Yerevan: Petakan Hratarakchutyun, 1934. Item #1015
 leaves. 26x18 cm. In original full cloth with colored lettering on the spine and emblem on the front cover. Front cover cracked from the inner side (restored), some foxing on the first pages, otherwise very good and clean internally.
First and only edition. One of 2000 copies. Rare. In Armenian. Design by Hovhannes Shavarsh (1908-1980), the Armenian book illustrator and poster designer.
This catalogue includes the artworks appeared from 1922 to 1934 and attracts a lot of attention being the primary source of rare materials for studying the early graphics of Soviet Armenia. Overall 121 items are divided into 3 categories: paintings, graphics and sculpture (but they actually include the book design and mural as well). The graphics underwent particular changes and flourished, putting their mark on society and inspiring Armenian artists to come back to their country. The new schools of book design and printing were formed following the socialist aims and developing the constructivist principles. The key figure in Armenian constructivism was Tachat Khachvankian (1896-1940), a graduate of VKhUTEMAS who returned to Armenia and brought back the principles of book organism to Armenian state publishing. The catalogue contains the covers of Arax’s ‘Zimmi’ (1931) and Vshtuni’s ‘Radio Algeria Speaks’ (1931), the title page and illustration for Alazan’s ‘On the Sixtieth Horizon’ (1934). Khachvankian is responsible for the compilation of this book. He was sent to the exile in Magadan, where he died of sepsis in 1940.
This catalogue is a great evidence of Armenian ephemera of the first five-year plan period. The edition features 5 posters by Manuk Harutyunyan, Edward Sargsyan, Ararat Garibyan - the last one presents the original work with silhouettes of party’s leaders as well as radio mast and factory drawn in lines and covered probably newspaper page. In addition to them, the sculpture section clearly highlights the low-reliefs by Ara Sargsian whose ‘Rebuilding’ and ‘Attack’ seem like impressively stone posters on the Red Army soldiers and the working men.
It is also interesting to compare the old and the younger generation of artists in the 1920s. Here the rather traditional work ‘Street in Tabriz’ by Hakob Kojoyan, who became the creator of Soviet traditions in Armenian art, meets an innovative ‘Red Cavalry’ by Hovhannes Shavarsh, who started to create under the Soviet rule. Apart from the mentioned artists, the book includes paintings and sculptures by Martiros Saryan, Panos Terlemezian, Stepan Aghajanian, Vrtanes Akhikyan, Gabriel Gyurjyan, Stepan Taryan and others.
All in all the thorough insight into a lesser-known period of Armenian art.
Only 2 copies located at University of Michigan and Harvard College.