"This is us!". Exhibition of works by Igor Smirnov. Graphics, caricature Automatic translate
с 10 по 28 Июля
Российская академия художеств
In the exhibition halls of the Russian Academy of Arts (Moscow, Prechistenka 21), an exhibition of the works of Academician of the Russian Academy of Arts, a member of the French Academy of Humor Igor Smirnov, "This is Us!" Its name is metaphorical, since the exposition presents about 80 cartoons and graphic easel works that reveal the problem of the relationship between man and society. Among them are such famous works as the series “All About Don Quixote”, “The Wind of Changes”, “Icarus”, “The Last Supper”, “Dam”.
Igor Alekseevich Smirnov belongs to the generation of cartoonists of the 1960s-1970s who sought to get away from the official caricature of the first half of the 20th century. A philosophical understanding of the acute social problems of society made him one of the brightest representatives of the “new wave” of informal caricature, which proclaimed the basis of the genre of sincerity, harmless cheerfulness.
Igor Alekseevich found his vocation as a cartoonist as early as his studies. First, he created drawings for a student newspaper at an art school at the Moscow Art Theater named after V.I. Surikova. Then, while studying at the Moscow Art School “In Memory of 1905”, he received an order to create his first cartoon for the newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda (1971). The success of the first works, their high appreciation in the professional environment aroused the interest of large domestic publications in the artist’s work. His original and witty drawings were published in the newspapers Pravda, Komsomolskaya Pravda, Krasnaya Zvezda, Izvestia, Literaturnaya Gazeta, Moskovskiye Novosti, Golos Rodiny, Rossiyskiye Vesti, and General Gazeta ”, Magazines -“ Crocodile ”,“ New time ”,“ Funny pictures ”,“ Fatherland ”,“ Business people ”,“ Journalist ”, foreign periodicals.
Igor Smirnov’s cartoons are devoted to the eternal themes of art - the struggle between good and evil, poverty, powerlessness, global problems of our time, such as the difficult environmental situation. The artist’s goal is to introduce the viewer to a particular problem in society, without imposing his opinion on it. He does not make fun, does not set himself the task of making laughs, but compares himself with a doctor, for whom “making a diagnosis is a professional duty”. The main weapon in the hands of the graphic is the grotesque, a metaphor. With the help of them, he creates complex matter that can be interpreted by each viewer in his own way.
Igor Smirnov works a lot in easel graphics, continuing the theme of the tragic fate of man, his "abandonment" in an alien world. It reveals the plot contradictions that give rise to the unity of the comic and the tragic. The artist reveals reality, creating explicit allegories on the theme of a "bright future", a special way of man. Resorting to deliberate hyperbolization, he brings the plots of some works to absurdity, as, for example, in separate graphic works (“Trap”, “The Ship of Fools”) or in a series of works about the main character of the novel “Quixote” by Miguel de Cervantes. Don Quixote Smirnova is a multi-valued image, but at the same time a concrete embodiment of a hero fighting for bright ideals. He is a prototype of the artist himself, opposing the absurd and unfair surrounding reality.
Graphics Igor Alekseevich leaves no one indifferent. The laconic and expressive language of his work deeply affects the viewer. Filled with thin broken lines, they evoke a whole gamut of feelings - from bitterness to anger, from sadness to compassion.
The independence of the author’s manner, the thoughtful approach to creating caricature and easel graphic drawings were highly appreciated both in Russia and abroad. Igor Smirnov’s works were exhibited at major international exhibitions in Canada, the USA, Mexico, Brazil, Holland, England, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Austria, Japan, Cuba, and the Philippines.
The creative activity of I. A. Smirnov was marked by many awards, including the first prize at the Satira. Politics ”in Italy, 1st prize at the international cartoon contest in Turkey, medals, honorary diplomas, prizes.