Ivan Aleksandrov as seen through a reflective glass
2011 is the official Italian-Russian cultural year, with many interesting events planned including
an Alexander Rodhencko exhibition in Rome and one about the Russian Avant-gardes in Palermo next fall.
This also led to Russia having a booth at the Bologna book fair for the first time,
an event which as you may imagine was one of my personal highlights.
The brave and charming Vladimir Semenikhin
The pièce de résistance of the exposition was the massive two volume edition
Children's Picture Books in the History of Russia, 1881-1939, produced by Vladimir Semenikhin at Samolet Design Studio.
This visually stunning historical presentation includes hundreds of pages of children's books by leading Russian artists,
some only published once, many lost to censorship and a series of dramatic political shifts. All the materials come from
one of the best world collections of Russian, Ukrainian and Jewish books, compiled by Alexander (Sasha) Lurye.
Unfortunately the two volumes cost about 500 euros, so I am just going to keep on dreaming...
Young illustrator Ivan Aleksandrov held open workshops on Play with letters,
Photomontage Exercises and Diary/Collection
A variety of books was available for perusal and I took a number of photos.
As you can see, quite a few were of my favorite bright folk and trippy variety.
Many thanks to quete for providing the following translations and informations:
Lukomorye. Fairy-tale worlds by Tatiana Mavrina.
You can read about what Lukomorye is here.
This is part of Pushkin's poem "Ruslan and Ludmila" (it begins with a tale about Lukomorye
that everyone in Russia knows by heart as all've learned it at school).
So the page contains a verse about a mermaid sitting on some boughs.
A collection of Russian lullabies called Bayu bayushki bayu, illustrations by E. Vasnetsova.
(sounding something like "buy-you buy-you-shki buy-you", these are meaningless words to make children sleep).
This page is a lullaby which tells a cat not to walk around the neighbourhood,
but to come and rock Masha to sleep; and for that he would be given a jug of milk,
a piece of cake and his ears will be made gold, and his paws will be made silver.
Bukvaryonok (small ABC book) with illustrations by Georgy Yudin.
On the right page is written "How the frog croaks? (croak croak)"
Between us by Vadim Levin and Renata Muha, illustrated by Sveta Ivanova
"poetry, fairy tales and entertainments for communication with children".
And here is a poetry about summer, morning and about a chicken who wants
to become a rooster and have his comb grown up.
Thanks again, quete! It's wonderful to have such helpful and knowledgeable readers!