Free world in the eyes of Georgiy Malakov
18, April - 01, July
Children's writer Vsevolod Nastaiko called Georgiy Malakov (1928-1979) antique artist. Artist developed his graphic style because of the phenomenal memory and knowledge of many historical and everyday artefacts. His style is based on the attention to everyday details, and to the subject which embodies the spirit of the place and the epoch.
Malakov created a series of engravings on the linoleum called ‘Benelux’ (1960-1961) and ‘Around Europe’ (1961-1962). They are based on a travels he made. In 1959 he visited the Benelux countries (Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg). In 1961 he made a cruise around Europe, during which Malakov visited Oslo, London, Paris, Rome, Naples, Athens, and Istanbul. What Georgiy Malakov saw in these trips became a real cultural sensation for him as the Soviet citizen. And it was a rich material for his work with his creative reflection.
In the graphic and coloured pencils, watercolours, ink, felt-tipped pens drawings collected in two albums at one time the artist's sincere admiration of world brands graphic AD, the design of clothes and cars, hairstyles, typical types and scenes is obvious. Working on his return over the linocuts Malakov reconsidered his notes in the sketches. He experimented with compositional solutions, tried film and the collage techniques, and found original solutions for images that could be "cut off" by Soviet censorship. Indeed, it was important for the censorship to "extinguish" the cheerful pictures of the free world with images of hard work, fornication, and cruelty. As an acute satirist, Georgiy Malakov supplemented the content of European reality with ironic substitutions laughing over censorship itself.
The free world was appreciated by the artist with its underlined individualism and uneasy ethical questions. But it was entirely clear, close, and necessary for a full-fledged picture of being. The experience of these trips influenced all further work of Georgiy Malakov, in particular, on his well-known series ‘Conquerors of the Seas’, ‘Medieval Plots’, and illustrations to ‘Decameron’ by Giovanni Boccaccio.
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