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In his works Gutov often quotes visual and textual sources: in various genres – from metal sculptures to calligraphy – reproduces the world culture iconic paintings, manuscripts of writers and notes of composers. Experimenting with calligraphy, Gutov achieves a special expressiveness of the line – it can show irony, instant illumination, experiences and meditation. Thus, in the "Pushkin" series Gutov, reproducing the drafts of the poet with all the blots and strikethroughs, reveals creative searches and reflections. The "Mozart" installation on the contrary repeats the fast, inspired recordings of the composer.
The presented work refers to the «Gogol» series 2011, where Gutov reproduces the title pages of books in detail, notes on the sides, signatures and sketches made by Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol's hand. The specificity of the printed title page of the book is the subject of analysis in this series, the handwriting of the writer and his manner of drawing. From the surviving letters and notes it is known that during a trip Gogol often sketched the architecture and elements that became a subject to his attention. This manner is sketchy and fragmentary: the writer depicted only the silhouette and the most significant details with a trembling line, while space, urban environment, sculptural decor and other important characteristics for architecture, recorded in general.
The line plays an important role in Gutov’s artistic manner. He often rewrites the work many times, until the lines fall perfectly. The artist creates a painting with calligraphic accuracy, quickly and "in one go". Gutov depicts a building after Gogol in an elegant and allegedly careless manner, which can be seen only in two-thirds, in the «Gogol's drawings I» work. The facade is divided by columns, a gothic rose is indicated above the portal. A powerful dome rises on the drum with slots of arches. However, a significant part of the details is lost among the rapid strokes, and they can only be completed in the imagination. V