Primitive art (or naive art). Pictures by artists without professional training who work in a way that differs from the traditional or avant-garde with respect to manner of depiction and techniques of paint application. Such pictures show an idiosyncratic naïveté in the treatment and depiction of the subject matter and the use of the medium. Icons on glass popular from the late 18th to the early 20th centuries in Western Ukraine are charming examples of primitive art, as are folk icons on panels created by artists who took inspiration from professionally painted models. The best known Ukrainian primitive artist is Nykyfor, who rendered churches, other buildings, saints, and people in captivating compositions. Others whose work was influenced by Ukrainian folk art and ornamentation include Kateryna Bilokur, who painted flower fantasies, and Mariia Pryimachenko and Hanna Sobachko-Shostak, both of whom portrayed fantastic creatures and plant motifs in vivid colors. Of the Ukrainian primitive artists working outside their homeland, Dmytro Stryjek in Canada has received the greatest recognition.
[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 4 (1993).]