Kiev: KKHI, 1932-1933. Two volumes in red wrappers and white dust-jackets. Jackets are slightly restored, strengthened. Very good.
One of 1000 copies printed. Extremely rare, unfindable in dust-jackets.
Inscription by Zinoviy Tolkachiov (1903-1977) on the title page of the first volume dated October of 1932 to a fellow artist Rose: ‘Khudozhniku Poarma XII tovarishchu Rose ot khudozhnika Poarma XIV. Z. Tolkachov. Kiev. 15 godovschina oktiabria’ [i.e. To the artist of 12th army comrade Rose from the artist of 14th army comrade Tolkachiov].
Zinoviy Tolkachiov (Zinowij Tolkatschow) (1903-1977) was one of the best known representatives of Ukrainian-Jewish avant-garde. A VKhUTEMAS graduate, he spent most of his life in Ukraine, in the 1920s he was working with local artists of the ‘New Generation’. His style was influenced by the candid graphics of the Civil War posters, in which he participated as well as the Italian Renaissance masters and the Jewish graphics of Kultur-Lige. As a result one of the most original artistic visions of pre-war Ukraine modernism was created.
Tolkachiov is also known for his sketches of liberated Auschwitz. He was serving in the Red Army division that was liberating the camp and created a series of drawings that are now considered the classical documents of the liberation.
During the Civil War Tolkachiov was the main artist of XIVth army of the Red Army led by Voroshilov and was involved in conquering Ukraine, fighting off the White Guard in the South of Russian and Ukraine, taking Odessa and Lviv. The XIIth army, of which Rose was the main artist, was taking over Kharkiv, Chernigov and Kiev before being involved in the Soviet-Polish War.
The volumes are the depository of the important information on the posters designed by the Ukrainian authors in the Red Army for propaganda purposes in 1918-1920. The total of 181 posters are catalogued, with images, place and date of the printing are given as well as the sizes. A lot of these posters had small print-runs and were used for propaganda purposes in the warzone, so often this book is a primary proof of their existence today. The edition was prepared by the department of fine arts of Kiev Art Institute. Being one of the most progressive Ukrainian Art Schools of the 1920s, in the early 1930s it was undergoing reforms that led to the firing of the head of the Institute Ivan Vron.
Most of the posters are not attributed but several were done by Zinoviy Tolkachiov as well as such well-known Ukrainian avant-garde artists as Vasil Ermilov, Oleksiy Marenkov, Rokitskiy, Khvostov, etc.
A few examples of posters that were never printed are also included. One photo of an agitational train is included in vol. 2 as well.
The geography of the posters cover Kiev, Odessa, Kharkiv, Nikolaev, Zhitomir and Poltava.
The design for the book was done by Vassily Sedlyar (1899-1937), the avant-garde artist, who was executed in 1937 and is considered the member of ‘Executed Ukrainian Renaissance’. All of his paintings except for a few examples were destroyed after his arrest. The polygraphic supervision was undertaken by Oleksandr Ger.