MULTIMEDIA ART MUSEUM, MOSCOW
MUSEUM "MOSCOW HOUSE OF PHOTOGRAPHY"
16+
RuEngl

Irina Presnetsova
Book illustration: various media

Moscow, 24.12.2011—22.01.2012

exhibition is over

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On the threshold of Christmas and New Year’s Day the Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow, is proud to present a show of Irina Presnetsova’s book illustrations. “The snow was running alongside me, throwing snowflakes into the book”, - it is a line from a poem written by the artist. She was born in winter. This is why snow and paper, and everything connected with them, are her favorite materials. As early as when she was studying at the Stroganov Art College in the 1970s the artist was creating unusual illustration-lay-outs and illustration-collages. Her works were exhibited at more than thirty various shows of artists and designers.

On the threshold of Christmas and New Year’s Day the Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow, is proud to present a show of Irina Presnetsova’s book illustrations. “The snow was running alongside me, throwing snowflakes into the book”, - it is a line from a poem written by the artist. She was born in winter. This is why snow and paper, and everything connected with them, are her favorite materials. As early as when she was studying at the Stroganov Art College in the 1970s the artist was creating unusual illustration-lay-outs and illustration-collages. Her works were exhibited at more than thirty various shows of artists and designers.

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A series of works of 1992, illustrating Australian fairy tales, opens the exhibition. Their design was made with the help of foam. And it finishes with the newly-published book by the children’s poet Mikhail Yasnov “Hello, Tail-ho”. The ironic and kindly-written text about dogs and their owners found its representation in some unexpected combinations of wool and paper, of colored collage and pastel.

Between these two points are some released and unpublished book projects. For the Publishing House “Sfera” Presnetsova invented three-dimensional illustrations and covers about extraordinary people, who saw, felt and understood the “invisible”.

Among the published works are biographies for children “Mother Teresa” and “Steven Spielberg”. For the serious theme of charity the artist invented an accurate graphic tone. Using a lighter form, involving plasticine models, she portrayed the world of cinema and the work of the director. Presnetsova also published the Russian folk fairy tale “Vasilisa”, its characters being placed in a paper pattern.

“Unrealized books” occupy an important place in this exhibition. These are projects, easel compositions, which could have turned into illustrations. From a draft variant of “Cinderella”, that was made for Rolan Bykov’s Foundation, there remain polygraphic prints, and the idea to represent this fairy tale by showing different objects, fabrics, dress and graphic texture. The monotype technique with its unpredictable flowing forms and contours became a reflection of magic, which is present in the fairy tale story. From the project of the book “A Bear Called Paddington” we can see illustrations from every double page, which in a light and cheerful way depict the adventures of the touching protagonist. The GrantЪ Publishing House has not succeeded in carrying out this project, but prior to it released, with Presnetsova’s illustrations, Geoffrey Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales” and “Troylus and Cryseyde”, as well as Charles Dickens’ adaptation of the Gospel for children “The Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ”. This theme, the theme of Light, man’s path in life, his choice, was continued in another, independent extensive series of the artist’s collages. She made the white relief surface of her self-made paper shine and shimmer like a jewel.

Other projects, like Edward Grieg’s biography and Joseph Brodsky’s childhood verse, are still to be realized.
The grandest imaginary book in terms of its size is represented by the sheets of “Winter Paper”. This is a part of the large project “Prospero’s Library”, in which, in 2007, both Russian and English artists participated. The magic books of the elements would be incomplete without these leaves, made out of paper created by the author, branches and hand-written drafts.

In her personal series Irina Presnetsova feels more freedom in choosing her material: cotton wool proved to be useful in illustrating Gogol, shells – for lyrical memoirs of the sea, metallic parts – for interpreting a contemporary French poet, multi-layered tracing-paper – for the story of Turtle clouds. The text of this author’s fairy tale also became a part of the exhibition. Every one of her works on paper the artist turns into an installation, making not only the line, color, but the material itself “speak”, owing to her unexpected combinations.
“I like to make book performances on a paper stage”, - confesses the artist.

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