Michael Yakovlevich Antonyuk

From Kazakhstan Encyclopedia

Template:Orphan Template:Infobox artist Michael Yakovlevich Antonyuk (Russian: Михаил Яковлевич Антонюк; (12 March 1935 – 14 April 1993) was a prominent honorary artist of the Republic of Kazakhstan,[1] a monumentalist, and member of Union of Artists of the USSR. Regarded as an influential Avant-garde artist during the Socialist realism era, Michael Antonyuk combined elements of Cubism, Soviet avant-garde and Modernism.

Antonyuk was an endowed painter known for oil on canvas. His artistic skill managed to express his own style, although early work shows the influence of Post-Impressionism and Cezannism, for example; "Portrait of the Artist's wife".[Wikicommons art and citation] His artistic repertoire is attributed to the influence of Taras Shevchenko's Academic Art, the Impressionism of Henri Matisse and Vincent van Gogh, the Cubism of Fernand Leger and Pablo Picasso, and the geometric abstractionism of Kazimir Malevich. Antonyuk's widespread artistic discography encompassed Stained glass, Mosaic, encaustic accretion technique, Lithography, Mixed media, and Photography in addition to collaborative works with various soviet artists.[2]

According to Valentin Pak, art historian and former Director of the Museum of Modern Art, Kazakhstan, Astana (former Tselinograd) "...Michael Yakovlevich worked as an artist on an expansive theme of an all-encompassing palette. The vast expression in his paintings harmonize with today's movement, so we can say that his art is true modernism".[3]

Early Childhood

Michael Yakovlevich Antonyuk was born on 12 March 1935 in Tulychiv, Volyn Oblast, Ukraine.[4] He was the oldest child of simple villagers Marusya Antonyuk and Yakov Karpovich Antonyuk.[5] A talented composer who played several instruments, his father instilled in Michael art appreciation and the love of native nature. He developed an attentive awareness to his surroundings, embracing vivid Ukrainian culture. Michael Antonyuk saw a vibrant color, and his paintings would later illuminate all the hues of the rainbow. The significance of Antonyuk's color harmonic expression derived from traditional Ukrainian folklore.


At the age of 6, Michael Antonyuk fled with his little 3 sisters and mother into the forest to escape the burning of his village Tulychiv. During World War II, he began to draw with vine charcoal, made from burned sticks due to the scarcity of pencils.[6]

***add artwork "burnt village" and "cry".[7] Citation needed of childhood reflection


After high school, Michael Yakovlevich Antonyuk joined the Monumental Painting Department at The Lviv National Academy of Arts, Ukraine (former Lviv Institute of Decorative and Applied Art).[8] He trained under world renowned artists such as Roman Yulianovich Selsky (1903 - 1990),[9] Ukrainian and Soviet painter, educator, professor, and Honorary People's Artist of Ukraine (1989).[10] Selskiy was a beloved Professor of Antonyuk, and colleagues.[11] Roman Selsky instilled comprehensive artistic knowledge in his students, teaching the technical disciplines of the great impressionists: Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh, Henri Matisse, and Pablo Picasso.[12] Selsky is known for teaching Color theory, revealing Harmony (color) in picturesque canvases of Diego Velazquez, Peter Paul Rubens, Claude Monet, Edouard Manet, and Eugène Delacroix. Learning the fundamental methodology of the great European Colorists laid the foundation for Antonyuk's creative principles.

Art Dissertation



Michael Antonyuk graduated from the Lviv State Institute of Applied and Decorative Arts in 1961 with government clearance and credentials. He was given various monumental art prospects in the capital of Ukraine, Kiev. In addition, Khrushchev's Thaw created an allure for exploration and development of vast wild Tselina steppes and virgin land. The greatest migration in soviet history attracted research teams, scientists, and graduates from Moscow, Leningrad, and The Republic of Ukraine. The Virgin Lands Campaign led to the great migration of the early 1960s,[14] representing the 15 different republics of the Soviet Union, including diverse nationalities.[15]


In 1961, in the town of Akmolinsk, Kazakhstan, young intellectuals from the institutes of Moscow, Leningrad, Ukraine began to arrive by train. Michael Antonyuk settled among the spacious land in Kazakh Steppe (Republic of Kazakhstan, former Soviet Union). Michael fell in love with the fertile land full of wild tulips and clover steppes. In 1962, he decided to stay and work, committing himself to this new world. Antonyuk began a series of paintings depicting traditional and nomadic lifestyle, featuring "Holiday Yurt", "Aqsaqal", "Mother", "Festival at Lake Tengiz", and "Still Life With Fish", 60x60, 1963, oil on canvas; Fragment. [wikicommons artwork & citation]
"Michael Antonyuk arrived in Tselinograd in 1961, the same year the Kazakh space exploration launched the first manned spacecraft. Among the two main themes - virgin and space - were inextricably merged into the artist's work: "Tselina lives", "resort Borovoe", "Tselinnaya LEP", "Mangyshlak", "Tselinny bread", "Tselinnoe Priishimya", "Earth and Space", " The man and the Earth "," Intercosmos "and others. One of the works called "Celina over the planet." For the artist, it is not just a metaphor: expanses of virgin land and space open spaces are equally close to his worldview. I asked his son: "Native land for Michael Antonyuk - is it Ukraine or Kazakhstan?". - "It seems to me, more than all the same Kazakhstan", - said Yaroslav. The artist studied the national culture of Kazakhstan and loved the land. Without love and deep understanding, one can not create works that his colleague Ivan Svitich said, "Antoniuk painted his masterpieces with a different colorful richness. The joy of color, clarity of rhythm, the solemnity of the composition, woven from the Kazakh ornament, spikes, cars, rockets, yurts, national costumes." ( "Yurt", "Dastarkhan," "The holiday," "The People's mistress from Aji village").[16] -Natalya Kurpyakova, Kazakhskaya Pravda

Growth and construction of the city prompted development in Akmola (former name of Astana) monumental decorative art.[17] The transformation of Akmolinsk into Tselinograd was successful due to the commitment of project managers, city planners and productive administrators.[18] The creativity of Michael Antonyuk became of service to the aesthetic decorative land development of Tselinograd districts and neighboring towns.[19] In 1963, Michael Antonyuk cofounded The Tselinograd regional branch of the Union of Artists of Kazakhstan and served as the first chairman on The Board of the Union of artists of USSR.[2]


  • Finalist in the International Photography 7th Exhibition in Romania. "Old man from Uzbekistan", 100x200 cm black and white photo. (Awarded 2nd place) [wikicommons artwork & citation]
  • Participation in the all Union exhibition in Moscow.
  • "Still life with Cactus", 120x90, 1969, oil on canvas; + Fragments [wikicommons artwork & citation]
  • "Mother", 85x85, oil on canvas, 1969. [wikicommons artwork & citation]


  • Compleated Relief with Mosaic "Print and Kosmos" on printing press & typography building (Бейбитшилик) in Tselinograd.[20] 8-month project in collaboration with Vasily Ivanovich Tovtin. Commissioned from Kazakh government as an aesthetic monument to beautify the city.[wikicommons artwork & citation]
  • Exhibition of fine arts of Kazakhstan, Alma-Ata.
  • "Mangyshlak", 150x140, 1972, Tempera on canvas.
  • "Recolection", 200x100, 1972 Tempera on canvas.
  • Sabbatical leave to Morocco, France and Cuba.


  • "Signs of the Zodiac", Palace of Wedding Ceremonies in the city of Tselinograd. Дворец бракосочетаний. Уже снесли.[21] Stained glass windows in the Palace of Ceremonies.[22] Completed in 1982, each module was manually made. Featuring imported glass from Neman Belarus with a thickness of 25–30 mm.[23] This series was framed on the surface texture of the building, which deflected sunlight to enhance the expressiveness. Technique: Fastened panes with mortar and metal armature. Demolished in 1990[24] [wikicommons photography & citations]
  • "Landscape and Still Life". Республиканская выставка, Almaty Kazakhstan


  • "Flora of Kazakhstan" and "Industry", 4x6 meters, Collaborative work between Michael Antonyuk and Vasily Ivanovich Tovtin. Completed in 1984 in the hotel "Abay", Astana (formerly known as "Tourist" in the city of Tselinograd)[25]
File:Montmartre by Michael Yakovlevich Antonyuk.jpg
"Montmartre", from the series "Paris", 100x70, 1973, Mixed media, Lithography.

Final Years

On the 40th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War, Michael Antonyuk painted "The Tragedy of Volyn village Kortelisy." (Ukraine). In 1986, Michael Antonyuk was honored in a 50-year birthday biography publication by Ivan Svitich. [Translation of magazine & citation]. In 1992, Michael Antonyuk was awarded the title of Honored Artist of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Michael fell ill in 1993, and subsequently diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. Antonyuk suffered a stroke, and died at the age of 58 on 14 April 1993. He is interred in City Cemetery, Saryarka District, in Astana, Kazakhstan. He is survived by his children, Oksana Antonyuk (Master of Architecture, NYC) and Yaroslav Antonyuk (Artist, Architect & Interior Designer, Astana).[3][26]


Michael Yakovlevich Antonyuk dedicated his career of monumental artwork to his nationalist admiration for Kazakhstan. Art historians focus on the fact that his art reflects the inner world of Michael and his thoughts. According to Natalya Kurpyakova, deputy editor-in-chief of Niva Magazine, "Michael's artistic work has appeared in the public service of social needs in construction, district towns, state and collective farms. He was elected a member of the USSR and the Kazakh SSR, under the Central Auditing Commission of the Union of Artists. Fourteen years he served as chairman of the Tselinograd Union of Artists of Kazakhstan. He was conferred the title of Honored Artist of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Muralist, avant-garde Soviet realism and the Union of Artists since 1963."[16] His art studio walls are densely covered with canvas. The paintings of Michael Antonyuk are found in the Museum of Modern Art, Astana, Kazakhstan in addition to private collections.[27]


"Dastarkhān", 170x115, 1976, tempera on canvas.


  • Цветное фото Дворца Целинников. Автор: Антонюк М. Я., 1967 г.[28]


  • "Aggression", 163x103, 1970, oil on canvas. [wikicommons artwork & citation]


  • Exhibition of fine arts of Kazakhstan, Tselinograd.


  • Montmartre, from the series "Paris", 100x70, 1973, Mixed media, Lithography.
  • "Paris", 100x70, 1973, Mixed media, Lithography.
  • [fragment]
  • File:The Tragedy of Volyn Village Kortelisy in Ukraine.jpg
    "The Tragedy of Volyn Village Kortelisy in Ukraine", 200x100, 1985, tempera on canvas. Kortelisy is a village in Ukraine which was destroyed on September 23, 1942 by Germany during the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II. Almost the entire population of 2,892 people were killed. A total of 107 villages were burned, including Tulychiv, the native village of Michael Yakovlevich Antonyuk .
    [wikicommons photography & citations]
  • "Festival at Lake Tengiz", 160x150, 1973, tempera, canvas.


  • Otium tour of Hungary and Czechoslovakia.
  • Union of Artists of the USSR traveling exhibition in Kazakhstan.
  • "Sugar Cane", 90x90, 1974, oil on canvas.


  • Ivan Fomich Svitich joined the Union of Artists,[29] as Michael Antonyuk was Organizer and Chairman of the Union of Artists in former Soviet Union republic of Kazakhstan.[2]
  • Creative journey in Crimea.



  • "Old Aqsaqal", 50x70, 1977, felt pen.


  • "Golden Steppe", 1980, 7x9 meters, ceramic mosaic. Commissioned for the House of Culture located in Vozdvyzhensky, Kazakhstan. A tribute to classical and folklore composer Kurmangazy Sagyrbaev.



  • "The Tragedy of Volyn Village Kortelisy in Ukraine", 200x100, 1985, tempera on canvas.




External links

Cite error: <ref> tags exist, but no <references/> tag was found