Cross Section of Vinnitsia in the Ukraine, 1939 visualizes political atrocities committed by Soviet authorities throughout Ukraine during the 1930s. An indictment of Soviet oppression, the painting represents Kurelek’s more positive attempt to celebrate a “new collective conscience about [the] plight of his less fortunate fellow man abroad as well as at home” as a consequence of “the new ‘global village.’” It is underpinned by the artist’s sensitivity to the complexity of Ukrainian history, a narrative that was often reduced to images of Cossacks and agrarian labourers.
William Kurelek’s Art of Rapture and Reminiscence
William Kurelek, Cross Section of Vinnitsia in the Ukraine, 1939, 1968
Ballpoint pen, ink, house paint, wood, oil, and graphite on Masonite, 57.5 x 76 cm, Winnipeg Art Gallery