Maria Prymachenko is one of the most famous Ukrainian artists, a bright representative of “naive art”, a winner of Shevchenko National Prize (1966). The year 2009 was declared the year of Maria Prymachenko by UNESCO; Likhachev boulevard in Kyiv was renamed in her honor in the same year.
Maria Oksentiyivna combines remarkably drawing and painting in her art. Her bright pictures can be classified both as graphical painting and painting graphics. According to the typology Prymachenko`s works can be divided relatively in three groups such as pictures with a plot (figures), symbolic pictures, and rhythm-ornamental ones.
Prymachenko had always been inspired by her motherland Polissya nature, and her art had undeniably grown from the oldest branches of the genealogical tree of ancient folk art. Let us, for example, pay attention to the grid painted on the heads of her horses. “Binary” images of heads and torsoes of the animals, to which the artist often resorted, go back to the Paleolithic art. The pagan images of fantastic beasts and birds are embodied in her pictures. Prymachenko`s art seems to synthesize the experience of many generations of the Ukrainian craftsmen. One of the sources of her creativity are Ukrainian domestic wall paintings. It is one of the oldest genres of the world decorative art.
The works of Maria Prymachenko stem out of the great and diverse folk-art tradition, everlasting culture of the nation. They concentrate the emotional experience of the real-earthly life and fairy-tales. The master also possesses an irreproachable sense of rhythm, the forms are perfectly balanced, but not static. They seem to be particularly moving: every plant, even petal are shown in their interruction.