'Flowers From Ukraine' -- paintings by Walter Horth on display

Staff Reports
Flowers From Ukraine, by Walter Horth

HAMMONDSPORT — Ukrainian artist Walther Horth will have his oil on canvas paintings on display at Twig & Hollow Gallery, at 65 Shethar St., Hammondsport through May 23, with an opening reception scheduled for Sunday, May 1 from noon to 5 p.m.

Horth was born in 1941, orphaned in Kazakhstan in World War II, and raised in Odessa, Ukraine. Self-taught, he was prolific and showed talent early on, with his paintings sold on the street by his adoptive mother when he was still a boy. He become a dentist during Soviet-era rule, which suppressed artwork not performed for the State. The work on display was created by Horth in 2018 while still in Ukraine but retired from his duties for the state. It followed a gift of paint from his daughter, a U.S. citizen since 2009 and now employed as an RN.

Impressionistic, Horth’s inspiration is sometimes from a postcard of another artist’s work, yet also from camera images he made near his wife’s family farm in Central Ukraine, or from other found imagery that caught his eye. Akin to playing billiards without a cue ball, as practiced at social gatherings in Ukraine, the concept of plagiarism or imitation for Horth is equally discounted in favor of the experience of doing. A lifelong fan of chess and boxing, as were many of his generation, Horth’s paintings, however, quintessentially reflect the overall peaceful nature the world understood Ukrainians to embrace prior to this latest global shock.

Twig & Hollow director John Carroll noticed the depth and mastery of color immediately. Opening Twig & Hollow with a debut of five Ukrainian photographers a few years ago, including work depicting the Annexation of Crimea, Carroll now includes Horth’s paintings to open the 2022 season featuring emerging and under-spoken artists with prescient work.