Levytsky, Myron [Levyc’kyj] (Lev), b 14 October 1913 in Lviv, d 17 July 1993 in Toronto. (Photo: Myron Levytsky.) Painter, graphic artist, journalist, and writer. After studying at the Novakivsky Art School in Lviv (1931–3) and at the Cracow Academy of Arts (1933–4) he worked as a book illustrator and designer in Lviv (from 1935) and published and edited the monthly My i svit (1938–9). During the Soviet occupation of Galicia he worked as staff artist at the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR archeology department in Lviv and at the Lviv Historical Museum. During the Nazi occupation he worked for the Ukrainske Vydavnytstvo (Cracow) publishing house and then as a war correspondent of the Division Galizien paper, Do peremohy (1943–4). A postwar refugee in Austria, he emigrated to Canada in 1949 and worked in Winnipeg as art editor of Ivan Tyktor's publishing house and editor of the humor magazine Komar (1949–50) before settling in Toronto in 1954. After he had spent two years painting in Paris, his first one-man exhibition was held there, in 1958. Other solo exhibitions were held in Toronto (1961, 1963, 1964, 1973, 1976, 1978), Waterloo (1965), New York (1964, 1974), Detroit (1972), Ottawa (1975), Edmonton (1977), Chicago (1984), Lviv (1991), and Kyiv (1992). Levytsky's canvases are characterized by their rich color harmonies, flowing linearity, and stylized, abstracted forms (eg, Moroccan Musicians [1964], Spanish Town [1965], and Portrait of My Wife, Halyna [1985]). His interests range from portraiture, urban landscapes, classical and Ukrainian mythology, nudes, literature, and history to icons and religious themes (eg, numerous Madonnas and the oil Day of the Pentecost [1968]). He has painted the murals and icons in 10 Ukrainian Catholic churches (5 in Canada and 5 in Australia). Levytsky has been instrumental in modernizing Ukrainian sacred art and freeing it from the confines of the traditional Ukrainian-Byzantine style (eg, in the Church of the Holy Eucharist [1974–5] in Toronto and Saint Andrew's Church [1979–80] in Lidcombe, Australia). He has designed and illustrated over 300 books and magazines and many bookplates, in which he has used a distinctive type of lettering and graphic style. Levytsky has also written a short story collection, Likhtari (Lanterns, 1982). A monograph about him by Daria Zelska-Darewych was published to coincide with the retrospective exhibition of his works in Toronto and Winnipeg in 1985.

Daria Zelska-Darewych

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]

Encyclopedia of Ukraine