The great modernist eccentric Alexei Remizov was a “writers’ writer” whose innovative poetic prose has long since entered the Russian literary canon. Gradually expanding his working methods to make drawing an integral part of the writing process, during the 1930s and 1940s, Remizov created hundreds of albums that combined texts with collages and india ink and watercolor illustrations. In Beyond Symbolism and Surrealism
, Julia Friedman provides the first extensive examination of the dynamic interplay between text and image in Remizov’s albums, revealing their coequal roles in his oneiric and synaesthetic brand of storytelling. A participant in the Russian symbolist movement, an intellectual ally of many futurists, and during his émigré years, a collaborator of the surrealists, Remizov had unique insight into artistic cultures of the European avant-garde. His reinterpretation of the medieval illuminated manuscripts carries forward the traditions of symbolist mysticism and
This long-overdue examination of Remizov’s visual art addresses modernism’s key theoretical questions surrounding the relationships between image and text. Beyond Symbolism and Surrealism introduces a generous sampling of Remizov’s graphic work, much of which is currently held in private collections.