Denis Struk was born in 1978 in Dnipro. Although painting now plays the major role in his artistic production, he began his career by working with glass. Trained in this specialty at the Lviv Academy, from which he graduated in 2003, Struk created between 2006 and 2011 a series of important works, associating color and graphic elements in the working of the glass. Often sculptural and freeform, these creations reveal the figurative forms, lines, and signs traced by the artist’s hand in the liquid glass with a sort of playful fantasy. Beyond objects in the form of vases diverted from their original purpose, or medallions in colored glass paste, Struk created installations as early as 2001 and up until 2012 which affirm the sculptural dimension of his work, often with electric light emphasizing and animating the deep colors of the glass. His blown glass draws on organic forms, often vegetal in inspiration and repetitive, similar but different, like the variety of the leaves of a tree. The installation pieces are often very large and occupy the exhibit space to play with the light, whether electric or natural.
Since 2006, however, oil painting has become the main focus of Struk’s work. If the human figure and portraits found their place in the early 2000s, he has extended and affirmed his interest in color as a material in painting, in the wake of his work with glass. His paintings are layered, with imbricated traces and signs, sometimes with an echo of natural forms, and evoke sensations and memories. As in Letters of an abandoned house, an installation of glass pages in 2010, the act of writing and the text are privileged witnesses of living persons, and awake our own memories. As Struk notes on the subject of one of the paintings of the Palimpsests series in 2020: “Underneath all layers of travel, feelings, colours and smells is the basis of genetic memory. You may not see it, but feel it like a palimpsest. Everything remains.” (Palimpseste 48)
As the series develops, the painter combines rhythmic and abstract motifs, along with traditional Ukrainian patterns.
Struk’s work is regularly shown in galleries, salons, symposiums and fairs as well as on the Ukrainian market and beyond. He has exposed often in Lviv, in Kyiv, but also in Poland and in Germany.
Today his creative work is on hold. He has left the creative combat of the past twenty years to engage in the defense of Ukraine.