Moscow: Vsekokhudozhnik, 1933. Item #1108
87,  pp.: ill. 22,5x15,5 cm. In original wrappers. Very good, chipped, some general soiling, pale water stains on covers, clean internally.
First and only edition. One of 5000 copies.
This is not just another book on fighting ‘escapist’ formalism by accusing artists of the total ignoring of the reality. In this famous book the author described some of the finest art of the period in very harsh manner, and this art was later banned. With this book he almost destroyed lives of several artists during the most horrible cracking down period of Soviet history. Among reviewed artists in the book were A.G. Tyshler, P.N. Filonov, A.D. Drevin, Labas, I.V. Kliun, Udal’tsova, A.V. Shevchenko, R.N. Barto, D.P. Shterenberg and others. Interesting that being an ardent defender of Socialist realism the author put 24 images introducing formalist artists and their works to his readers. More than that this book became a foundation of creating a liberal history of Soviet art much later.
Osip Beskin (1892-1969) was a Soviet literary and art critic, journalist, and one of the most fierce ideologists of Soviet art. He was mainly involved in reviewing contemporary poetry: Kluev, Oreshin, Bagritsy. His accusatory articles on Nikolai Zabolotsky and Osip Mandelstam were among the reasons they became victims of Stalin’s repressions.
Worldcat locates paper copies in NYPL, Princeton, Yale, Columbia, Harvard, Northwestern, University of Wisconsin, University of Chicago, Getty, University of Minnesota, University of Arizona.