Keepsake / Book-art
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Keepsake / Book-art



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Book-Art Object by Vasily Smelyanskiy, serigraphy. Folder and Post card

Folder and Post card from the complete
set of Book-Art Object by Vasily Smelyanskiy, the front reversal before assembly, 2010

Literally "art of books", is the direction of creating a book as art, totemic or iconographic object appeared in the first half of XX century.


Book-art traditions have roots in the Egyptian papyri, medieval manuscripts, works of William Blake, Eugene Delacroix, William Morris, Ambroise Vollard, constructionists, futurists, dadaists, and the direction of Fluxus.


At the beginning of XX century, painters began to incorporate text into their canvases, and the poets began to draw visual forms with poems, which later led to the appearance of concrete poetry. Such experiments can also be found in medieval manuscripts, in particular, in the works by English metaphysical poet of XVII century George Herbert. In 1918 French poet Guillaume Apollinaire created "calligrams". Earlier in 1905, German poet Morgenstern reached perfect harmony of visual and audio series in the poem "Fish Night Song", consisting only of dashes and parentheses: drawing resembles fish scales, but can also be read as the sounds of fish.


Book-art brings together linguistic and visual aids, poetry and graphics, and takes into account the various trends of contemporary art and using traditional bookbinding, the elements of conceptual art, and all kinds of printing technologies.





There are three main creative approaches to the book-art today:



Art albums which are made by printers. They show mostly pictures.


Works with the use of a book form. Artists of this direction raise the questions of what is a book and what is its value as an object, and experiment with materials.


Comprehensive use of a book (not only the external form) as an implementation of the artist's idea. Snap-apart sheets, fixed pages, handmade or plain paper, variations on a theme of color, size and texture, cutting or ragged edges of pages - a list of items can be endless. The purpose of artist is to make communication clearer, harmoniously combining the idea and the form.






Poet, painter and printer, Vasily Smelyanskiy combines and develops all of the three above-mentioned directions, creating new polygraphic and art objects, technologies and, what is more important, new direction of the book-art.


Poetry books "Moonlight Sovieticus Injected with Socialist Surrealism", "TETRAGEDDON 2000: melodies of the cruel century, graphic poetry arranged by Vasily SMELYANSKIY" - the unique objects which were created with the use of the author's graphics and principles of graphic poetry. The term and the concept were developed by the author. Its goal is maximum influence on the consciousness and subconscious.


Virtual painting ("Virzhi", the term itself, the concept and the technologies were developed by V. Smelyanskiy) is a visual parallel of graphic poetry, where poems are the integral part of the art canvas. The latest digital technologies which Smelyanskiy uses in his works serve as a new kind of palette-knife.


Office keepsake, a new direction of book art (the term itself, the concept and technologies were developed by V. Smelyanskiy) is the element of corporate attributes and stationery (folders, envelopes, postcards, invitations, greeting cards, etc.), which are designed to bring the art value in everyday reality, and published as a class of deluxe polygraphy, which is declared by All-Union State Standards 2.14.2 as a keepsake. Samples of office keepsakes save their usefulness, functionality, and become self-valuable items of book-art, collectors, and museum rarities.





The article "The modern approach to history and concept of book-art" by Mike Lam was used in the release.
Mike Lam, Jul 7, 2006, Author: ALCOOL


For the first time, the article was published in Russian in the internet by Yuri Gik.


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Release was prepared by RIG Persona®, 2010