Kozak, Edvard

Image - Edvard Kozak: Lys Mykyta (Mykyta the Fox) Image - Edvard Kozak: Hutsuls Image - Edvard Kozak: Sich Riflemen

Kozak, Edvard (Козак, Едвард; pseudonyms: EKO, Mamai, Hryts Zozulia, Maik Chichka, Avenir Lushniak, Kosy), b 26 January 1902 in Hirne, Stryi county, Galicia, d 22 September 1992 in Warren, Michigan, USA. Caricaturist, illustrator, and painter; feuilletonist, satirist, and editor. He studied at the Vienna Art School (1917) and the Novakivsky Art School in Lviv (1926), illustrated and edited the satirical periodicals Zyz (1926–33) and Komar (1933–9) in Lviv, and illustrated the children’s magazines Svit dytyny, Dzvinochok (1931–9), and Iuni druzi (1933–4) and the books published by Ivan Tyktor. At the same time, he painted and participated in the exhibitions of the Association of Independent Ukrainian Artists (1933–6) in Lviv. Emigrating to Germany as a displaced person at the end of the Second World War, he founded the humor magazine Lys Mykyta (1947) and headed the Ukrainian Association of Artists (USOM). In 1949 he settled in the United States of America, where he worked in animated television films, receiving an award for his work from the National Educational Association in 1957. He resumed publishing Lys Mykyta in 1951, and exhibited his paintings in Detroit, Chicago, Buffalo, Toronto, Edmonton, and Hunter, New York State. For a time he illustrated the children’s monthly Veselka. .

Kozak is best known for his satirical drawings and writings, which amounted to a running commentary on political and social developments in the Ukrainian community for over half a century. His caricatures of Joseph Stalin, which were reprinted in the German, French, Italian, English, Dutch, Polish, and Yugoslavian press, are recognized classics in the field. Many of his paintings deal with folk motifs and display a light-hearted humor and expressive colors; eg, The Market, Sich, Old Inn, and Village. He published two albums of drawings with witty captions: Selo (The Village, 1949) and EKO (1949). As a satirical writer, he created the incisive peasant philosopher Hryts Zozulia, under whose name he published two collections of humorous sketches: Hryts' Zozulia (1973) and Na khlops'kyi rozum Hrytsia Zozuli (According to Hryts Zozulia’s Common Sense, 1982). He wrote numerous feuilletons and poems under different pen names. Some of the poems are printed in the collection Virshi ironichni, satyrychni i komichni (Ironic, Satiric, and Comic Verses, 1959).

Sviatoslav Hordynsky

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 2 (1988).]




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