Tue, Wed, Fri, Sat from 10:00 to 20:00, Thu from 11:00 to 21:00,
Mon – closed
The exhibition presents editions of works of the Russian literature classics with illustrations by famous artists. Unique graphics and books from the Museum of Contemporary History of Russia collection demonstrate how the illustration gradually turns from the text addendum into the separate work of art.
Among the exhibits there are pre-revolutionary editions by Mikhail Lermontov and Leo Tolstoy with works by Mikhail Vrubel and Evgeny Lansere, the first edition of Alexander Blok's poem "Twelve" with drawings by Yuri Annenkov; the Soviet collection of works by Nikolai Gogol, decorated with Kukryniks. Illustrations of the "World of Art" representative Anna Ostroumova-Lebedeva, who revived the technique of woodcutting, turn into guidebooks that lead away from the "truth of life" to the "truth of being". In the context of modernity, where reality is melted down into something shaky, unstable, Mstislav Dobuzhinsky's lithographs for albums about St. Petersburg are read.
The different worldview was carried by the literary avant-garde, which spoke the language of active political action, denial of previous cultural foundations, search and discovery of a new one. The magazine and poster graphics of the 1920s became the pinnacle of this.
The tragedy of the "twentieth century prologue” – the First World War of 1914-1919ss as the antihuman event, Alexander Deineka shows in the illustrations for the novel by Henri Barbusse "Fire", deliberately erasing the individuality and human features of the fighters, turning them into automatic machines directed by the external will.
By the 1960s, the "severe style" with its characteristic restrained, conditionally generalizing form, dynamism, laconic expression of means and techniques became the leading direction of graphics. 1970-1980ss - the time of figurative and plastic searches.
There are illustrations to the "Capital" of Karl Marx by Evgeny Matveev in the collection. Poster-like generalized images saturated with compositional expression reflect the multifaceted content of the main work on political economy in the context of the global financial crisis.