[From the Community Collection, a public trust in Agincourt, Iowa]
DENISENKO, Oleg (born 1961; Oleh Denysenko / Олег Денисенко)
etching / 8.5 inches by 6.25 inches / #79 of 100
etching / 8.5 inches by 6.25 inches / #93 of 100
“The etchings of Ukrainian print artist, Oleg Denisenko, delight the imagination with their fantastical themes and complex, intricate detail. The fineness of line and rich imagery reflect the very strong and active print tradition of Eastern Europe and Russia.”
Another on-line blog waxes about Denisenko with even more enthusiasm:
“Sometimes artists can be self-consciously quirky in an attempt to be ‘different’ and carve a niche for themselves. Other times, though, artists are simply quirky because the are. I think Ukrainian artist Oleg Denisenko falls into the latter category.
“His delightfully bizarre prints of fantastical figures in elaborate armor, often sporting wings and accompanied by armored horses, arcane astrolabes, strange musical instruments, wheels, levers, charts and diagrams are filled with wonderful bits of texture and line. The monochromatic prints have a remarkable sense of being colorful because the variety of textures and line-filled areas have some of the same space-defining feeling as areas of color might in a painting.
“Though the images carry a sense of medieval times, Denisenko was born in 1961. [Another source gives 1959.]
“His images spill over with objects from his mental and emotional attic. Wheeled toys, wind-up keys, jester hats, and Da Vinci-like diagrams for nonsensical Renaissance machinery mix with textured amalgams of dragons and birds.
“Through it all is a wonderful graphic exuberance that makes you think that as soon as he stopped on one image, he would immediately begin the next just because he was having so much fun.”
These two delightful prints came to Agincourt as an exchange between Denisenko and NIN art faculty member Mason Glore, who has graciously placed them with us on extended loan. Though the scale is vastly different, in content they compare favorably with the lithographs and drawings of Robert A. Nelson.