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In Conversation with artist Yuri Vashenko, conducted by Liza Dimbleby

Yuri Vashenko is the leading illustrator of Lewis Carroll in Russia today. In this conversation with writer and artist Liza Dimbleby, he will talk about his work with 'Alice' over the last forty years.

His exhibition in Pushkin House 'The Geometry of Nonsense,' is made up of drawings and etchings responding to the original illustrations of Alice in Wonderland by John Tenniel. They were printed in a book in 2015 and Vashenko describes them as a 'graphic commentary' to Tenniel's work. Anglophile Yuri Vashenko illustrated Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass for a celebrated Russian edition in 1982 and 1986 that has since been reprinted. 

Vashenko has been drawn to English texts throughout his life as an artist and illustrator. He has also worked with the texts of Charles Dickens. His Russian illustration includes Chekhov. His work as both an illustrator, graphic designer and artist have won extensive awards within Russia and internationally. 

This is Vashenko's first exhibition in the UK and his first visit to London. The exhibition runs until the end of July, with an accompanying programme of events.

Yuri Vashenko was born in Moscow in 1941. He graduated from the fine art - graphic department of the Moscow State Pedagogical Institute in 1963. Since 1974 he has been a member of the Soviet (now Russian) Artists' Union. Since 1972 he has regularly taken part in exhibitions in Russia and abroad.  

His work is in the collections including the Tretyakov Gallery, the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, as well as in the Fine Art Museums of Tyumen, Murmansk, Novosibirsk as well as in private Russian and international collections.  

He has illustrated and designed children's books for leading Moscow publishing houses. He is most famous for his illustrations for Alice in Wonderland (1982) and Alice Through the Looking Glass (1986), Logical Game (1991) and Philosophical Alice. 

Liza Dimbleby is an artist with a long standing involvement with Russia. She began painting as a student in Moscow, in 1989-90 and completed a doctorate on the writing of V.V. Rozanov at the University of London in 1996. She later studied on The Drawing Year at The Prince's Drawing School (now the Royal Drawing School) where she has taught since 2005, and is a member of the School's Academic Board. Her book on walking and drawing in cities (I Live Here Now) was published in 2008. She gives regular talks on drawing at universities and art schools in Scotland and London and has recently spoken at conferences in Glasgow,  Moscow (2012) and Paris (2013). She lives and works in Glasgow. 

Юрий Ващенко родился 16 июня 1941 года в Москве. В 1957–1963 учился на художественно-графическом факультете Московского государственного педагогического института у Б. Неменского.
С 1974 года член Союза художников СССР. С 1972 постоянный участник графических выставок в России и за рубежом.

Работы Юрия Ващенко можно увидеть в таких музеях, как Третьяковская галерея, Музей изящных искусств им. А. С. Пушкина, в Тюменском, Мурманском, Новосибирском художественных музеях, хранятся они и в частных российских и зарубежных коллекциях.

Как книжный график Юрий Ващенко сотрудничал со многими ведущими издательствами Москвы, такими как «Детгиз», «Книга», «Мир», «Советский писатель», «Наука», «Московский рабочий», принимал участие в создании многих книг. Проиллюстрировал книги: Старикович С. Ф. «Почему у белого пуделя черный нос», Сеф Р. С. «Ключ от сказки»(1984), сборники сказок и стихов «Мой дом. Из современной и зарубежной поэзии для детей»(1979), «Причудница»(1988), «Цветок папоротника»(1990), «Сказки Викторианской Англии»(2012).

Как книжный иллюстратор наиболее известен иллюстрациями к «Алисе в Стране Чудес» и «Алисе в Зазеркалье» Л.Кэрролла. Он оформил и проиллюстрировал книги «История с узелками» (1973), «Приключения Алисы в Стране чудес» (1982), «Алиса в Зазеркалье» (1986), «Логическая игра» (1991), «Философская «Алиса»» (не издана). Работа над  иллюстрациями к произведениям Льюиса Кэрролла занимает особое место в творчестве художника. Недаром английские кэрролловеды, говоря об иллюстрациях русских художников, в первую очередь называют работы Ващенко.

In Russian with English Translation