Vladimir Radunsky
postponed until May 26, 2024

March 20 > May 26, 2024

Sala fontana, admission free
Exhibition curated by Kiril Ass with Nadja Korbut

Exhibition promoted by Roma Capitale and Azienda Speciale Palaexpo
Produced and organized by Azienda Speciale Palaexpo

Vladimir Radunsky postponed until May 26, 202420 March__26 May 2024
Vladimir Radunsky

Vladimir Radunsky grew up in Moscow where he studied fine art, design, and architecture. In 1982 he immigrated to New York, where he continued his work as a graphic designer, producing mainly art books.

In the colourful New York art scene of the '80s, Radunsky discovered his niche, a genre that always fascinated him — children's books.

Starting with his very first book, the main distinguishing characteristic of Radunsky's later style became apparent. Extremely varied subjects, both in prose and poetry, provoked him to use very different techniques and styles, ranging from realistic painting to abstract collages. In his own words, " The technique and style I choose in every new book depends entirely on its subject. I don't draw pictures, I make books.”

Radunsky was constantly fascinated by very different types of books: from a book of shapes for the very little "Square Triangle Round Skinny" (a set of four books shaped the way their titles suggest), to "Discovery", a lyrical poem by Nobel-prize winner Joseph Brodsky about the discovery of America, to "What Does Peace Feel Like?", the text of which was culled out of conversations with children during school visits in America and Europe.

His interactive book "Le Grand Bazar", published in Paris by Edition du Panama, subtitled "For people with imagination age 5 to 105", invites the reader to get creative with scissors, pen, and stapler. “Boy Meets Girl”, in collaboration with Chris Raschka, published by Chronicle, assumes being read forward, backward, upside down, and inside out. "The Mighty Asparagus" (published by Harcourt), which he also wrote, and which combines the works of the famous Italian Renaissance painters with his own paintings in a collage. The “Hip Hop Dog”, written by Chris Raschka (HarperCollins), is hip-hop poetry for children, where the graffiti art has migrated from the walls into a printed book.

In collaboration with Jennifer Berne, “On a Beam of Light, A Story of Albert Einstein”, published by Chronicle Books, received six starred reviews and was picked by Kirkus Review as The Best Book of 2013.

In one of the interviews Vladimir Radunsky expressed his motto, “Books for children must be funny, because funny things are always sincere. Otherwise, why even do them?"

Vladimir Radunsky  | Illustration
Vladimir Radunsky  | Illustration

Vladimir Radunsky has published more than thirty books for children in the US and all over the world and received numerous awards. Among them, the New York Times Best Illustrated Book Awards and Bologna's "Critici in Erba” award.

The original art from the books has been exhibited in France, Italy, Switzerland, Russia, Japan, and the US.

Later, and as he began to spend a large part of his time in Rome, other artistic forms had begun to inspire him.

Driven by a conviction that the world where animals wear

clothes (which we are all familiar with from childhood and the world of children's books) really does exist, Vladimir Radunsky dedicated himself to creating fanciful clothes for large animals.

In his own words:  “I have always tried to be honest with my audience. I never invent things in my books. I am convinced that the enchanted world where well-dressed animals talk and act really does exist. My collection is one of the many proofs of that. I have no doubts that after visiting my exhibition, the audience will believe it too.”

Equestrian pants for race horses, a wedding dress for anaconda, swimming trunks for a hippo, Babar’s the elephant slippers, and other costumes were exhibited as part of Milan Fashion Week at the gallery Nina Due, and then, subsequently, at the museum of Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome in 2011.

Don Quixote, at the Teatro del’Opera di Roma in 2017, became Radunsky’s first (and last) theatre ballet project as a set and costume designer.

It was inspired by Mihail Baryshnikov who envisioned this new production as a naive and touching children’s story, a fairy tale of sorts.

It is in the classical libretto, originally created in the middle of the 19th century by the French choreographer Marius Petipa, that Radunsky sensed the familiar overtones of a children’s book and realised the sets as an enormous pop-up book, a huge toy. It can be even seen as a life-size toy paper theatre but with live dancers dressed in fantastical exaggerated costumes.

Radunsky’s sets and costumes transformed a children’s book/toy into a powerful life-size installation.

Vladimir Radunsky  | Illustration
Vladimir Radunsky  | Illustration