On 15-18 April, Maxim Bokser showed a new exhibition “The Return of Don Quixote” at Voznesensky Center in Moscow, which included a number of interesting works from different genres.

“The Return of Don Quixote” @Voznesensky Centre, poster

The Knight-Errant, Knight of the Sorrowful Countenance always appears in difficult times to remind us how faith in humanity, incomparable morality and, of course, love, helped Don Quixote overcome cruelty and humiliation. He appears again and again in every generation  across four hundred years, inspiring artists, poets, writers with his noble character. Close your eyes and you will see endless dear memories from childhood – illustrations, paintings, sculptures, film shots that have shaped our perception of the inner world of the eternal Hidalgo, a devout believer in the infallibility of the world and morality; a knight who sees his misadventures and suffering as an illusion that cannot exist on Earth. Perhaps that is why Goya and Daumier, Picasso and Dali, Repin and Serov to Zverev, Yakovlev, Zatulovskaya and Neshumova portrayed Don Quixote not as a ferocious condemner of the world order injustice, but rather as an ideal, albeit reckless, fragile noble man.

“The Return of Don Quixote” @Voznesensky Centre, photo by Maxim Bokser

“The Return of Don Quixote” is the title of a novel by the brilliant writer, philosopher and humanist Gilbert Chesterton, whose humour and irony have inspired us to initiate both “The Flying Tavern” and “The Ball and the Cross” art projects named, as you may remember, after his novels as well. Following their success and significance, it seems to me that “The Return of Don Quixote” is a timely and resonating title for this new initiative. Especially considering the literary correlations with the Voznesensky Center, that so quixotically provided us with the exhibition space and took on the hassle and expense of organising this event. The theme is noble, existential, broad and open, it’s filled with associations, memories, and dreams, and allowed each artist to see the return of the Knight-Errant in their own way…

“The Return of Don Quixote” @Voznesensky Centre, photo by Maxim Bokser

Fortunately, Chesterton’s “The Return of Don Quixote” has a good ending, art and love help the protagonists to find harmony and happiness.

I want to appeal to art lovers, visitors to exhibitions and fairs, patrons and collectors. During the era of cataclysms, experiences and ideas that emerge in the society immediately find their representation in the art. Often these define new trends and styles for many decades ahead. Suddenly, those who struggled to find their creative voice, start to lead the way, and all that was superficial and glamorous vanishes. Creatives need to be able to show and talk about their work, therefore, your appreciation and support are so important for artists right now. Please take the time to review the works on show and witness the Return of Don Quixote, albeit remotely. Everyone’s favourite artists, such as Daria Konovalova-Infante, Katerina Kovaleva, Yuri Avvakumov, Leonid Tishkov, Valery Chtak, Natalia Zanchevsaya, Irina Zatulovskaya and many others, took part in the show.