Melnychenko Volodymyr

/ Biography

1932

Born on January 25 in Kyiv.

1941-1944

Spends years of occupation in his hometown with his mother and grandparents. In front of Volodymyr’s eyes, Khreshchatyk street was blown up, and children from the neighbouring houses were driven to Babi Yar.

1945–1950

Studies at the Kyiv Shevchenko Art High School.

1951-1957

Studies at the Kyiv State Art Institute, which he graduated in the studio of Professor Karpo Trokhymenko.

1954

Together with Ada Rybachuk takes his first trip to the North, staying in May and June on the White Sea, and in July and September — on the Kolguyev Island.

1955

Got the topic of diploma work approved (“Winter shore of the White Sea. Kolguyev Island”), together with Ada Rybachuk goes on the second expedition to the North, which lasted one and a half years.

1957

On April 10, with one year delay, public defense of the diplomas of Rybachuk and Melnychenko take place, which also turns out to be the first solo exhibition of artists held in the auditorium of the Art Institute. Volodymyr Melnychenko presents two large-scale paintings “The First of September” and ”The North Sea” along with many sketches made in the North.

Creates the paining “Hell”, which is displayed at the exhibition organized within the 6th World Festival of Youth and Students’ held in Moscow.

Became a member of the Union of Artists of the USSR. Three years later became a part of the Union of Artists of Ukraine.

1957–1959

Melnychenko and Rybachuk went on the third and longest journey to the North.

1959

Together with Ada Rybachuk gifts 118 pieces of art to the city of Naryan-Mar, these works formed the basis of the first Arctic Museum of Art. Today, the museum’s collection includes 237 works by both authors.

The works created by the artists started appearing in the republican and central periodicals. General approving feedback got opposition in the face of Kassian’s odious article, “The Art Is Not Suffering”, published in Pravda of Ukraine newspaper. In the article the author accused Rybachuk and Melnychenko of “departing from the principled positions of affirmation of the method of socialist realism”1 .

1960

Together with Ada Rybachuk creates the monumental and decorative design in the Kyiv bus station, for which receives the First All-Union Award of Young Architects for Interiors.

1962

Together with Ada Rybachuk leads art lessons at the children’s boarding school on the Kolguyev Island and creates “Big picture of our island” with students.

1963–1968

Together with Ada Rybachuk works on the concept for monumental and decorative design of the Republican Pioneer Palace, where the mosaics “Children of the World”, “Banners”, “The City”, as well as the mosaic triptych “Wonderful Violin” are created. The bottom of the fountain, located in front of the main facade of the building was decorated with their decorative composition “Sun, stars and constellations”.

1964

The results of work created during the artistic education of children on the Kolguyev Island are displayed in the Literary house in Moscow.

1965

Together with Ada Rybachuk participates in the competition for the project of the monument to the victims of fascism in Babi Yar.

1968

Work begins on the project of the architectural and plastic solution of the Memorial and Rite Complex “Memory Park”, construction of which begins at the Baikove Cemetery in Kyiv. It will take about 13 years for Rybachuk and Melnychenko to finish this grandiose design.

Together with Ada Rybachuk works on a project of the historical and archeological park “Ancient Kyiv”.

The exhibition “Drawing of Children of the Kolguyev Island” is on display at the All-Union Exhibition of Children’s Books and Toys, which takes place in Moscow, and subsequently — within the All-Union Mobile Exhibition “Baby Artists”.

1968–1974

In conjunction with the design of Memory Park, together with Ada Rybachuk travels to the villages of Volyn, Podillia, Bukovyna, studying folk customs and rituals. The artists convey their impressions of what they saw in the series of prints “Indian Summer”, “Baba’s Death”, “Easter at St. Demetrius”.

1970s

Major efforts are directed towards the creation of the Memory Wall, designed in collaboration with Ada Rybachuk. The artists have developed a new technology for the execution of monumental reliefs, which consisted in the production of a special trench frame, which was later filled with liquid concrete. The total area of reliefs reached 2000 m2, in particular, the height varied from 4 to 14 m, and the length was 213 m. Later, the artists will write: “Equally passionately we formed both architecture and plastic form of land — space and the sculpture itself. Its form had to be covered with a mural, striving with all knowledge and ability to synthesize, adjust to what was happening in Memory Park. To a worthy sounding event, the mural had to play the most significant action on human life. To return the human death act to its humanistic meaning”2.

1970

Rybachuk and Melnychenko’s work with children, conducted during the 1960s, resulted in the album “We About Your Island. Drawings of the Children of the Kolguyev Island” published in Moscow by the Soviet Artist.

1972

In cooperation with Ada Rybachuk designs the Oratory of the Revolution in Moscow, the historical and archeological complex “Kontraktova Square” in Kyiv, and the stone symbol “Kyiv — Hero City” in Florence.

1980–1981

Together with Ada Rybachuk designs a monument to the Children-Heroes for the Glory Square in Kyiv.

1982

On the eve of 1982, at the meeting of the Artistic Expert Board of the Ministry of Culture of the USSR and the Artistic Council of the USSR State Building on Monumental Sculpture, a decision was made to suspend the monumental and decorative works in Memory Park, which meant the destruction of the Wall. The “order” was received on December 6, 1981 in a letter signed by the Deputy Chairman of the Executive Committee of the City Executive Committee. During the three months of the following year — March, April and May — reliefs of Ada Rybachuk and Volodymyr Melnychenko were plastered with concrete.

In May 1982, the journal “Architecture of the USSR” came out with “justification” of this act of vandalism — article by Abraham MiletskyI “Synthesis — problem or task?”

Together with Ada Rybachuk began work on a series of large ceramic sculptures “Bronze Images”, work on which lasted until 2000.

1985–1986

In collaboration with Ada Rybachuk creates series of lithographs “Memory” and “Stop the Nuclear Threat”. In 1999, the artists donated them to the National Art Museum of Ukraine.

1986

In collaboration with Ada Rybachuk creates the tombstones of Dr. Valentyn Kravtsov, his parents and a niece installed at the Baikove Cemetery. Together with other tombstones created during the 1980s — 1990s, they made a memorial cycle called “To the Memory of Friends”.

1991

In collaboration with Ada Rybachuk works on the project “When the world is destroyed”, dedicated to the memory of the victims of Babi Yar, which included a book and three tapestries.

Currently lives and works in Kyiv.


1N. Gorova. Creativity of the “First nonconformists” of the 1950s by Ada Rybachuk and Volodymyr Melnychenko. Historiographical and source basis // Artistic culture. Actual problems: Scientific Bulletin / Institute of Contemporary Art of NAS of Ukraine. Kyiv: Phoenix, 2015. Issue 11 P. 89.

2Rybachuk A., Melnychenko V. The Cry of the Bird. II: Fragments. Kyiv: ADEF-Ukraine, 2000. P. 53.

/ Bibliography
  1. A. Bazdyreva. (2013). Story of [not]one crime. Art Ukraine dated June 25. [in Russian]
  2. I. Borysova. (1959). Pauses in conversation // Vechirniy Kyiv dated September 2, p. 1. [in Ukrainian]
  3. O. Fedoruk. (2009). The sunny path of his earthly sublime. Obrazotvorche mystetstvo. № 4. Pp. 48–49.](http://elib.nlu.org.ua/view.html?id=10694) [in Ukrainian]
  4. Z. Fogel. (1959). Before the exhibition’s opening. Naryana Vynder, № 190 (7737) dated September 26, p. 3. [in Russian]
  5. Z. Fogel. (1967). The wall and the sense. MAKSLA, № 1, p. 21. [in Russian]
  6. U. Hlibchuk. (2005). This fear again… akin to that when we were destroying the wall… [Interview with Ada Rybachuk and Volodymyr Melnychenko]. Dzerkalo Tyzhnia dated February 25 — March 4. [in Ukrainian]
  7. N. Horova. (2014). Ada Rybachuk, Volodymyr Melnychenko (ARVM) as an example of loyalty to the chosen way: Formation of creative personalities (1950–1960s). Mystetstvoznavstvo Ukrainy. Modern Art Research Institute of Ukrainian Academy of Arts. Issue 14. Kyiv: Feniks publ., 2014, pp. 41–48. [in Ukrainian]
  8. N. Horova. (2015). Artwork of the first “non-conformists” of the 1950s Ada Rybachuk and Volodymyr Melnychenko. Historiographic and source basis. Hudozhnia kultura. Aktualni problemy: research journal. Modern Art Research Institute of Ukrainian Academy of Arts. Issue 11. Kyiv, Feniks publ., pp. 84–95. [in Ukrainian]
  9. N. Horova. (2016). Specifics of artistic and plastic searches in the artwork of ARVM (Ada Rybachuk and Volodymyr Melnychenko). Visnyk of Kharkiv State Academy of Design and Arts, № 4, pp. 15–21.](https://www.visnik.org/pdf/v2016-04-03-horova.pdf) [in Ukrainian]
  10. N. Horova. The phenomenon of artistic resistance in the cultural environment of Ukraine in the second half of the 1950s — early XXI century (on the example of artwork of Ada Rybachuk and Volodymyr Melnychenko): Thesis for a Candidate of Arts Degree. Modern Art Research Institute of Ukrainian Academy of Arts. Kyiv, 178 p. [in Ukrainian]
  11. V. Kasian, M. Derehus. (1959). Art does not tolerate noise. Pravda Ukrainy, dated September 27, p. 4. [in Ukrainian]
  12. V. Melnychenko. (2011). Bird’s cry ІІІ. Ada. Irrepressible and unbowed. Kyiv, ADEF-Ukraina publ., 356 p. [in Ukrainian]
  13. V. Melnychenko. (2012). Bird’s cry ІV. We — about our island. Kyiv, ADEF-Ukraina publ., 208 p. [in Ukrainian]
  14. V. Melnychenko. (2014). Bird’s cry VІ. Indian summer. Kyiv, ADEF-Ukraina publ., 208 p. [in Ukrainian]
  15. V. Melnychenko. (2019). Looking in the same direction: Artist Volodymyr Melnychenko on Ada Rybachuk. L’OFFICIEL. 2019. [in Russian]
  16. H. Miestiechkin. (1959). Happiness of hard paths // Kyivska Pravda dated August 16, p. 1. [in Ukrainian]
  17. H. Miestiechkin. (1959). Power of the winged dream. Stalinskoe plemya dated August 25, p. 3. [in Russian]
  18. Mitiakina O. (comp). (1993). Sixty of the 60s: exhibition catalog. KSCA Arts Committee, Union of Artists of Ukraine, KCC “Kyiv”. Kyiv, 6 p. [in Ukrainian]
  19. O. Pakhlovska. (2000). The Ukrainian Sixtiers: philosophy of a rebellion. Suchasnist, № 4, pp. 65–84, 98. [in Ukrainian]
  20. V. Parkhomenko. (1971). Master of drawing. Vechirniy Kyiv dated August 9, p. 2. [in Ukrainian]
  21. O. Petrova. (2004). Art critical reflections: history, theory, and criticism of visual art of the 1970s of the XX — early XXI century: compilation of papers / NAUKMA. Kyiv: “KM Akademiya” publ., 392 p. [in Ukrainian]
  22. O. Petrova. (1999). Not just about the Wall, but about us. Zerkalo nedeli dated September 3. [in Russian]
  23. O. Petrova. (2015). Third Eye. Art studies: monographic collection of papers. Modern Art Research Institute of Ukrainian Academy of Arts. Kyiv: Feniks publ., 480 p. [in Ukrainian]
  24. A. Platonova. (2018) Cemented past. How the “Wall of Memory” in Baikove cemetery was created and was destroyed: interview with Volodymyr Melnychenko. Fokus dated May 26. [in Russian]
  25. O. Rohotchenko. (2015). National artistic resistance of the 1950s–1960s. Mystetstvoznavstvo Ukrainy: compilation of research papers. Modern Art Research Institute of Ukrainian Academy of Arts of Ukraine. Issue 15. Kyiv, Feniks publ., pp. 103–110. [in Ukrainian]
  26. A. Rybachuk, V. Menlnychenko. (2000). Bird’s cry. IІ: Fragments. Kyiv: ADEF-Ukraina publ., 144 p. [in Ukrainian]
  27. A. Rybachuk, V. Menlnychenko. (2013). Bird’s cry. V: Smells of earth. Kyiv: ADEF-Ukraina publ., 140 p. [in Ukrainian]
  28. A. Rybachuk, V. Menlnychenko. (2000). Bird’s cry V: Project “And all birds have their favorite places”. Kyiv: ADEF-Ukraina publ., 146 p. [in Ukrainian]
  29. A. Rybachuk. (1973). Architecture and ritual: reflection — plastic. Dekorativnoe iskusstvo SSSR, № 8, pp. 17–21. [in Russian]
  30. A. Rybachuk, V. Menlnychenko. (2000). Bird’s cry. I: Bronze Images. Reflections and hopes of the authors. Kyiv: ADEF-Ukraina publ., 224 p. [in Ukrainian]
  31. A. Rybachuk, V. Menlnychenko. (1991). When the world is destroyed... Book-monument. Kyiv, Yurinform, 79 p. [in Ukrainian]
  32. [O. Shmyrin. (2016). Wall of Memory, Kyiv. Experience of transpersonal analysis. Sygma. (https://syg.ma/@oleg-shmyrin/stiena-pamiati-kiiev-opyt-transpiersonalnogho-analiza) [in Ukrainian]
  33. H. Skliarenko, M. Kulivnyk (comp.) (2016). Another history. Kyiv Art from the Thaw to the Perestroika: exhibition catalog. Compiled by; NAMU, Dukat Auction House. Kyiv, 187 p. [in Ukrainian]
  34. V. Skurativskyi. (1997). To a certain Ukrainian monumental tragedy. Suchasnist, № 3, pp. 45–58. [in Ukrainian]
  35. L. Smyrna. (2017). Century of non-conformism in Ukrainian visual art. Modern Art Research Institute of Ukrainian Academy of Arts. Kyiv, Feniks publ., 480 p. [in Ukrainian]
  36. L. Smyrna. (2010). Iconography of non-conformism. Mystetstvoznavstvo Ukrainy. Modern Art Research Institute of Ukrainian Academy of Arts. Issue 11. Kyiv, Feniks publ., pp. 269–279. [in Ukrainian]
  37. L. Smyrna. (2006). Ukrainian artistic non-conformism. Historical and worldview dimension // Essays on the History of Fine Arts of Ukraine of ХХ century: in 2 books / Modern Art Research Institute of Ukrainian Academy of Arts. Book 2. Kyiv, Intertekhnolohiya, pp. 5–57. [in Ukrainian]
  38. This is an international phenomenon, not just Ukrainian or Soviet: curators and artists about ARVM. Support Your Art. [in Ukrainian]
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  41. K. Yakovlenko. (2019). Wall of Memory: How a masterpiece was destroyed. Bird In Flight. [in Russian]
  42. A. Zikora. (2009). The crematorium covered the sun: [Interview with Ada Rybachuk and Volodymyr Melnychenko]. Ukrainskyi Tyzhden, № 4 (65) dated January 30. [in Ukrainian]
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