On September 21, an exhibition opened in the V.A. Rosanov Library in Sergiev Posad, a city located northeast of Moscow. The exhibition is titled Bukvalno, or “Literally”, and features over 20 works created by students of Victor Novikov, a graphic artist, calligrapher, and icon painter. Some of the displayed works were created specially for the exhibition and are impressively fresh and original. Among the participants, whose works gave rise to a truly vibrant discussion, were designers, artists, and simply those captivated by the art of beautiful handwriting.
The title of the exhibition is not random since the central character of the exhibition is the letter, or in Russian bukva (hence, Bukvalno). “We all adore writing,” says Victor Novikov. “This kind of art, which seems to be a bit forgotten in the modern world, is experiencing a revival here in Sergiev Posad. In the past, monks of the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius rewrote books, thus helping preserve this culture. Script, letter, language, culture — these are all things inseparable. If we want to live on as a nation, we must not abandon calligraphy or forget our oral and written language.”
The visitors were impressed by the wide array of styles on display: the clear but elegant half-uncial script offered a contrast to the enigmatic Gothic style, while the elaborate italic letters closely echoed the Cursive. As the director of the Contemporary Museum of Calligraphy, Alexey Shaburov, put it, “Victor’s school is truly unique, there are hardly more than 20 such schools in Russia. They are indeed small cultural hubs, some sort of a genetic cross section. Our museum features around 5,000 works by artists from approximately 90 countries. We also work with various international associations. But it has really been a while since I last observed such an atmosphere of beauty, friendship, and mutual support.”
Awaiting the guests at the exhibition were pleasant surprises: live music, calligraphy shows, interactive activities, and prize draws with a chance to win calligraphy bookmarks. In celebration of the opening of the exhibition, Victor Novikov presented Alexey Shaburov with one of his works.
Let us express the hope that the art of calligraphy will continue to develop and attract art enthusiasts.