The Ringed Gallery (the third floor) is launching the book and art exhibition "With a Fairy Tale Throughout the Life", honouring the 90th anniversary of the birth of Elena Georgievna Los (1933–2013), a well-known book illustrator and easel graphic artist in Belarus and abroad, from 20 January to 10 March.
Elena Los' name is associated with the golden decade of Belarusian book illustration (1970s). Her works were included in the second volume of the encyclopedia "Soviet Book Illustration", where the best illustrators of the Soviet era were presented.
The artist left us a rich creative legacy. The National Library of Belarus holds about 200 publications designed by Elena Los, and about 40 prints. The documents presented at the exhibition reflect one of the main features of her work: for children, most of her works are fairy-tale truth, and for adults – the unquenchable light of the childhood. There was a lot of sadness and tragedy in the artist's personal life, but fairy tales – folk and literary works – were her reliable companions and saviors from the sad everyday life.
The first section of the book exhibition presents the main facets of the artist's talent. In addition to book graphics, throughout her career Elena Los worked enthusiastically on still lifes, where she showed herself as a wonderful colorist. She also had a favorite activity: Elena Los created dolls from pushers for potatoes and believed that they were the ones that gave her creative mood and inspiration, banish sadness. The series of dolls "Panenki" was created by her in the period from 1997 to 2000. Today they can be found in private collections of artists, writers, museum workers, librarians – everyone who once came to the creative island of Elena Los. One of these dolls is presented at the exhibition.
The first window displays is a real rarity, the first book designed by Elena Los, "S Dobrym Utrom" by G. Shman (1958). Also publications decorated by the artist together with the artist and her husband Harry Iakubenia. Among them are the fairy tale "Kaza–maniuka", the first illustrated book of the creative duo (1961), poetry collections by V. Korotkevich, M. Tank, J. Pushcha and others. The expressiveness of the images is characteristic of the creative style of Harry Iakubenia, and in the lines of drawings and restrained color, the hand of Elena Los was felt. The design of the fairy tale "Zalataja Iablynka" (1962) stands out in their creative tandem. The artists designed the binding, the title, and 17 illustrations in a new technique for them – linorit, painted with gouache. The Polesie area landscapes and houses "spoke" with their unique voices from the pages, and peasant clothes were filled with unusual outfits. It is noteworthy that the artist will turn to this work in another 10 years. Based on these illustrations, a series of lithographs was created for kindergartens based on the Belarusian folk tales "Razumnaja dachka", "Zalataja Iablynka", "Andrej za wsikh mudrej", "Oh I zalataja tabakerka”, etc., some of which are presented in the art exhibition.
Amongthe special editions of the exhibition is the book "Dzesiat Dzion w Barku" (1984). First, the author of the stories published alongside the illustrations is the artist herself. The material collected by her during trips to the village of Mlynok, which stands on the banks of the Pripiat, and formed the basis of the book. Secondly, the book impresses with its color scheme. It is very restrained and, at the same time, rich in various shades and colors. The most important value of the book is its poetic, highly truthful presentation of the life of the Polesie village.
For decades of creative service to the Belarusian book, E. Los has decorated a whole library of various publications. At the exhibition, these publications are presented in the sections "Narodnye skazki na molberte" and "Literaturnye skazki na molberte". These are collections of fairy tales and lullabies, "The Tale of Igor's Campaign", books by Les Iakimovich, Vasil Vitka, Zmitrok Biadulja, Аverjan Deruzhinski, Yakub Kolas, Frantishk Bogushevich and others.
The art exhibition presents prints from the collections of the National Library: works by Elena Los to Belarusian and Russian folk tales, works by Kornei Chukovski and Agnija Barto, created in the 1970s–1980s.
Elena Georgievna's graphic "handwriting" is characterized by bright colorfulness, juiciness of colors, and an elevated major emotional mood. Everything feels fabulous, vital and at the same time generalization, the desire to reflect the surrounding world with bright and joyful. Children are presented in unity with nature and the animal world. She sometimes conventionally stylizes images of children, animals, and birds. Small characters are deliberately magnified, close to the viewer, which emphasizes their "portraiture".
The exhibition, which will be of interest to a wide range of readers, allows to feel that the children's book gave the artist the opportunity to immerse herself in the fairy–tale world, endlessly fantasize and play with the characters, their appearance, and the circumstances of their existence. The works of Elena Los, filled with extraordinary beauty and warmth, and attract the attention of young readers today.
The books presented in the exhibition can be ordered through the electronic catalog of the National Library of Belarus.
Phone number for inquiries: (+375 17) 293 29 80.
The article is provided by the Gallery and Exhibition Activity Department.