Alexander Reichstein

Amos Anderson Art Museum, Helsinki.


"People play all their lives. They build their own world, home, even human relations from pieces. Similarly, without any actual goal in mind and for the sheer delight in testing their wits, they solve crosswords and do jigsaw puzzles. Time and again children build with their Lego blocks something new and different, a chance creation. Often a mistake in building is an important element; it leads to something entirely new, incredible, unexplored and exciting."
––Amos Anderson Museum Review

Alexander Reichstein was born in 1957 in Moscow, and came to Finland in 1990. He has worked in many branches of the arts: children books, animated films, paintings, installations and sculptures, leading workshops, holding art courses, and arranging numerous exhibitions - mainly for children - in Finland and abroad.

The exhibits in Alexander's exhibitions may be (read: should be) touched. You can look, build, climb, read, sleep, romp around and use your arms and legs. Bestiarium Construendum is an example of the playful pedagogy that typifies Alexander's work. At Bestiarium Construendum both children and adults are proposed to build sculptures of their own from available ready elements. Animal sculpture parts (legs, tails, heads etc.,) are big but light and they easily interlock. By assembling the parts visitors can create sculptures of ordinary animals and humans, or make an own menagerie of fantasy creatures. It is possible to build creatures wellknown from myths and fairy-tales (like Minotaur, Pegasus or mermaid) or invent a new monster never seen before. Visitors to the exhibition turn it into a performance, an ever-changing show. It is the visitors who breathe life into the figures and transform their shapes. There is always something new being created, the possibilities are infinite. Viva Bestiarium Construendum!

Bestiarium Construendum was on show in the Amos Anderson Art museum in Helsinki (30.1. - 7.3.2004), about 5300 visitors enjoyed it. This exhibition is a travelling one (like many other Alexander's exhibitions) and can be brought to any art museum around the world.

For information about Alexander Reichstein’s art: