An artist, film director, scriptwriter, producer, and curator. Author of graphic art, video art, installations, performances, action art. A member of the Ukrainian Film Academy. Presently, he lives and works in Kyiv, Lviv, and Lodz.
He was born in 1962 in Lviv, to a family of a historian/public official father and a journalist mother. He has two daughters and three grandchildren. His wife, Tamara Podolchak, often acts as a producer of his auteur films.
In 1979-1984, he studied at the Faculty of Interior Design and Equipment at the Lviv State Institute of Arts and Crafts (presently — Lviv National Academy of Arts). His classmates were Oleh Tistol, Pavlo Kerestey, and Mykola Matsenko (The Last Cantata. Ihor Podolchak. Exhibition catalogue, 2018, 7). Having finished his studies, he mostly engaged in graphic art. Thus, in the early days of his art career, since 1981, he had explored the language of classical painting and graphic techniques, such as eau-forte, aquatint, engraving, intaglio, blind etching, and dry needle, and their multiple combinations. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Podolchak started working with various art forms and genres, such as painting, graphic art, photography, video art, actionism. From the early 1990s, he worked with photography, engaged in action art and performance art; in the late 1990s, he shifted to video art (The Last Cantata. Ihor Podolchak. Exhibition catalogue, 2018, 7).
Since 1985, he has been highly active in exhibitions. Since then, he has had 25 solo exhibitions: in Venice, London, Mainz, Kyiv, Munich, Lodz, Bayreuth, Bridewood (Australia), Seoul, Safad (Israel), Moscow, Lviv, Haifa, Hobart, Cadaques, Paris, Konin, Poznan, Gross-Gerau (Germany). Podolchak's art pieces are held in 26 museums and public collections in Australia, the UK, Israel, Germany, Norway, Poland, Russia, USA, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Italy, Cuba, Macedonia, France, Ukraine, and Egypt. (The Last Cantata. Ihor Podolchak. Exhibition catalogue, 2018, 8).
In 1991, Podolchak and other Lviv-based artists Roman Viktiuk and Ihor Dyurych founded a creative association Masoch Fund. In 1993 – 2004, they implemented a series of provocative art campaigns in the United Kingdom, Germany, Russia, and Ukraine. Since 1997, he has been developing political election campaigns in Ukraine.
Today (2019), he works with cinema art. Ihor Podolchak produced two full-length motion pictures — Las Meninas (2008) and Delirium (2012). In the films, he acts as a formalist, and prefers researching the form, the content, while putting the narrative to the background (The Last Cantata. Ihor Podolchak. Exhibition catalogue, 2018, 9). According to the artist, he exhausted the fine art capacity for himself:
"Cinemaoffers to me the opportunities that no painting or photography ever could, that is why I do not feel any need to deal with other kinds of art." (Filatov, 2013).
Vul. Snopkivska, 47 – Lviv Ivana Trusha College of Decorative and Applied Arts
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1. Exhibition Catalogue — Ihor Podolchak. The Last Cantata (Kyiv: Huss, 2018) [accessed 11.11.2020]
2. Tatiana Kochubinska, "The Masoch Fund: An Artist Cannot Be a Historian. He Can Only Be a Speculator of History", Korydor, 2016 (Тетяна Кочубінська, "Фонд Мазоха: "Художник не може бути істориком. Він може бути історичним спекулянтом", Korydor, 2016) [accessed 11.11.2020]
3. Yaroslav Pidgora-Gviazdovsky, "A Filter for Illusions", Tyzhden, 2010 (Ярослав Підгора-Гвяздовський, "Фільтр для марень", Тиждень, 2010) [accessed 11.11.2020]
4. Anton Filatov, "With My Delirium Film I Aim to Provoke the Viewer" — Director Ihor Podolchak", Gazeta.ua, 2013 (Антон Філатов, "Своїм фільмом "Delirium" хочу роздратувати глядача" — режисер Ігор Подольчак", Gazeta.ua, 2013) [accessed 11.11.2020]
5. Ihor Podolchak on ArtLvivOnline [accessed 11.11.2020]
6. Ihor Podolchak's YouTube channel [accessed 11.11.2020]
7. Ihor Podolchak on IMDb [accessed 11.11.2020]
By Anastasiia Marusiy
Edited by Bohdan Shumylovych and Olha Zarechnyuk
Created with the support of the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation