William Brui


William Brui’s retrospective at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art presents fifty years of the artist’s career, starting from Leningrad period of the 60s and up to these days. The core of the display showcases works of Leningrad period, for they formed a base for all subsequent stages in Brui’s creation — those of Jerusalem, America, and France.

Engravings of Leningrad period can be found in the collections of many museums around the world, including the Hermitage. Having experienced the influence of the famous Leningrad graphic school, Brui developed his own manner of dry-point technique, which is perhaps the most ‘contacting’ and immediate way of form-making in engraving. Trying various engraving techniques, the artist achieved a very special optical and tactile effect of masses of living microorganisms moving upon the surface. At the same time, Brui turned to geometry. However, the texture of his geometric figures is neither mechanistic nor detached — it is enlivened by the same movement of elementary particles. This effect is extremely important for the whole evolution of the artist.

EX ADVERSO series marks the end of Leningrad period in Brui’s career. Exquisite etchings of this cycle shape up the artist’s book that is also displayed in the exhibition. Published in nine copies, it was produced jointly with philosopher and art historian Grigory Kapelyan (aka Doctor Grabov, author of ‘interword’). The book ruptures the traditions of functional typography — it is a visually sustainable ‘text not intended for reading’.

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