Valeriy Shmatko was born in 1965 in Kharikiv, Ukraine and is still living there today. He studied at the
Kharkiv Art Institute graduating in 1988 with a dual degree in painting and painting restoration. Shmatko
has been exhibiting his work since 1991. His works have been exhibited in the Kharkiv Art Museum and
the Donetsk Art Museum in addition to private galleries in Kharkiv, Kiev and New York.
Valeriy Shmatko describes his art as ‘realistic painting’. He delights in the beauty of nature, which
inspires him to paint the landscapes of his native Ukraine. His attentive observations of nature help him
to create a ‘real’ or accurate picture of this world. It is important to Shmatko that the viewer easily
understand his art.
Light inspires him to choose a subject and create a composition where form, space, tone and color are
in total harmony. Many years of painting on location has taught Shmatko the mastery of color. The infinite
shades and tones of his palette are layered in a sophisticated, yet subtle manner. He paints studies on
location and then creates larger canvases in his studio. He especially loves to paint the Black Seashore
in Crimea
Valeriy Shmatko's creation, everything created by him is filled with the wonderful enjoyment of the man
whose ability of self-expression in any genre of the arts (he is a restorer, painter, drawer, master of
ceramics) is a natural longing, the substance of his heart. As it seems to us, Shmatko is a master of
exceptional self-discipline who tries to reach the level of the artistic perfection known to himself only, in
the base of which the deep professional knowledge of the pictorial technology of the classical time is
brought to the exquisite workmanship. His works remind creations of the best masters of the European
landscape school, they are complete and balanced in coloring and plasticity. His works are dynamical,
lively and warmed with not indifferent glare of the artist, they are in harmony with the mood of a man, they
do not depress him but win him round, where you feel yourself lightly and cozy, and the artist's
imagination lets him to deviate from the naturalistic interpretation of the nature. The artist's style and
creative method seems us also verified on: his canvasses with their apparent unhurried manner and
impressiveness of his works and almost mathematical expectation come in the world owing to
instantaneous impulses as a response on almost sensual level. Valeriy paints his works in different
formats - from tiny sketches (like one of his beloved painters Ivan Pokhitonov) to considerable elongated
freeze compositions; it seems to us that the latter are his favorite ones. His typical horizontal landscape
is really rhythms of steppe scopes of the south - a strip of shore, of water, of clouds, of field, of forest, -
which gives a sensation of appeal, from the chamber filling of the image to the lyricism of the epic
landscape. It is very often a far-away view with the low skyline where there is not much sky, but the
composition is fragmentary and open, so that gives a possibility to see more than it is apparent, to
extend the horizon. As a real landscape painter Valeriy is very attentive to the regional peculiarities of a
painted landscape. The Crimean landscapes exactly render a sensation of hot, incandescent air where
everything moves, vibrates, modifies its appearance, so the artist sees the Crimea, its hills, color of
mountains, of the sea, of rocks, of seaside shore not as local ones but as cloaked with variable reflexes,
light-blue and warm-sunny ones, as a play of light and gleam, visible only in some certain states.
Owing to the masterly employment of diverse modes of the laying on coat, of the specific relief modeling
of the pictorial surface, the artist convincingly paints the transparent thickness of water, peculiarities of
the texture of the coastal vegetation, of rocks, of sands, the typical Crimean architecture which reminds
the past of that region and at the same time it keeps its mysteries. Seascapes of the artist have mainly
plain air character where the master wonderfully renders all the charm of the southern region and its
romanticized aroma. Sometimes they have meditative character, the sensation of the mood of the quiet
immersion into the space, the sensation so characteristic for the mood of a man observing the sea in a
calm weather where the immobility of rocks is revitalized with the motion of waves and clouds. On the
contrary, the state of the northern landscape (the artist has very many views connected with Arkhangelsk)
is under the thick layer of air and is slightly damped down in its tonality, but despite all the unlikeness
and the geographical remoteness both the Crimea and the north have the general coloristic principle -
the brightness and the many-coloring of paints. Landscapes of the Slobodian Ukraine are marked with
the same features, they are refined and perfect in its composition; in those landscapes there are united
organically, elaborately but not accidentally select motifs with the high culture of their pictorial
embodiment, a clean saturated color, where the master has been able to render both little details and
general harmony of the painted space.
Very often the fine arts are compared with the music: line is compared with melody and coloring is
compared with its arrangement. Just the efficient employment of the linear rhythm and of the picturesque
masses is the basis of the compositional thought of the artist. There are not any discordant note
because of the absence of sharpness of coloring dabs, completed and noble, based on the strong
contrasts of the color, mainly warm and cold, where the artist's attentions is centered on the rhythmical
repetitions of lines, dabs, forms, where the nature of the touch and the texture of painting (which is
sound and blind) and the architectonics of the surface, with the employment of mainly diagonal rhythms,
are shown openly. Really the artist's painting enriched with coloring gradations arouses a sensation of
the precious mosaic: its coloring polyphony is directed in the depth but not on the surface, coloring dabs
are soft and springy, they glimmer with all the shades and those especial reflections which can shine
from inside and with restraint like on the pictures of real masters.
Valeriy Shmatko's art, his own author face, the aesthetical dominant of his creation has some
components inherent in the Ukrainian national landscape: they are picturesqueness, figurativeness,
mode of giving, original coloring typical for the different regions of Ukraine and foreign countries, sincere
experience of scene and depicted. He is a real master who in the modern rhythms of life and art courses
has been able to create his own style where the tradition and the classics are united with pictorial
stylistics of the artist of the 21-st century.


2011 “International Salon of Traditional Art” at Silvana Gallery, Glendale, CA
2011 “Russian and Ukrainian Impressionism” at Silvana Gallery, Glendale, CA
2010 “Great Impressions – Masters of Fine Art” at Silvana gallery, Glendale, CA
2004 October. In the S.l.Vasylkivsky's Way: Look through Centuries Exhibition. The Kharkiv Art Museum.
Kharkiv, Ukraine
2003 Mini Print International Exhibition. Barselona, Spain
2002 Mini Print International Exhibition. Barselona, Spain
April ARTEXPO. Croup Exhibition of Ukrainian Artists. Moscow, Russia
2001 November Lilian Berkeley's Collection. Exhibition of Russian and Ukrainian Artists. Escondido,
California. USA
2001 November ARTEXPO. San Francisco, California. The USA
March ARTEXPO New York. USA
2001 Artist's Day All-Ukrainian Art Exhibition. Kyiv
All-Ukrainian Art Exhibition. Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine
2000 December All-Ukrainian Art Exhibition. To the 2000-th An
2000 November ARTEXPO. San Francisco, California. The USA
2000 Universary of the Cristmas. Kyiv, Ukraine
2000 All-Ukrainian Spring Exhibition. Kyiv, Ukraine
2000 March ARTEXPO. New York. The USA
1999 All-Ukrainian Exhibition Dedicated to the 155-th Anniversary of the I.Ye.Repin Birthday. Kharkiv,
1998 Picturesque Ukraine All-Ukrainian Exhibition. Lugansk, Ukraine

Personal Exhibition:

2000 The Kharkiv Art Museum. Kharkiv, Ukraine.
2000-2004 Terrapin Chelsey. Art Gallery. NewYork. The USA
1731 West Glenoaks Blvd. Suite 200, Glendale, CA 91201                     Tel. 818 662 7070    Fax 818 662 7075
Valeriy Shmatko
Tel. 818-662-7070         Fax 818-662-7075
© Copyright 2014, Silvana Gallery, All Rights Reserved