Maria Primachenko was born on 12 January 1908, in a small village known today as Bolotnya, Ukraine. She began creating pictures as a young girl, soaking up the customs, dress and legends intrinsic to her rural world, injecting them with imagination and spilling them out in giddy gouache colours onto paper and canvas.
Throughout her long career, her frank aesthetic never shed its certain countryside charm, and she effectively smudged the boundaries between folk and fine art. Though often deemed naive or primitive, her life’s work is far from elementary, and frequently taps into the darker side of existence.
Enjoy a small selection of some personal favourites below and see. Indeed, Primachenko’s art is cheery and unabashedly linear without a hint of shading, but it is also flooded with intricate patterning, palpable movement and sagacious dark humour. Gone in 1997 but hard to forget, she remains an irrepressible reminder that inspiration lingers in humility, ever ready to shatter the quiet and uplift.
Vlada Griev

Godfather Brings a Calf to Godmother, 1983

Vania Gives a Flower to Halia, 1983

Dear Cosmonauts, I Give You These Red Poppies, 1983

Maiden and Cossack Enjoying a Ride on Horseback, 1982

May That Nuclear War Be Cursed, 1978

Savage Hump Shaker, 1977

Years of My Youth, Come Visit Me, 1969

Ukrainian Wedding, 1966

Lion Has Broken an Oak, 1963

Elephant, 1937


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