In 1968, Sobolev became head illustrator of the popular scientific journal Znanie–Sila (Knowledge is Power). Exploiting the fact that scientific illustrations are often incomprehensible to the general public, Sobolev created imaginative illustrations rendered in the abstract manner common to scientific journals. By that means, he was able to publish abstract creations, articulated without the officially sanctioned Socialist Realist vocabulary.
This etching, dating from the artist’s years as an illustrator, reveals his skill. The motifs and style evoke a playful moment in the fantasy world of a dream. Yet the materials attest to the straightened circumstances of its creation. Sobolev printed the composition on a fragment of a map, which remains visible on the reverse of the sheet. This geographic substrate may be the result of necessity, rather than an intellectual concept.
abstract; lines; monochrome; shape
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