The Book of Nature

New Tretyakov

A tactile exposition as part of the special exhibition program “The Language of Sculpture in Braille”

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Since 2008, tactile exhibitions have been arranged in the New Tretyakov Gallery as part of the “The Language of Sculpture in Braille” program. Primarily they are intended for those who are unable to see works of art. At these exhibitions blind and visually impaired people can experience original sculptures rather than reconstructions. Sculpture podiums are designed in order to enable blind visitors to explore three-dimensional shapes by touch. The labels contain information printed in Braille.

The name of the exhibition is inspired by a philosophical encyclopedia: “The Book of Nature is a concept dating from antiquity that considered the natural world as a ‘text’ to be ‘read and ‘interpreted’.” What interpretations of this “text” do modern sculptors offer? How do they construct their dialogues with reference forms created by nature? And how can the tactile experience, familiar to the blind, enrich our understanding of sculpture and nature? Curators used the scope of these questions when defining principles for selecting objects and organizing the expositions.

The exhibition presents works from Moscow sculptors’ workshops. These are works in stone, wood, bronze, ceramics and optical glass. The list of creators includes recognized masters of the genre of Animalists, Andrei Marts (1924–2002) and Aleksey Tsvetkov (1924–2009), as well as the famous sculptors Boris Cherstvy, Dmitry Voronin, Oleg Kovrigin, Vladimir Zabotkin, Maxim Kharlov, Olga Khan and others. Besides the original works, there are samples of “natural sculpture” exhibited, skulls of fossil animals, ammonites, fossils of fish and plants from the Paleontological Institute, as well as photographs of paleontological exhibits made using a relief printing technique. A special section of the exhibition aims to present “The Book of Herbs” by Dmitry Plavinsky (1937–2012). The exhibition includes interviews with sculptors, audio commentaries and sound compositions by Alexander Chertkov.

Curators: Elena Gerasimova, Boris Cherstvy

Project partners: The Association of Moscow Sculptors, A. A. Borisyak Paleontological Institute (RAS), and the Botanical Garden of Moscow State Lomonosov University’s “Apothecaries’ Garden”.


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