The Knight of the Book. Graphics by Vitaly Volovich
On October 11, in the Ekaterinburg Museum of Fine Arts with the support of Sberbank of Russia, a retrospective exhibition of printed and original graphics by the outstanding artist Vitaly Volovich (1928-2018) opens its doors.
The exhibition has become a sincere master’s declaration of a love for the book. A thoughtful reader and a masterful graphic artist, who illustrated many classic works of literature during the Soviet times and worked on author’s editions in post-soviet reality, has never ceased to reflect about honour, justice, passion, the nature of power and elusive beauty in his works.
Throughout his career, the artist has been able to maintain incredible cheerfulness, sensitivity to the moods of time and curiosity to the impressive lifestyle, which has always given him lots of impressions from meetings with different people and reactions to events of different scale. Being a person of active habits and having a real passion, Vitaly Mikhailovich, however, was a master philosopher, quite aloof, self-absorbed, searching for and unsatisfied. It seems that the future of the outstanding book artist, who raised in a family of writers, was predetermined at the early days of his creative search. Even in his youth, among the golden time-worn bindings of the stepfather’s home library, Vitaly Volovich discovered a portal to the wonderful world of literary imagery, once and for all became his second reality — both far from the real life and existing inseparably from the cruel signs of the XX century with its political tragedies and total suppression of personality.
The exhibition curators offer the audience to see more than 150 graphic works, reflecting the main stages of the master's work: from illustrations to the “Tristan & Isolde” by J. Bédie, “Othello” and “Richard III” by W. Shakespeare, “Egmont” by J. W. Goethe, “The tale of Igor's Campaign” to “author's books”, created by the artist partly inspired by favourite works (“Parade-alley”, “Workshop”,” Medieval mystery plays”,” Women and Monsters”,”Ship of the fools”). Along with them, the exhibition presents early book experiments of the artist: published by Sverdlovsk book publisher in 1953, “The Treasure Trove of the Sun” by M. Prishvin brought him the initial success and recognition, and “The Malachite Casket” by P. Bazhov, which was published a decade later, with its powerful and expressive illustrations became his hallmark for a long time. Another part of the exhibition is consisted of works brought by the artist from his travels. During the trips to Uzbekistan, Dagestan, Israel, China, Korea, France, hikes across Ural — the Chusovaya River and Lake Tavatuy — master worked from life and created many sketches inspired by nature and architecture of the places he had visited. Also in the exhibition one can see the latest work of the famous graphic artist — a multicoloured “Circus” (2018).
This exhibition was preparing for the 90th anniversary of Vitaly Volovich. For the artist, it should have become an important result of his many years of work in the art of the book, and he took an active part in its preparation: he helped to choose the pieces of work, commented on the key series. That is why most of the texts in the exhibition are in the first person. Vitaliy Volovich formulated the meaning of his exhibition in the following way: “Everything I've done is for the book, in the connection with the book, thinking about the book. The book and everything connected with it have a sacred significance for me. This exhibition is dedicated to the book. This exhibition is an assurance of my loyalty.” In addition to the works from the collection of the Museum, the exhibition includes late works from the artist's studio and books, illustrated by V. Volovich, from the Belinsky Library.
The exhibition The Knight of the book. Graphics by Vitaly Volovich will last since October 12 till December 2, 2018 at the Ekaterinburg Museum of Fine Arts on Vojvodina st, 5.
12 October 2018 - 02 December 2018
Voyevodina str., 5
full price 150 rubles
reduced-fare tickets (pensioners, pupils) 50 rubles