as an implementation of a certain positive programme (unlimited verbally) of ordering the world and the interpretation of the reality that are grounded on its pantheistic feeling and enriched with individual associations.


The last art series of Petro Bevza "Theodosics" is probably at the same time the most numerous in his biography. It is filled with mystic coincidences and coocurrences. The artist

completed it in January this year, and in total it numbers 67 pictures… and it is this series where he fully applied the technique of "ascending composition" and motivated it with a formal laconism, though, of course, there was something else behind, then simply "a need for air".

Some time ago he started with the first paintings from this series at Soviart and Atelier Karas galleries. Now he is here again with his new collection. The Vision of Moses was the first work made five years ago with the burning bush, which the biblical prophet had observed near the mountain Horeb. The following parts of the series breathed with the rough flesh of Crimean mountains with weird Turkic names. Fourteen "nebulas", which were united with homage features, have completed "Theodosics". But is a nebula something else rather than a mysterious atmospheric bush, immersed into the state of a high humidity? So called "non-consumed bush" in its secular manifestation.


While mediating upon the essence of "Theodosics", one cannot get rid of the myth of Cimmeria, which was initiated by Voloshin, a genius of the 'silver age'. The spirit of the painting series of our contemporary, who does not avoid words but gives preference to visual intentions,

is close to the myth by the theme, though different not to say opposite by attitude. The images on the canvas depicted with paints and brushes appeared to be so expressive and sufficient that it would have been probably easier to make the names live their own life than interpret their corresponding visual realisation. The names like “Apologia of the Arch” or “Goats jump” would sound good on their own. The test, which the artists did not take a risk to put me on, and which would no doubt ended up with my or anybody else's failure is to guess whom each of those

"nebulas" specifically dedicated? However, when you own the "picture code" you post factum enrich your emotional knowledge about the artist, whose name became ingrained in Bevza's soul. Say, you value murky fireworks of Chagall or the misty "absent time" of Turner's works, which impressed our artist.


So, the artist made an attempt to outline his personal art context with the concluding works and included in the series both coevals and/ or companions-in-arms (Heyko, Gidora, Lebedynets, Olena Ryzhykh), and the masters of the classic past. In my opinion, the palm of supremacy should be given to the artist, whose personality in the Western art of the 2nd half of the ХХ century, which was kind of stuck in tricky contradictions, initiated the salutary references to the metaphysics of the Earth and philosophy of geohystory, and later paradoxically involved the Slavic cultural heritage

(project "Velemir Chlebnikov and the Sea"). Another situational assonance comes into the mind: lessons of Josef Beuys given to Anselm Kiefer. Beuys in his turn realised himself as an artist, a pilot who fell in Crimea and found rescue in a Tatar hut … if it is not a genius mystification of Beuys!

Of course, it would be too ambitious to make a continuous heritage line between those artists and our compatriot, who was also influenced with many other life and aesthetic

factors. They are rather united with the power of space elements and a significant fickleness of fortune, which saws weird signs everywhere (the point is to be able to find them and effectively use the conclusions), though it does not exclude Bevza's passionate interest to the art developments of his elder European colleagues.

And now, when observing "Theodosics" fragment by fragment, one penetrates into the essence of slow and strict advancing movement of the artist's thought that moves like a slide of continental lumps and has gone the way to the high simplicity and wise clearness. They could not be

comprehended momentarily, even if the artist had been outstandingly talented. They move from layers of paints, texture palimpsests and linear clews to crystal compositions and… clouds, where the earth contradictions are dissolved, as if resolved. (Have you noticed that the figures are missing on the pictures, though the micro cosmos of a tiny bumblebee is proportionate to the macro cosmos of the golden mountain?). From giant formats to relatively small forms, which at the same time do not look less monumental than the preceding ones, though even a little tour along those huge pictures gives a certain idea of the substance and the scope of the origin. From the most complex mosaics of colours, which are sometimes marked with melancholy, to the expressive accent of one-two colours, which are not chosen randomly or less saturated, than Bevza could afford before,

at least in the framework of Theodosics series. The typical goldish paints, as if burnt from inside with underground cataclysms, have been replaced with the almost purple cheerfulness of life and ultramarine of an instantaneous discernment. It is not the time to reprobate or go in for

self-analysis … it is the time for peace and generous resignation of almost Schopenhauer scope… a landscape after a battle or a storm. The metaphysical landscape, appealed to by the Ukrainian master, provides a good occasion for it.


The wrinkles of the land have smoothed and concerns have scattered. The artist reaches the pier… for a while until the next project.


Oleh Sydor-Gibelynda