Kotska, Andrii (b. May 23, 1911, Uzhhorod [Hungarian Kingdom], Ukraine; d. September 3, 1987, Uzhhorod [Soviet Union], Ukraine) — painter in Subcarpathian Rus’. After completing the *Uzhhorod Greek Catholic Teachers’ College, Kotska studied at the *Public School of Painting (1931) operated by Iosyf *Bokshai and Adal’bert *Erdeli. He later studied at the Academy of Art in Rome (1940-1942). Among his best works are a series of portraits of children and others from Subcarpathia’s *Verkhovyna (highland) region (Pastushka husei/Tending the Geese, 1932; Mariika, 1933; Khlopchyk/The Young Lad, 1934; Shkoliari/School Children, 1937; Starets’/The Old Man, 1940) and a cycle of impressionistic Carpathian scenes done in pastels and guaches (Uzhhorod, 1939; Bilia tserkvy/Near the Church, 1940; Protsesiia/The Procession, 1940; U nediliu, 1940).
With the onset of Soviet rule after World War II, and under ideological pressure from the Soviet authorities, Kotska painted a series of portraits (Vasyl’ Rusyn, 1947; Vasyl’ Svyda, 1947) and “heros of labor” (Staryi kolhospnyk/The Elder Collective Framer, 1950; Lankova Pelaheia Gebesh/The Brigade Leader Pelahiia Gebesh, 1955; Tesla M. Plakhta/The Carpenter M. Plakhta, 1956). These were aesthetically uninspired but they did respond to the regime’s political needs. By the mid-1950s, however, he returned to his prewar interests and style, painting thereafter a series of Verkhovyna female portraits (Divchyna z Kolochavy/The Girl from Kolochava, 1955; Hutsulka/The Hutsul Girl, 1958; Podruhy/Girl Friends, 1963) and lyrical impressionistic landscapes (Zyma v seli Tykhomy/Winter in the Village of Tykhy, 1954; Vesna v Iasiniakh/Spring in Iasynia, 1969). In 1982 Kotska was named a National Artist of the Ukrainian SSR, and after his death his home in Uzhhorod was transformed into a museum dedicated to his work.
Bibliography: Volodymyr Pavlov, Andrii Kotska: al’bom (Kiev, 1993).
Entry courtesy of Encyclopedia of Rusyn History and Culture.