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Art - Fedor Manaylo paintings - artist studio - rusyn art - Festmény – Manajló Fedor festmények – Műterem - ruszin művészet


creative legacy of ruthenian artist

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"The Prolific Palette of Fedor Manaylo:
A Symphony of Colours in Rusyn Culture"


"My art draws its lifeblood from folk tradition. Undoubtedly, the entire gamut of 'isms' - ranging from expressionism and Dadaism to Fauvism and primitivism - are nested within folk art, yet it is far from subservient to any of these doctrines. In essence, folk art is perpetually modern, for it encapsulates Art in its purest form."

- Fedor Manaylo.


Fedor Manaylo's artistic journey, underpinned by a profound dedication to his native Rusyn heritage, paints a canvas that seamlessly blends the aesthetics of folk art with an ethos that transcends the limitations of prevailing artistic 'isms'. Manaylo's oeuvre finds expression in the vibrant symbiosis between the human experience and the elemental might of the Carpathian landscape, presenting an interplay of the real and the mystical. His work reflects a contemplative duality, holding a mirror to the shared past of his homeland while offering a bridge to its future, in a spirit deeply resonant of Rusyn self-awareness. Despite the societal upheavals and changing cultural policies of his era, Manaylo's artistic spirit persevered, marking a turning point in the evolution of Transcarpathian culture. As a tireless advocate for folk art, a committed pedagogue, and a driving force in the Transcarpathian art community, his legacy extends beyond his art, engraving his name in the bedrock of universal Rusyn cultural history.

Andrew Manaylo

(From the research "The Manaylo Dynasty in Rusyn Culture")

Fedor Manaylo – art – paintings – painting – artwork - rusyn culture - ruthenian art - museum collection – interior design - fine art - Carpatho-Rusyn – artist

"Resonances of Rusyn: The Transcendent Folk Modernism of Fedor Manaylo"

"Fedor Manaylo, a Rusyn artist, fervently married his homeland's folk art with avant-garde techniques, creating a distinctive artistic expression that underlines the transformative and perennially modern nature of folk art within the broader European context."

In the evocative words of Fedor Manaylo (1910 – 1978), an extraordinary artist and devout Rusyn patriot, we discover an undying homage to his roots - the rich tapestry of folk art. According to Manaylo, folk art is not simply a categorization, a delimited field, or a source of inspiration. Rather, it is a dynamic vortex that brings together a multitude of artistic ideologies, ranging from the fervor of expressionism to the unrestrained audacity of Dadaism, the riotous hues of Fauvism to the raw simplicity of primitivism. However, Manaylo asserts, folk art remains unshackled by these 'isms', transcending each to achieve an intrinsic modernity - a testament to the perpetuity of Art. This reverberating testament is enshrined in Manaylo's creative journey. Anchored by an unbreakable tether to his native land, Manaylo's artistic process was an intimate reflection of his personal love for his people and his homeland. This love, undeniably, shaped his foray into art, imbuing his work with a dedicated service to his fellow Rusyn people. Manaylo's European artistic education further sculpted his creative identity, introducing him to the liberating techniques of the avant-garde - expressionism, symbolism, Fauvism, etc. Particularly drawn to expressionism, Manaylo sought to emphasize the essence 'beyond the phenomenon', a triumph of spirit over matter. This drive towards 'expression', coupled with the vibrant hues and simplified forms characteristic of avant-garde art, allowed Manaylo to deftly portray the distinct world of Rusyn culture. In his portrayals, Manaylo creates a distinctive dialogue between the exoticism of Rusyn culture and the broader European context, drawing from the richly preserved heritage of the Rusyn people - their language, customs, and folk art. Through this endeavor, he presents not merely a collection of visual representations, but a deeply meaningful amalgamation of signs and symbols that construct, rather than reflect, the world. In the grand scheme of the European and Soviet cultures, Manaylo found his distinct artistic voice within the triangle of influences. Embracing his Rusyn identity, he navigated the stylistic undertows with an innate fear of losing his unique perspective. However, it was in this delicate negotiation between tradition and modernity, familiarity and the exotic, where Manaylo ultimately found himself, creating a unique artistic expression that fused his homeland's inherent beauty and character with the avant-garde techniques of the European masters. His art thus stands as a testament to the transformative power of folk art, underlining its timeless relevance and its ability to continuously redefine what it means to be 'modern'.

"The Ethereal Weave of Reality and Imagination:
Fedor Manaylo’s Homage to Subcarpathian Rus"


"Fedor Manaylo, a celebrated Rusyn artist, fervently married his homeland's folk art with avant-garde techniques, creating a distinctive artistic expression that underlines the transformative and perennially modern nature of folk art within the broader European context."

Diving into the oeuvre of Fedor Manaylo, one becomes privy to a period of intense artistic production from the late 1930s to the mid-1940s. This epoch, fraught with the specter of war and intense societal transformations, saw Manaylo artfully immortalize his beloved homeland on canvas, straddling the boundaries of the real and the imagined, the tragic and the joyous, the human and the elemental. Manaylo's artworks from this period, much like a lyrical ballad, strike an orchestral harmony of man, nature, and emotions. He displays an adroit ability to mirror life in its intricate nuances, each seemingly simple depiction imbued with profound philosophical depths. His unique aesthetic language evokes the paradoxical magic of an "artistic stylistic oxymoron" where opposing characteristics meld into a holistic, expressive narrative. People move with the fervor of fire, panoramas anthropomorphize, reflecting his embeddedness in a culture rich with tales and fables. Manaylo's works become a portal to the consciousness of Subcarpathian Rus, channelling theatrical spectacle, pictorial expression, and dramatic action. He ingeniously navigates the techniques of artistic metaphor, allegory, and symbolism, intertwining the language and philosophy of folk art with his individualistic creative flair. In this delicate dance between the imagined and the explicit, the viewer discovers a bridge between past and present, foreseeing a future that yearns for connection with its rich cultural past. Noted for his expressive colors and emotive intensity, Manaylo's paintings become a visual manifestation of his dedication to his land and people. Each stroke of his brush becomes a testament to shared collective experiences, creating a vibrant tableau of folk existence. Such unique artistic prowess did not escape the gaze of contemporary critics. Yevgeny Nedzelskiy, under the pseudonym A. Izvorin, underscored Manaylo's spiritual kinship with his people and the robustness of his artistic language. Noteworthy among the critics, Ernest Kallai emphasized Manaylo's artistic liberty, the fervor of his works, and a propensity towards the mystical. Manaylo's stylistic impact on Subcarpathian Rus' artistic culture was seminal, paralleled only by the landscapes of Josif Bokshai and the modern portraiture style of Adalbert Erdeli. His expressionist ethos came to represent the collective consciousness of the wartime Ruthenian intelligentsia, their experiences, anxieties, dreams, and hopes. Manaylo's influence extended to contemporaries like Laszlo Dvan-Sharpotoki, Adalbert Boretsky, and Ernest Kontratovich, resonating in the thematic richness and expressive intensity of their works. He also inspired a generation of artists whose creativity blossomed amidst the era of Soviet occupation, ensuring his legacy's continued resonance in the art world. In essence, Fedor Manaylo's works serve as an artistic compass, guiding us through the intricate labyrinth of Subcarpathian Rus' culture and history, and his passionate exploration of the boundaries of the real and the imagined illuminates the transformative power of art.

Fedor Manaylo paintings from the late 1930s to the mid-1940s

"The Phoenix Rises: Fedor Manaylo's Subversive Resilience in Soviet Subcarpathia"

"Subcarpathian artists, stifled by Soviet cultural policy in 1945, eventually rekindled their creative flame during the 'Khrushchev thaw'. Fedor Manaylo's pivotal exhibition 'Old and New Transcarpathia' catalyzed this artistic renaissance, navigating Soviet ideological confines and re-establishing pre-war expressive richness."