Mikhail Karasik

Artist, publisher, curator.
Born in Leningrad in 1953.
Lives and works in St Petersburg.
Media: Graphic art, books, posters and objects.
Printing techniques: Mostly lithography.
Contributes to exhibitions since 1978.
Creator of artist's books since 1987.
Member of the Union of Artists since 1988.

Mikhail Karasik is a leader within the movement in art that is known as the artist’s book. It could even be said that in Russia, the phenomenon that is the artist’s book is insepa­rably linked to his name, and that without his efforts it would be impos­sible to imagine it in its present form. In this context, Karasik fulfills numerous functions: a leading author, the key ideologist, a tireless organizer, a successful publisher, an active curator, a talented propagandist and a skilful promoter, as well as performing many other roles. His efforts are largely responsible for the steady stream of success enjoyed by this particular form of art over the past decade. Karasik curated three Paper Theatre exhibitions, demon­strating the independent and important role of artist’s book from St Petersburg in modern art. These shows helped to define the circle of authors, typology of the publications and the main tendencies and passions. A «representative» literature also appeared — catalogues with numerous articles and detailed descriptions of the exhibits. We should also recall the Kharms-Festivals, the Kharmsizdat conferences and produce. Mikhail Karasik was the initiator of all these and many other exciting projects. The artist’s works have been acquired by some of the of the world’s leading libraries and museums. Karasik regularly contributes to international projects, special actions and fairs. The Western image of the modern Russian artist’s book is, to a large extent, synonymous with his name and work. This does not imply, however, that Karasik is only interested in self- representation. He is an active promoter of Russian artist’s books in the West, showing the works of his compatriots at international art salons and book fairs.

From the «Mikhail Karasik» album in «Avant-garde on Neva» series, St Petersburg, 2007