«West-European Tapestries» and "Alefbet. The Tapestry"
February 6 - April 9, 2006
Within the framework of the exhibition "West-European Tapestries of the XVI-XX centuries from the State Pushkin Museum collection", running from February, the 6th to April, the 9th 2006, a special project by Grisha Bruskin "Alefbet. The Tapestry" was presented.
Grisha Bruskin has been participating in art exhibitions since 1966. In the beginning of the 1980s two personal exhibitions of the painter were organized. But both of them were soon closed at the command of the authorities. Already at that time Grisha was working hard to create works which later made him famous abroad ("The Fundamental Lexicon", "Codifications" and others). In this country however the name of Grisha Bruskin had for a long time remained unknown until his successful debut at the Sotheby's Auction in Moscow, 1988. This was the turning point in Bruskin's artistic biography. It was then that his famed "Fundamental Lexicon" was not only sold at an unprecedented price for that time, but it was places at the front cover of the auction catalogue. Grisha goes to New York where he has been living and working since 1988. The painter rightly becomes well-recognized in Europe and the USA, he receives orders for his oeuvres, such as the sculpture "Face" for the city of Raanana in Israel, and the triptych "Life is above all" for the Reichstag in Berlin. Besides Bruskin is collaborating with the prominent Western galleries among which are the Marlboro Gallery and the Struve Gallery. By the late 1980s there was not a single mainstream exhibition that could get on successfully without Bruskin’s works, and his masterpieces made the collections of the largest museums both in Russia and abroad.
The project "Alefbet", presented at the exhibition in the State Pushkin Museum, is a huge tapestry (3 x 11 meters) created by the artist strictly in accordance with the traditions of the genre.
The prototype of the "Alefbet" tapestry was the Book as the Judaist Fundamental Symbol; "Alefbet" refers to esoteric scriptures, messages, mysteries or a mythological dictionary. In the background shorthand writings can be seen. There are also people's figures (all in all 150 personages) with each character having their accessories and presenting a figure-symbol, a figure-mythologeme. These figures form a kind of dictionary, a lexicon, or an alphabet (the Hebrew alefbet). The monumental tapestry is accompanied by the author’s commentaries, a kind of defining dictionary. The painter invites the audience not only to visualize the work, but to comment on what one sees, as history is an infinite book which is being finished by everyone individually.
The project was carried out with co-operation of the Ekaterina Cultural Foundation.