The Great Famine-Genocide in Soviet Ukraine (Holodomor)

By Sofia Nalepynska-Boichuk, Ukrainian Avant-Garde Artist, Wood Engraving, 1927, State Museum of Ukrainian Fine Arts, Surrealism & Expressive Realism, Sofia Nalepynska-Boichuk was murdered by the Soviet secret police in 1937


"FAMINE". By Sofia Nalepynska-Boichuk, Ukrainian Avant-Garde Artist, Wood Engraving, 1927
State Museum of Ukrainian Fine Arts, Kyiv, Ukraine
(Click on images to enlarge them)

This "FAMINE" artwork was found by the  Information Service (ARTUIS) in the book "Ukrainian Avant-Garde Art, 1910-1930," published in Kyiv, Ukraine, in 1996. The illustration is number 367 in the book. The wood engraving created in 1927 is held in the collection of the State Museum of Ukrainian Fine Arts, Kyiv, Ukraine.

This exact wood engraving is also shown in the book "The Phenomenon of the Ukrainian Avant-garde 1910-1935," catalogue of a travelling exhibition held in Canada at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, 10 Oct. 2001 to 13 Jan. 2002, the Art Gallery of Hamilton, 9 Feb.-7 Apr. 2002, and the Edmonton Art Galllery, 21 June 15 Sept. 2002. The work is number 39 and is listed as a woodcut on paper, 33 x 25 created in 1927.

In the Canadian book the wood engraving is entitled "Hunger" not "Famine" as in the Avant-Garde book from Ukraine. The artist name is spelled Sofia Nalepinska-Boichuk. Nalepinska instead of Nalephynska, as her name is spelled as in the book published in Ukraine.

We believe there is a second famine wood engraving by Sofia Nalephynska-Boichuk[see image below]. The two famine woodcuts by Sofia we believe were used as the images on some material published in Europe in 1935 and then reprinted on two black and white postcards published in Canada in 1953 for the 20th anniversary of the genocidal Soviet famine in Ukraine, 1932-1933.


Black and white printed postcard. European Union of Ukrainian Organizations in Exile 1935, Reprinted by K.O. CYM, Winnipeg, 1953
[printed on backside of postcard][postcard is 4 1/4 by 6 inches]
[Private collection of ArtUkraine Information Service]

There is one additional work by Sofia Nalepynska-Boichuk shown in the "Ukrainian Avant-Garde Art, 1910-1930" book. The work is "Pacification of Western Ukraine," 1931, wood engraving, held by the State Museum of Ukrainian Fine Arts, Kyiv, Ukraine.


"PACIFICATION OF WESTERN UKRAINE". Sofia Nalepynska-Boichuk Wood Engraving, 1931
State Museum of Ukrainian Fine Arts, Kyiv, Ukraine

The book was compiled and introduced by Professor Dmytro Horbvachov, a leading Ukrainian art critic who has devoted many years of research to Ukrainian Avant-garde art.

The book contains 400 reproductions of the finest works of Ukrainian Avant-garde artists which can be found now in museums and private collections of many countries.

There were two additional works by Sofia Nalepinska-Boichuk in the Ukrainian avant-garde 1910-1935 exhibition in Canada in 2002. One is entitled, "Women of the Worker's Faculty," 1931 and the other, "The Workers' Faculty in the Collective Farm," 1932. They are shown in the book published in Canada in 2002 as images 40 and 41. These works are held in the collection of the National Art Museum in Kyiv, Ukraine.


"WOMEN OF THE WORKER'S FACULTY". Sofia Nalepynska-Boichuk 1931, Woodcut on paper, 26.1 x 19.1
National Art Museum of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine

"THE WORKER'S FACULTY IN THE COLLECTIVE FARM". Sofia Nalepynska-Boichuk 1932, Woodcut on paper, 32.8 x 26
National Art Museum of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine

The Ukrainian Avant-garde 1910-1035 exhibition and publication in Canada was made possible by support from AIM Funds Management Inc., The Winnipeg Art Gallery Foundation, Inc., Museums Assistance Program, Department of Canadian Heritage, Ukrainian Canadian Foundation of Taras Shevchenko and Dr. Taras Y. and Mrs. Emilia Snihurowycz.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following information about Sofiia Nalepinska -Boichuk is taken from the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, Edited by Danylo Husar Struck, University of Toronto Press, Ontario, Canada, 1993:

"Nalepinska, Sofiia {Nalepins'kal](Nalepinska, Zofia) b. 30 July 1884 in Lodz, Poland, d 11 December 1937. Graphic artist and xylographer of Polish origin; wife of M. Boichuk (from 1917) and sister of Polish poet T. Nalepinski. She studied at the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts, in Munich (1906-1907), and in Paris (1909-1911), where she first met Boichuk.

"She taught at the Myrhorod Art and Ceramics Teknikum (1918-1921) and the Kiev Art and Industrial Tekhnikum (1921-1922) and then headed the xylographic workshop at the Kiev Institute of Plastic Arts (1922-4),taught at the Kiev State Art Institute (1924-35) and belonged to the Association of Revolutionary Art of Ukraine (1925-31).

"Nalepinska created many xylographs, which were used as book illustrations, covers, and posters. Her approach was influenced by Ukrainian folk art, formalist theory, and in turn she influenced I. Padalka and O. Sakhnovska.

"In 1928-32 her works were exhibited in over 35 group shows of Soviet art. She and Boichuk were arrested by the Soviet secret police in November 1936 and later executed. She was posthumously rehabilated in 1958."

The Encyclopedia of Ukraine was under the auspices of the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies (University of Alberta), the Shevchenko Scientific Society (Sarcelles, France), and the Canadian Foundation for Ukrainian Studies.

This material can be used with proper credits to the  Information Service (ARTUIS)