[Yaroslavl]: Izdanie P.A. Lebedinskago: Tipo-litografiia E. F. Vakhrameeva, 1918. Item #1859
, 32 pp.: ill. 27x18 cm. In original illustrated wrappers. Covers slightly soiled, minor fragments of spine lost, some foxing on front cover, pale water stains on outer edge, some ink numbers, on p. , , 9 stamps of a cultural department of an Orlov cooperative.
Rare provincial edition.
The publication was created by a tutor of state and private theatrical courses, P. Lebedinskii. For his students, he published excerpts from a series of articles “Philosophical Studies” by art critic Vadim Lesovoi. The articles were published in a multiple-volume edition “Art for Everyone. School of Drawing” [1914-1916]. Among the texts, Lebedinskii highlighted primary art issues related to the stage as well.
Explaining relations between an artist and public, art and nature, a form and contents, occasionally the author elaborates on contemporary movements: “With the beating of drums and warlike cries, various “futurists”, “cubists”, “radiants” and all sorts of “ists” flew at us, under the pressure of which the audience and art critics were confused”.
Initially, he certainly denies modernist art. “Let’s say this is the artist’s face, on which strokes of paint are applied in random orders. Now a spectator appears, approaches the stage, looks into the actor’s face and says “What nonsense... daub!” Then they turn and walk away, grumbling that “performers are fooling the audience”. Another spectator comes after them, looks at the actor and says nothing. But from their face you will guess that some kind of internal process is taking place in them. If you have ever been to an exhibition of Cubist or Futurist paintings, then in all likelihood you behaved like the first viewer. You will agree that you didn’t see the paintings; what was left in front of you was a canvas and multi-colored strokes of paint. Well, you were in the position of a second viewer when you contemplated works of artists you understood.
However, further the author advocates non-realistic artists. “Let us assume for a moment that the purpose of art is to imitate nature. Then we would have to recognize Daguerre, the inventor of the camera, as the greatest artist of all time. What about Raphael and Vrubel, who always deliberately distorted nature? Finally, we will have to recognize shorthand reports of criminal trials as the best dramas, because they capture life in all its nakedness and truth without missing a single word”.
Interestingly, the author attacks approaches of Stanislavsky’s MKHT: “Now we see the error of the Art Theater, which pursued the idea of illusory art. Would it be possible to watch Macbeth on stage if the stage light and other conditions didn’t emphasize the conventions of the stage? If you transfer the same action to the street, then an unwarned passerby will mistake the action for a scandal. Does such a distortion of reality as poetic speech spoil a work of art? Not at all. The Art Theater itself admitted its mistake in simplifying Griboyedov’s “Woe from Wit”.
As the only illustration, a tailpiece features masks of various face expressions. The rear side of covers displays advertisements for theater-related editions, including two other publications by Lebedinsky: “Stage Makeup” and “Facial Expression”.
Worldcat doesn’t track this edition.