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Photograph: Kate Predko, 2019

Mikhail Karasik (March 27, 1953 – December 11, 2017) –– Saint Petersburg artist and graphic artist, who was a pioneer, ideologist and populariser of the artist’s book genre in Russia and of Russian artists’ books abroad. He was a world famous master, publisher, curator, authoritative researcher of book in a broad sense and Russian avant-garde culture of the XXth century, member of editorial board of the “Avant-Garde” series of the European University at Saint Petersburg Press.

A quote from the letter of Andrey Rossomakhin, compiler and scientific editor of the “Avant-Garde” series, to those interested in this subject, about the book “«KOMSOMOLIA» by Telingater / Bezymensky” (compiled by Karasik and Rossomakhin, St. Petersburg, 2018) and Mikhail Karasik, 14th of December 2017 (cited with the authorial consent, translated from Russian):

“M. S. Karasik –– a very rare kind of master –– an artist-intellectual, typographer, curator, known all over the world. Such a phenomenon as «the artist’s book» was created in Russia largely through his efforts. But at the same time, he <was> a keen connoisseur and researcher of the 1910–1930s book –– the author of a number fundamental monographs-folios published in Russia, in Germany and in the USA. Some of them already can be called сlassic –– for a long time, for several generations ahead they will become fundamental works, a reference point, a base, a reference book, and a model. (An incomplete bibliography of his works –– on the author’s site <…>)”.

Selivanova Yu. V. “Biblioteka Mixaila Karasika” — dar Gosudarstvennomu literaturnomu muzeyu “XX vek”: istoriya, sostav, budushhee [The “Library of Mikhail Karasik” –– a Gift to the Saint-Petersburg Literary Museum “XX century”: History, Composition, Future] // Al’manax “XX vek” [Almanac “XXth Century”], vol. 10. St. Petersburg, Renome Publ., 2020, pp. 248–266 (almanac without illustrations; preprint with abstract and references in English).


The “Library of Mikhail Karasik” is a title, given to the collection of in the main circulation printed materials –– books and others, with self-published and conceptual books and artists’ books, presented in 2016 by the artist to the Saint-Petersburg Literary Museum “XX century” (SLM “XX century”). The describing, studying and popularizating of these items are carried out by the founder of “ЮИздат / YuIzdat” Yuliya Selivanova. For this reason, by agreement with the museum and with the permission of the widow of the artist Marina Karasik (Orlova), the collection is published on the website of the publishing house.

Орбита Биб-ки М К.JPG

In 2018–2019, on the initiative of generous gifters, in the SLM “XX century” formed the so called “orbit” of the collection. It consists of the presents from those whose works or publications are included in the “Library of Mikhail Karasik”. They are (according to the chronology of giving):

Evgeny Strelkov (design studio and publishing house “Dirizhabl”, Nizhny Novgorod),

Lothar Koch (Dresden, Germany),

Jadwiga Tryzno (Book Art Museum, Łódź, Poland),

Joseph John Visser (Joseph Johannes (Joop) Visser; 1946–2019) and Ludi Visser-Haantjes (Huisdrukkerij en Privé-Museum voor het Kunstenaarsboek (Private Centre for Artist’s-books, Literature, Music and All Arts: Museum & Workshop), Oosterlittens, the Netherlands).

The museum has also received gifts from Marina Karasik and Sarah Bodman (Centre for Fine Print Research of the University of the West of England, Bristol, UK), from Alice Motard and Alice Cavender (CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux (CAPC Museum of Contemporary Art of the City of Bordeaux), Bordeaux, France).


(artists’ books, self-published books, conceptual books and other, gifts)


Yuliya Selivanova on her behalf and on behalf of the Saint-Petersburg Literary Museum “XX century” warmly thanks everyone who kindly helped and helps to study of the “Library of Mikhail Karasik”.

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