Andrei Prychodko, born 1951 in Toronto, is a Swiss-Canadian artist of Ukrainian origin.
He has exhibited in Toronto, Rome, Zürich, Paris, New York, Geneva, Basel, etc... notably with the galleries Studio Paul Facchetti in Paris and Zurich (with whom he began to exhibit through the introduction of Galerie Beyeler of Basel) and Galerie Nathan in Zurich, as well as at Art Basel etc.
His paintings have been called “archaic ciphers,”[i] “a language entirely their own”[ii] “enigmatic, facetious,”[iii] “childlike, poetic and grotesque”[iv] and dubbed, “chromatic gesture colliding with Byzantine tradition.” [v]
In its multiple layers of meaning, his art has been compared to the writing of Jorge Luis Borges[vi] and Switzerland’s Neue Zürcher Zeitung speaks of “Western and Eastern elements layering in time and space.”[vii] Toronto’s Globe and Mail evokes, “a relentless microscope turned on the artist- but by himself.”[viii]
France’s l’Oeil speaks of “a joust of dramatic ideas with figurative means and between the artist and his own compositions.” [ix] Die Weltwoche says Prychodko, “stage- directs elaborate, enigmatic, facetious, mise-en scenes…”[x]
The Encyclopedia of Ukraine documents Prychodko's unusual use of color, symbolist signs, unorthodox techniques and the paradox of spontenaiety and control in his work.
Prychodko is the last artist to be discovered, independently of one another, by both Paul Facchetti and by Peter Nathan (where his work was shown under the patronage of Canada's ambassador). Cumulatively, he was represented by them from 1980 through 2007 and his work was acquired by their collectors such as Seymour H. Knox.
His art has been exhibited together with works by Appel, Calder, Chagall, deChirico, Dali, Dubuffet, Max Ernst, Estève, Fautrier, Marino Marini, Michaux, Sam Francis, Picasso, Poliakoff, Severini, Tapiès et al.
In 1993 Prychodko's art was chosen to spearhead the re-establishing of cultural relations via visual arts between France and post-Soviet Ukraine, whose Minister of Culture, Ivan Dziuba, writing to France's Minister of Culture, Jacques Toubon, called Prychodko’s art, “…a contemporary bridge from the Ukrainian avant-garde of Malevich, Archipenko, Larionov, Sonia Delaunay-Terk et al."
Prychodko’s work is documented and reviewed in international periodicals of record such as the Toronto Globe & Mail and the Neue Zürcher Zeitung as well as in die Weltwoche, Tages Anzeiger, l’Oeil, Bollaffi Arte, etc.
The exhibition catalog of his work, published by Peter Nathan, is archived in the Louvre, Paris, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Museum of Modern Art, New York, J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Tate Gallery, London, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Detroit Institute of Art, USA, Ludwig Museum, Cologne, Museum of Applied and Contemporary Art, Vienna, Yale University, USA, etc.
Following senior matriculation Prychodko worked in the newsroom, then as chief librarian/archivist of the Toronto Telegram, Canada’s second largest newspaper, but soon left to study briefly at Toronto’s New School of Art. In Europe since 1971, Prychodko followed self-directed, non-curricular studies at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts in Paris, where he was accepted in the highest category, as well as at the Accademia di Belle Arti and Scuola Libera del Nudo in Florence. By special permissions he copied master drawings at il Gabinetto Disegni of the Uffizi and studied anatomy at the Universities of Toronto and Paris VII.
His first one man shows were at the University of Toronto, at Rome’s Studio Erre, and at the global headquarters of Crédit Suisse in Zürich.
Fluent in five languages, Prychodko has lived and painted across four continents- in Toronto, New York, Switzerland, Mexico, India, etc. and was based for 21 years in Paris. His studios were in the Hotel Chelsea, New York, in the former City Hall of San Cristobal las Casas, Mexico, on the ghats in Varanasi, in the Swiss Alps, etc. Referring to all this, the Neue Zürcher Zeitung sees his art as “issuing from limitless cultural/historical cross-references.”
Andrei Prychodko is a recipient of Awards from the Academy of Athens (modern), the Greenshields Foundation, Montreal and the Ontario Arts Council, Toronto.
He currently resides with his wife, the artist Amanda Bayard, at Crans-Montana, Switzerland.
[i] Anonymous, “Archaic Ciphers” Zürich News, Wochenbulletin, 31 March, 1984, pp. 11
[ii] Billeter, Fritz, “Happy-Sad Spirits“ Fröhlich-Traurige Gespenster“ Prychodko at Galerie Facchetti Zürich, the Tages Anzeiger''', Zürich Switzerland, June 18, 1980 pp. 24
[iii] Bernimoulin, Gundel, the Tages Anzeiger, Switzerland, "die Innere Dimension der Dinge" (the Inner Dimension of Things) Tages Anzeiger, Zürich, 22 Nov 1982 pp24
[iv] Billeter, Fritz, Tages Anzeiger, Zürich,"Malerishce Gesten und abstrakte Zeichen" (Painterly Gestures and Abstract Signs) Prychodko in der Galerie Paul Facchettti, Dienstag 10 April, 1984
[v] Tallarico, Luigi,"Andrij Prychodko, una Esplosione di Vitalità" (Andrij Prychodko, an Explosion of Vitality) Il Secolo d'Italia, Roma, Mercoledi 15 febbraio, 1978
[vi] Anonymous, “Archaic Ciphers” Zürich News, Wochenbulletin, 31 March, 1984, pp. 11.
[vii] Anonymous“ Prychodko, Galerie Nathan,“ Neue Zürcher Zeitung, March 12, 1987, pp42
[viii]Kritzweiser, Kay, “Creative Bridge Links Art and Poetry”, Prychodko at OISE Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, The Globe and Mail, Toronto, Sat.May 4,1974 pp32
[ix]Affentranger, Angelika, l’Oeil, Paris, no. 381 avril 1987, Galeries/Prychodko
[x]Monteil, Annemarie, „Spiele auf vielerlei Ebenen“ (Playing on Multiple Levels) Prychodko in the Galerie Nathan, Zürich, die Weltwoche, Zürich, 19 März 1987 pp 69