Ekh, Yablochko

  • Year:  2017
  • Editions  5
  • Summer Garden Editions, NY

During the Russian Revolution and the Civil War which followed, a very popular song made the rounds entitled “Eh, Yablochko!” (Hey, Little Apple!). Originally the melody to a sailor’s shanty, each opposing side put new words to it and finally there were many competing versions circulating on all sides of the barricades. There was the Little Apple of the Reds, the Little Apple of the Whites and finally, the Little Apples of the Anarchists. It was especially popular with the bands of Anarchist fighters led by Nestor Makhno, the leader of the Anarchists of the Ukraine.

Zhizn’ Vo!

  • Year:  2000
  • Editions  5
  • Summer Garden Editions, NY

Time has passed
and we have fewer and fewer people
who lived during the great experiment.
A legend was created about a great life
with free health care and education
(a simple but decent life)
The authors of this book
were witnesses to this happy life,
when to have a piece of meat
was considered a great fortune.

The Nightingale

(by Hans Christian Andersen)

The Nightingale by Hans Christian Andersen is in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of his birth. The book was conceived and hand-bound by Mikhail Magaril. Twenty three woodcuts by the artist were printed from blocks by Peter Kruty and Mikhail Magaril on Akatosashi 100% kozo paper. This printing is limited to 25 signet and numbered edition copies, 5 special sets designated 1 to 5, paired with an original etching by the artist entitled The Listeners.

Retro Dreams From St. Petersburg

  • Year:  1989
  • 50 Silver Prints / 15 Color Collages
  • Leningrad

A dream is a show and the subconscious is its stage director. The soul prompts the text. The subconscious decides how the dream will end, either the hurricane in the Pacific or the happily-ever-after in the Promised Land. But at some point in some dreams the soul breaks free from the power of the subconscious and bravely declares words out of a new play, a different era, possibly a parallel universe. Mikhail Magaril dreams such dreams. Living in Leningrad at the end of the century, his dreams take place in pre-revolutionary St. Petersburg at the dreams of the sunrise. And he not only sees his dreams but tells them, without losing a single thread of the elegiac-nostalgic narrative.

What do we know of St. Petersburg at the start of the century? We know that this was a city of vision, of dreams, and that it disappeared under the sheer weight of the universal flood. We know also that it lives on in the poetry of Pushkin and Blok, Bely and Mandelstam, in the prose of Gogol and Dostoevsky, and now in the “retro-dreams” of Mikhail Magaril. Gazing on the unreal graphic compositions of these retro-dreams, we find ourselves in the paradoxical world of long-gone fairy tales from the beginning of the century: fairy tales in which fantasy and reality, smiles and laughter, love and tenderness, mystery and sadness, festivity and inspiration, creativity and blessing, live under a singleroof, under the single sky of St.Petersburg. …From an essay by Mikhail Kuzmin, Leningrad poet and author of the subtitles of the pieces.

INCIDENTS (By Daniel Kharms)

  • Year:  1996
  • The Center for Book Arts, New York

The book is a creative Russian/American collaboration comprised of collage, acrylic stencil images and hand-painted additions, all in a style and feel reminiscent of Russian constructivism.

Translated from the Russian by John McGonigle.
Printed and designed by Mikhail Magaril and Russell Maret.
Tall folio, bound in original illustrated boards, in slipcase. New York:
The Center for Book Arts, 1996


  • Year:  2000
  • Dimensions:  14 x 20
  • Editions  6

Every legend develops a life of its own over the centuries. As it is passed down from one generation to the next, its basic elements are subtly shaped and embroidered to reflect the challenges, anxieties, strengths and aspirations of everyday people in the storytellers’ world. New listeners hear it with fresh ears and begin the process of transforming it into a creature of their own time and place.

Tales of man-made golem already had a long history by the time stories crediting Rabbi Judah Loew-Maharal (1513-1609) with the making of a Golem appeared in print in the1830s. Here’s what folk-tale collector, Jacob Grimm, had to say about golems in 1808: The Czech Jew, after having spoken certain prayers and observed certain Feastdays, made the figure of a man out of clay or lime which, after they have pronounced the wonderworking Shem-ha-mphorasch over it, comes to life. It is true this figure cannot speak, but it can understand what one says and commands it to do to a certain extent.

They call it Golem and use it as a servant to do all sorts of housework; he may never go out alone. On his forehead the word Aemaeth (Truth; God) is written, but he increases from day to day and can easily become larger and stronger than his house-comrades, however small he may have been in the beginning. Being then afraid of him, they rub out the first letters so that nothing remains but Maeth (he is dead), whereupon he sinks together and becomes clay again. But once the owner of a golem allowed him to grow so tall that he could not reach his forehead. Then in his fear he told this servant of his to draw off his boots, thinking that in so doing he would stoop and that then he could reach his forehead. It happened as he thought it would, and the first letter was successfully erased, but the whole load of clay fell on the Jew and crushed him to death.

Местечко (Shtetl)

The Jewish world of Eastern Europe is one that is slowly disappearing, some may say that it has already disappeared. It was a world of six million people which gave us Marc Chagall and Shalom Aleichem. This world was united not only by religion but by a common language, that was heard in my childhood. In the Soviet Union, Yiddish was an underground language, hidden by parents who were afraid to pass it on to their children. History is known to be a cruel force, yet it is also something that has the ability to move people. It can send them to new countries and across continents. When these people, weary from their travels, stumble upon a recognizable language, their hearts skip a beat at the familiar sound of home. Even in a new and unrecognizable world, the comfort of a familiar language binds strangers together. This album is my modest tribute to a memory of a disappearing world of the shtetl, a world that is very dear to my heart

Mikhail Magaril

The Happy Prince (By Oscar Wilde)

  • Year:  1997
  • Handcolored, bound and signed
  • Editions  50

Preface by Morris Jacobs Illustrated by Mikhail Magaril. New York, Summer Garden Editions, 1997. 50 copies of this book were printed on Fabriano Rosaspina paper by offset lithography. The edition was hand coloured, bound and signed by the artist. Narrow Folio approx. 430mm x 150mm. Black and pictorial yellow cloth, gilt and black label to spine. With an additional Drypoint watercolour signed by Magaril. All enclosed within a labelled black and grey clamshell box.

ABC Book (Count L. N. Tolstoy)

  • Year:  2012
  • Editions  6
  • New York - St. Petersburg

Summer Garden Editions
New York - St. Petersburg 2012
Edition of 6
21” x 20”
Design consultant: Victor Bogorad
Photographer: Ivan Lebedev

Myaso (Meat)

  • Edition:  5 copies
  • Year:  2016
  • Dimensions:  21.5 x 15 in.

This book is the artist’s testament to a time when experiments were conducted on people, on a grand scale. All the while, the populace was viewed not as a community of individuals, but rather as a biological mass-meat (myso), with which, as one knows, one can do as one wishes. An indiscriminate mass may be dissected into separate classes and categories, artificial “class” morals may be imposed, and ancient peoples may be forced to adopt artificially created scripts and alphabets. The object is the creation of a new Soviet man (Homo Soveticus), “reversing the course of rivers to irrigate the desert” …and all this, only to bring about a humanitarian, ecological, and geopolitical catastrophe. Collage, stencils, tempera and letterpress. 21.5” x 15” Edition of 5 copies. Summer Garden Editions New York 2016

The Diary of a Madman

By Nikolai Gogol

  • Year:  1998
  • Dimensions:  10 x 6.75 in.
  • Editions  100 copies

Translated from the Russian by Constance Garnett.

Illustrated and bound by Mikhail Magaril.

Summer Garden Editions. New York. 1998.

49p, 10” x 6.75”. 9 drypoint plates by Mikhail Magaril.

Each copy was hand lettered and illustrated with vignettes in brown/ sepia by the artist. Typography planned by Misha Beletsky, with type set in Monotype Van Dijck by Michael and Winifred Bixler and printed by Emily Artimian of Peter Kruty Editions on Rives BFK paper.

Binding in cream linen boards with open spine, sewn with matching thick string; illustration in brown of the title character covering front board. Housed in a dark brown worked suede suitcase- like box, lined with board, and closing with leather flap and holder with exposed nail heads.

Handwritten brown paper spine title label, torn front title label partly hand written. Board lining to box with handwriting and ink blotches to form overall pattern. A total edition of 100 copies, with 50 copies for the members and associates of the Center for Book Arts, New York,

20 for collaborators, and 25 printer’s copies for sale.

An Only Kid

  • Year:  1998
  • Dimensions:  14.5 x 9 in.
  • Editions  18 copies

Monoprints by Mikhail Magaril.

Printed by Russell Maret. Kuboaa. New York City. 1998.

14.5” x 9”.

Double page title and ten full page monoprints in black. Printed in Centaur on Rives de Lin. Sewn-board binding by Daniel Kelm. Black leather spine, gray paper handmade by Timothy Barrett over board sides, title and illustration of goat on front.

Black cloth drop-back box with gray paper title label on spine No. 6 in an edition of 18 copies, numbered & signed by Magaril & Maret

Hindrance (By Daniil Kharms)

  • Year:  1998
  • Dimensions:  12 X 10 in
  • Editions  20 copies

Hindrance, by Daniil Kharms, is a provocative piece, which starts as a love story and ends in a senselessly cruel way, reflecting life under a totalitarian regime.

First translation from Russian into English by Julie Magaril. Summer Garden Editions. New York -- St. Petersburg.

1998 12p, 12” X 10”

Woodblock prints with color collages by Mikhail Magaril. Afterword by Peter Smith. Text design by Misha Beletsky, printed letterpress on tan Somerset paper.

Coptic binding by Magaril. Wooden cover cut for each copy by Mikhail Magaril.

20 signed copies.

Russia Rorschach Test

  • Year:  2012
  • Dimensions:  20 x 11 3/4 in.
  • Editions  4 copies

This book stands as a near-scientific study conducted by the author, having been severely influenced by events going on in Russia. Edition of 4 copies,

Printed by Ivan Lebedev.

Arches Aquarelle Rag, 240g.

Mixed media.


20”x11 3/4”

Lenin Hunting  (Ленин на охоте)

  • Year:  2008
  • Dimensions:  12.5 x 17.5 in.
  • Editions  7 copies

The counting rhyme, a traditional Russian eeny-meeny-miney-moe (still in use), concerns a rabbit spotted by a hunter. Shot dead, he is miraculously resurrected when he is returned home. In the artist’s version the hunter is Lenin, and he is transformed into Stalin at the end of the rhyme. In fact, the rabbit’s immortality is conferred on Lenin the hunter, and his successor Stalin. This is of course an allusion to mausoleums that conserved the remains of the “immortals” and also, like most of Magaril’s work, is a reflection of the pervasive contamination of every aspect of popular culture of childhood by communist iconography. Lenin Hunting 2008 Edition of 7 13 Spreads 12.5 x 17.5 (inches) closed 25 x 17.5 (inches) open Stenciled tempera


  • Year:  2012
  • Dimensions:  23 x 14.5 in.
  • Editions  10 copies

The artists of this book became first aquainted with the work of the great German storytellers a long, long time ago in a far-away land known as the USSR. Life there had much in common with the world of German fairy tales. It was a place of cruel tyrants, evil midgets, brave talors, and a great number of big bad wolves. The nightmarish regime badly affected the psyche of children and caused the impressionable young minds to see something sinister in every ink blot

Back in the USSR

Mikhail Magaril’s “Back io the USSR” is one of the most arresting and unusual works of a supremely accomplished book artist and paradoxically, a book with scarcely any text to speak of. This radical departure from his previous work, far from being an arbitrary exploration of new directions, represents the culmination of his artistic journey and is the result of his thoughtful meditation on the formative experience of his worldview, namely his life in the dystopia of the post-Stalinist Soviet Union. Although Magaril’s previous books showcased his ability to serve classic texts with his unique artistic vision, with time, he has come to distrust language more and more. This feeling has become particularly acute as he observed the Russian Federation sink ever more deeply into the eerily familiar miasma of totalitarian propaganda, with language, a thoroughly debased and absurdist medium, a tool of manipulation and disinformation rather than communication.

Worse still, Magaril has witnessed the success of these time-tested methods, and has even lost friends and acquaintances to this most recent propaganda offensive. And parallel to developments is Russia, his experience in America, has seen Soviet era iconography raided by savvy post modernist designers and marketeers, willfully ignorant of the weight of history, only too happy to have found new tools in their projects of commodification and branding. But for Magaril, things are very different. Above all Mikhail Magaril remembers.

Bukvar’ Nash! (Our ABC Book)

  • Year:  2015
  • Summer Garden Editions, NY
  • Editions  3 copies

One of the goals of the USSR was the creation of a New Man. The Soviet Union collapsed and disappeared but Homo Sovieticus remained.

Edition of 3 copies Hahnemuhle Matt Albrec Durer paper, 210g.

It Happened

This book is the result of a chance encounter between the artist and an abandoned diary. A diary scarcely legible, but clearly telling a story of deep suffering and personal struggle. A beautiful and troubling object that suggests this encounter was not by chance at all, but meant to be.

Doctors' Plot

  • Year:  2018
  • Editions  5
  • Summer Garden Editions, NY

The episode described in this story was witnessed by the author as a young child in Leningrad in 1952. During this time in the Soviet Union, an anti-semitic crusade known as "The Doctors' Plot" took place, during which prominent Jewish physicians were falsely accused of conspiring to assasinate the Soviet party leader.