Victor Marinuk (b. 1939), the prominent artist from Odessa, is one of the key figures of the Soviet nonconformism of 1970-1980s and a bright representative of the young contemporary art of Ukraine.
Starting from the 1960s Marinuk became a member of the avant-garde painters’ group and in the 1970s joined unofficial artists with who he started to organise unallowable apartment exhibitions in Odessa. Marinuk’s artworks were constantly shown at the most important unofficial exhibitions in different Ukrainian and Russian cities since 1969 as well as abroad later. In the 1980s, when the Soviet censorship started to become weaker as if foreseeing that the end of the regime was rapidly approaching, the artist founded the group of non-conformist artists called ‘Mamay’. Together with Vasily Sad, Sergey Savchenko, Alexander Stovbur and other unofficial artists Marinuk continued creating abstract artworks which could have led him to prison in the country where Socialist Realism was a dominant artistic style.
Victor Marinuk can be reasonably called one of those artists who played extremely significant role in formation of the modern artistic thinking in Ukraine. His strict and clear but at the same time mysterious forms allude to the tradition of Avant-Garde of 1920-30s which so tragically for art history was smothered by the Soviet regime. Bearing in mind the Byzantine traditions of icon painting, Marinuk creates fabulous in the colouristic solution art pieces. And no matter in which technique the artist works – his masterpieces illuminate that inscrutable light which only genuine artworks can possess.