Back to the issue

Full text - PDF


UDC 130.2:[7.035.7:7.045](4)

T. K. Ognieva, PhD, Associate Professor

Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv,

60, Volodymyrska Strit, Kyev, 01033, Ukraine


The article "Artistic and figurative statements in the Ukrainian scenography of the XX century" analyzes the conditions and factors of develop- ment of the art of theater and scenography as a component during the XX century in Ukraine. The scenographic space provides an opportunity to synthesize elements of plastic arts to create an artistic and figurative solution and to form the emotional climate of a theatrical performance. During the development of the art of theater, an evolution of the scenography took place.

The level of scenography in Ukraine in the 1920s and 1930s not only corresponded to the standards of the world art, but also exceeded its value orientations, provided the key to understanding artistic searches and discoveries on a global scale. Ukrainian scenographers offered independent artistic and figurative solutions of performances. In the scenography of the 1920s, O. Khvostenko-Khvostov used various means of design of space – construction, painting, fabrics, mobile machine, banner, film projection, light, photomontage, etc. A. Petritskyi even managed to give constructivism diversity and emotionality, perfectly synthesize the spatio-temporal characteristics of theatrical art, forming an artistic and figurative solution of the play. W. Meller's work in the 20s-30s of the XXth century is also an example of artistic figurative stage design of the play and the most fruitful inter- pretation of European innovative trends on the basis of Ukrainian theatrical art. The "social realism" style approved by the influenced the develop- ment of Ukrainian culture; in theatrical art and, in particular, scenography, we observe a gradual departure from the artistic and figurative organiza- tion of the stage towards realistic reproduction of the place of action.

Thus, the legacy of V. Meller, A. Petritskyi and O. Khvostenko-Khvostov before and after World War II is not distinguished by innovative, ex- traordinary stage solutions, which is explained by objective reasons. D. Borovskyi was one of the first scenographers of the post – war period who demonstrated artistic and figurative interpretation of dramatic material in Ukraine. Myron Kyprian has a special place among the artists of the stage, whose creative work of the 60s – 70s of the XX century abounds in artistic and figurative solutions of performances. We emphasize that the Ukrainian scenography in the 50's – 60's generally corresponded to the basic principles of the style of socialist realism. Most artists of the stage used standard techniques, but there were also artistic and figurative scenographic solutions that stood out from the general usual practice.

The process of liberation of art in general and theatrical in particular has shifted and is constantly evolving towards getting rid of the dictates of worldview principles and aesthetic systems that determined the ways of development of art in previous years. The solution of the problems of visu- alization of the artistic and figurative organization of the stage space is the principle of universalism of the stage environment, plastic embodiment of ideas. At the end of the XXth century artists turned to a variety of artistic techniques in an effort to embody the symbolic subtext and philosophi- cal content of the dramatic material by enriching the palette of expressive and technical means. The scenography system combines various ele- ments, visual and plastic characteristics of materials to metaphorize the action. The large-scale, monumental plastic embodiment of the main idea of the artist – scenographer coexists with the empty space of the stage. At the end of the twentieth century we observe the mutual enrichment and spiritual growth of artists – scenographers who form the artistic and figurative solution of the play and the audience, able to perceive and care about the metaphorical symbolic sphere of plastic – spatial coordinates of the play.

Key words: scenography, performance, artistic image, Ukrainian theater.


1. Anatoliy Petrytsky, (1981). Spogadi pro hudojgnika. [Memories of the artist]. Kyiv, Mystectvo.

2. Bachelis, T. (1978). Evolyutsiya stsenicheskogo prostranstva ot An- tuana do Krega [Evolution of the stage space from Antoine to Craig]. In Zapadnoe iskusstvo XX veka [Western art of XX century], pp. 148-212. Moscow, Nauka Publ.

3. Boloban, L. (1931). Podvijna peremoga [Double victory]. Radjansky teatr., No3-5, pp.48 – 55.

4. Borovska, L. (1994). Myron Kiprijan [Myron Kyprian]. Ukrainsky teatr., No2, pp.28 – 32

5. Burevij, K. (1989). Shekspіr chi Kulіsh? [Shekaspeare or Kulish?]. In

Les' Kurbas u teatral'nіj dіjal'nostі, v ocіnkah suchasnikіv: Dokumenti [Les Kurbas. Collection of works on theatre, essays by his contemporaries. Doc- uments]. Baltimor – Toronto,:Smoloskip.

6. Gorbachov, D. (1971). Anatolij Galaktionovych Petritckij [Anatoly Ga- laktionovich Petritsky]. M. Sovetskij Hudognik.

7. Danylo, Lider (1995). Ljudina ta її prostіr [Man and his Space]. Ukrainsky teatr, No 1, pp..26 – 29.

8. Danylo, Lider (1995). Ljudina ta її prostіr [Man and his Space]. Ukrainsky teatr, No 4. pp.19 – 21.

9. Drak, A. (1962). Oleksandr Vensaminovych Hvostenko – Hvostov [Alexander Veniaminovich Khvostenko-Khvostov]. Kyiv, Derjgavne vi- davnitctvo obrazotvorchogo mystectva I muzichnoji literature URSR.

10. Jermakova, N. (1999). Znak moglivosti [A sign of opportunity] Ukrainsky teatr, No 1–2, pp. 5 – 9.

11. Zabolotna, V. (2006). Teatraljna Ukraina v poludenj viku:ukrainskij dramatichnij teatr 40 – 60h rokiv XX stolittja [Theatrical Ukraine at Noon: Ukrainian Drama Theater of the 1940s and 1960s]. In Narisi z istorii teatraljnogo mystectva Ukraini [Outlines of theatrical history in Ukraine XX century], рр.533 – 586. Кyiv, Intertehnologija.

12. Ignatovych, G. (1987). Pro future. In Lesj Kurbas. Statji I vospo- minanija o Lese Kurbase. Moscow, Iskusstvo.

13. Kanishina, N. (1999). Hudojgnjo – estetichni zasady ukrainskogo avangardnogo myatectva pershoi tretiny XX stolittja [Artistic and aesthetic principles of Ukrainian avant-garde art of the first third of the twentieth century]. Avtoreferat dis.kand.nauk. Kyiv.

14. Kovaljchuk, O. (2009). David Borovsky, Danylo Lider:Poshuki plas- tiki scenichnogo prostoru u scenografii [David Borovsky, Danilo Leader: Search for the plasticity of stage space in scenography]. Hudognja kuljtura. Aktualni problemy, No6, рр.29 – 45.

15. Kovaljchuk, O. (2019). Scenografichna praktika u prostori XX sto- littja:kyivsjki realii [The practice of scenography in the 20th century space:Kyiv reaities]. Kyiv, Fenix.

16. Kovaljchuk, O. (2006). Hudogniki ukrainsjkogo teatru 1950h – 1980h rokiv:obrazni poshuki u chasovomu konteksti [Artists of the Ukrainian theater of the 1950s – 1980s: figurative searches in a temporal context]. In Narisi z istorii teatraljnogo mystectva Ukraini.[Outlines of theatrical history in Ukraine XX century], pp. 695–786. Кyiv, Intertehnologija.

17. Kornienko, N. (1998). Lesj Kurbas: repeticija majbutnjogo [Les' Kur- bas:The Rehearsal of the Future]. Kyiv, Fact.

18. Kucherenko, Z. (1975). Vadim Meller [Vadim Meller]. Kyiv, Mystectvo.

19. Lavrinenko, U. (2001). Rozstriljane Vidrodgennja [Shot Revival]. Кyiv, Prosvita.

20. Lider, D. (1981) Razmishlenija hudognika [Reflections of an artist]. In Fialko V. Plastichna dramaturgija Danila Lidera. Naukovij visnik KNUTK, 2017, No 21. рр.63 – 68.

21. Mihajlova, A. (1978). Obraz spektaklja [Image of the Play]. Moscow, Iskusstvo.

22. M,ihajlova, A. Krechetova, R. (2002). David Borovsky. Moscow.

23. Narisi z istorii teatraljnogo mystectva Ukraini. [Outlines of theatrical history in Ukraine XX century] (2006). Кyiv, Intertehnologija.

24. Ovcharenko, E. Prihovani miphy [Hidden myths].Retrieved from

25. Ostroverh, O. (2017). Shcheplennja Liderom abo dosvid kon- fliktnogo montagju [Vaccination by a Leader, or Experience of Conflict Installation]. Antiquary, No 5–6 (102), рр. 60–65.

26. Reznik, O. (2014). Dosvid teatralizacii dijstva: zmina funkcion- aljnogo polja scenographii Ukrainy v kinci XX stolittja [The experience of theatrical action: changing the functional field of scenography of Ukraine in the late twentieth century]. Visnik HDAD, No 2, рр.94 – 97.

27. Rogotchenko, O. (2007). Socіalіstichnij realіzm і totalіtarizm [Social- ist Realism and Totalitarianism]. Кyiv, Fenix.

28. Rudenko – Krajevsjka, N. (2021). Scenographichni personagi Te- tiani Medvidj [Scenographic characters by Tatiana Medvid]. Cultura Ukraini, No 71, рр.111 – 118.

29. Sakva, O. (2017). Soljaris Danila Lidera [Daniel Leader's Solaris]. Antiquary, No 5–6 (102), рр. 8–18.

30. Smolich, U. (1928). Ukrainsjki dramatichni teatri u sezoni 1927 – 28 roku [Ukrainian Drama Theaters in the 1927-28 Season]. Jittja I revoljucija, No ІХ, рр.146 – 158.

31. Sulimenko, S. (1985). Formuvannja osobistosti [Personality formation]. Ukrainsky teatr, No 3, рр.23 – 26.

32. Sushitsky, B. (1931). Novs zavdannja hudognika na teatri [New tasks of the artist in the theater]. Radjansjkij Teatr, No 19–20, pp. 10–11.

33. Fialko, V. (2014). "Nova hvilja" scenographiv ukrainsjkogo teatru 80h rokiv XX stolittja ["New Wave" by stage designers of the Ukrainian theater of the 80s of the twentieth century]. Mystectvoznavchi zapisky, No 26, рр. 277 – 287.

34.Fialko, V. (2006). Ukrainsjkij teatr 1970-h – -1980-h rokiv: regis- ersjko – scenographichni poshuki [Ukrainian theater of the 1970s – 1980s: directorial and scenographic research]. In Narisi z istorii teatraljnogo mys- tectva Ukraini. [Outlines of theatrical history in Ukraine XX century], рр. 607 – 694. Кyiv, Intertehnologija.

35.Frenkelj, M. (1980). Sovremennaja scenographija [Modern scenog- raphy]. Kyiv, Mystectvo.

36. Hmurij, V. (1928). Anatolj Petrytcky [Anatoly Petritsky]. Gittja I revoljucija, No 3, рр 141 – 160.

37. Chechik, V. (2006). Teatraljno – dekoracijne mystectvo Harkova: Avangardni poshuki 1910 – 1920 rokiv [Theatrical and decorative art of Kharkiv: Avant-garde searches of 1910-1920]. Avtoref. Dis. Kand. Nauk. Kharkiv.

38. Shpakovoch, O. (2020). Scenographichna dijaljnistj M. Kiprijana v 60-h rokah XX st. [Scenographic activity of M. Kyprian in the 60s of the XX century]. Narodoznavchi zoshiti, No 1 (151), pp. 233 – 244.

39.Manilov, V. (1995). Gonki za Liderom [Race for the Leader]. Kino – Teatr, No2, pp. 44 – 48.

© T. K. Ognieva, 2021