Ilya Trofimovich Bogdesko

Exhibition January 10 − February 9, 2019
Ilya Trofimovich Bogdesko - People's Artist of the USSR, author of beautiful illustrations of classic works of European literature, an outstanding calligrapher and type designer. He designed more than 100 books and for 5 years worked on illustrations for Don Quixote by Cervantes. The attic of the artists presents the exhibition of I. T. Bogdesko, which includes prints from this cycle and other illustrations from the collection of his friend and colleague V. P. Tretyakov.

The creative motto of Bogdesko: "Always in its own way, but each time in a different way." Throughout the creative journey the artist was important to be himself and follow his own aesthetic principles. He worked, “feeling the spectator behind his back,” but never succumbing to outside influence. Of course, Ilya Trofimovich was attentive to the heritage of other masters. The work of Cervantes was once illustrated by Goya, Hogarth, Dore and Picasso. Bogdesko learned from his predecessors, but not literally, forgetting himself under the hypnotic power of their works, but preserving his own opinion. For him, this is an opportunity to learn not so much artistic tricks as the ability to see and reason. The same he learned from young artists with their fresh vision.

The main principle of Bogdesko as an illustrator is respect for the integrity of the book. Each element of the publication should be associated with another, everything should work on the full disclosure of the author's intention. Variety and raznistilnost design are unacceptable. That is why Ilya Trofimovich became interested in calligraphy and mastered working with fonts - the wholeness of the book creates ideal conditions for its perception. Bogdesko tried to feel the text and not to depict it literally, but to skip through his own feelings, as if he himself had witnessed these events. He wanted to understand the heroes enough to recognize them among friends, relatives, acquaintances, bystanders on the street. This is the only way to bridge the gap between the writer and the reader, leaving the latter with a sense of the truth of what is happening.

Bogdesko himself wrote: “Often in the tormenting hours of creativity, I curse my work, curse my illustrations and tell myself (for the umpteenth time!) That these will be the last torture! Let those who do not deliver so much torment do this business. But when, after a month or more, all of a sudden, without any effort, sometimes easily, unnoticed, ridiculously simple, a picture appears, everything pays off: torment, longing, anger, and frustration. And again, I plunge into the pool and the cycle of illustrations! And I think: if the reader knew! However, he does not know - and rightly so! When you eat bread, you also don’t know, or rather you don’t think ... The greatest torment and the greatest joy gives me a book illustration. Perhaps this is my vocation, my true love. "
Galleries at the exhibition