An Ordinary Miracle is an exhibition that combines the multi-faceted works of the outstanding Soviet and Russian film artists Mikhail Kartashov and Lyudmila Kusakova. Featuring sketches for films and theatrical performances, portraits, graphic art, and sculptures, the artists’ works come alive in the audience’s imagination.

From searching for ideas and creating initial sketches to building the entire space, from color tricks to the emotional sound of the entire picture, the Leningrad Center invites you to see the miracle of the birth of some cult films, created by the film artists Mikhail Kartashov and Lyudmila Kusakova, with your own eyes. Once upon a time, these masterpieces could be seen at the Leningrad cinema, which set the cultural tone of St Petersburg life. Today, this building houses the Leningrad Center.

The exhibition presents more than 100 works by Lyudmila Kusakova and Mikhail Kartashov, many of which are dedicated to St Petersburg. One can easily find references to this city, which makes having the exhibition at the Leningrad Center especially meaningful. Created in a synthesis of the arts, combining mystical romance and lifelike realism, these works of art allow the audience to plunge into the atmosphere of the rich cultural life of the second half of the twentieth century. A single work may contain elements of painting, sculpture, architecture, photo collage, and theatrical scenery. What is meant literally, and what is a metaphor? Where is the truth of life, and where is surrealism and fantasy? Complex, multidimensional worlds, created by the artists, are here to give you their answers.

The exhibition introduces an innovative conceptual approach, which laid the foundation for artistic direction in Soviet and Russian cinema. Mikhail and Lyudmila were among the first to bring not so much the plot as the vision to the forefront, to create more than just a storyboard in sketches, to create mood sheets. This helped to make it possible to reveal the creator’s intention, to find a universal stylistic solution, and create their own special symphony of visions.

Among the iconic films of Lyudmila Mikhailovna Kusakova is Anna Karenina (1967, Mosfilm, dir. Aleksandr Zarkhi), An Ordinary Miracle (1978, Mosfilm, dir. Mark Zakharov), The Pokrovsky Gate (1982, Mosfilm, dir. Mikhail Kozakov), and dozens of other beloved films.

Mikhail Nikolaevich Kartashov’s filmography includes more than 30 films, among which are the cult shows The Adjutant of His Excellency (1969, Mosfilm, dir. Yevgeny Tashkov), Remember Your Name (1974, Mosfilm/Illusion, dir. Sergey Kolosov), The Two Captains (1976, Mosfilm, dir. Yevgeny Karelov), French Lessons (1978, Mosfilm, dir. Yevgeny Tashkov), Cherchez la Femme (1982, Mosfilm, dir. Anna Surikova), and a no less rich legacy in the fine arts.

Address: Leningrad Center Gallery, Potemkinskaya St., 4

Exhibition opening: March 3, 2023

The exhibition is open to visitors from March 3 to May 28, 2023 inclusive.

Tickets to the exhibition cost 300 rubles. (Discount tickets)

An Ordinary Miracle: an exhibition of film artists of cult Soviet films