Azbuka veka

Azbuka Veka

A series of stamps. 29,5x21 cm, digital printing on paper, perforation
Moscow 1999
S'Art Gallery 1999-2000, Moscow
World Congress Vigo, Buenos Aires, Argentina
AAA edicione, Milano, Italia
Artistic retrospect on theoutcome of the previous century revealed another point of view: the Moscow painters Ivan Kolesnikov and Sergey Denisov have created "Alphabet of theCentury" - (Artistamp - project) that is a series of postage stampsdedicated to the great names of the 20th century. "Alphabet of the Century" presentsheroes, anti-heroes and simply men of outstanding personality: Einstein, Gagarin, Picasso, Lenin, Hitler, Che Gevara and others - by the number ofletters in the Russian alphabet. All stamps in "Alphabet of theCentury" contain details necessary for a postage stamp: the name of a postoffice, nominal value, year of design, etc. 
Artistamp - is an art ofcreating miniatures in the genre of postage stamps in accordance with thecannons, which are traditional and obligatory for stamps. Artistamp as anindependent art genre appeared about 25 years ago and grew out of the well-known Mail-Art (exchange of artistic messages). 
Mail-Art in itself is muchwider than the professional artistic media - different people around the world exchange beautiful envelopes, postcards, and self-painted letters. Mail-Artunderwent a wide development with the appearance of copying equipment allowingquickly copying a mail and sending it to an ample quantity of addressees. As astyle, Artistamp first declared itself 25 years ago when the firstinternational exhibition of postage stamps designed by painters was held. Itslocation was the city of Vancouver, Canada. Today all over the world, there aregalleries of postage stamps and the ranks of "artistampists" numbersome hundreds of people.
Alexander Kholopov (Russia)

I was most interested tolearn about your work in Russia, The stamps you so kindly sent are magnificentand are fitting way to commemorate the significant people and events of thelast century.
The Baroness MargaretThatcher (UK)

"Thank you for thepostage stamp project Alphabet of the Century created by Ivan Kolesnikov andSergey Denisov I showed it to the full members of the British Postage StampPanel and they were greatly impressed due to the profundity of thought andartistic quality of the project. I will think about providing assistance in thedevelopment and exhibition of Alphabet of the Century in Great Britain. I willinform you thereon.
Barry Robinson, Royal Mail (UK)

I think that the Project maybe exhibited at the exhibition hall of the National Museum of Mail Service which is to be soon opened upon repair. Thank you once more for the projectshown me and I wish the artists success in their art." "With sincerest compliments"

National Maritime Museum (UK)

"Kolesnikov and Denisov have incarnated a very clear and simple idea which is literally in the air intoan accomplished project the level of which in my opinion is higher than ofthose who profesionally deals only in postage stamps.It is really a seriouswork which I think the international Artistamp-community will notice andappraise"
Alexander Kholopov (Russia)

"These stamps may seemtough to somebody. The painters acknowledge that they showed an artisticoutrage by assigning "Ú",say, to Lenin, and "Ü" to Stalin."The Stalin" stamp bears the word"pipe"-"chubukhi" in Georgian like a smoke. In general, hereevery historical personage is encoded. 
You look at a block as if yousolved a scanword. Some histories are buried deep the other ones are on thesurface. Pele is a football made of coffee beans. Gorbachev, aka Gorbi, is adromedary. Marylyn Monroe is a butt and not "yours", the americanone, but our "Prima" one (and she was Prima Donna, was not she?). Andthe Beatles, sweet like yoghurt... Here is Hemingway, symbolically incarnated as aniron fish: "A Farewell to Arms!" and "The Old Man and the Sea" here you are. Under the letter "Æý" is the professor I.Wilmut who cloned the sheepDolly. And, the main money-bag of the planet, Bill Gates, isrepresented like a fragment of a ten-dollar bill with some remark.."

Magazine "Ogonyok" 39, December 1999. 
Vlad Vasyukhin (Russia)

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