Moscow: published by the association of the revolutionary artists; Transpechat, 1925. 42 pp.: ill. 25,5x35 cm. One of 1500 copies. Original illustrated wrappers showing the chaotic collection of skulls and the letterpress design in golden and black over the skulls. The spine is neatly restored. Otherwise in a very good condition.
First edition. The edition that came out later the same year without the date on the title page has larger print-run and simpler design.
This edition was prepared by AKhRR (The Association of Artists of Revolutionary Russia later known as Association of Artists of the Revolution), and although it potentially covers all of the Soviet art, in fact it disregards all the other groups and movements and focuses its attention on the artists of the Association. Viktor Perelman, one of the founders of AKHRR, has been responsible for selecting works for the edition.
AKhRR (The Association of Artists of Revolutionary Russia later known as Association of Artists of the Revolution) was a group of artists in the Soviet Union in 1922-1933. Diverse members of the group gained favor as the legitimate bearers of the Communist ideas into the world of art, formulating a framework for the Socialist Realism style. Despite its revolutionary title, it successfully united artists of the ‘‘old school’’. In a decade, it grew from 80 to over 300 members. (Wikipedia)
In the 1920s, exhibitions became the main direction of AKhRR activity. About 70 exhibitions were organized in the capital and other cities. The Akhrovites introduced the thematic principle of exhibitions into their practice, which was a new phenomenon and had great success with the audience.
The album has been executed in expressionist style, but its designer is unknown. The book features works of art that condemn war. The recent works of the artists of Association are shown as well as the works of the European artists. Each reproduction of the Soviet artists is annotated with the information on the state collection in which it is held or at which exhibition it was shown.
Also, the edition includes short political essays about the possible military conflicts in Europe. The authors of these essays were later condemned as enemies of the state and executed - this probably explains why the album is rare as the book was likely discharged from libraries and bookshops. Joseph Unshlikht (1879-1938), a member of the Revolutionary Military Council and chief of the supply of the Red Army. In June 1937, he was arrested and charged with belonging to the ‘sabotage and espionage network of Polish intelligence in the USSR’, which existed in the form of the so-called ‘Polish military organization’. On July 28, 1938, Unshlikht was sentenced to death by the Military Collegium of the USSR Supreme Court. Alexander Dogadov (1888-1937), a member of the Presidium of the Central Executive Committee, arrested on June 21, 1937. On October 26 of the same year, on charges of anti-Soviet terrorist activities, the military collegium of the Supreme Court of the USSR was sentenced to death and executed on the same day. Tomasz Dombal (1890-1937), a leader of the Polish revolutionary movement, then a Soviet party leader. Arrested on December 29, 1936 in the same case of the ‘Polish Military Organization’. Unable to withstand interrogation and torture, he slandered his comrades in the Polish revolutionary movement, which also led to their arrests and death, repression against their wives and husbands. Shot. Alexander Bakhutov (1885-1938), a revolutionary, Soviet trade union and statesman, People’s Commissar of Labor of the RSFSR. In August 1937, he was arrested on charges of participating in a counter-revolutionary terrorist organization. February 7, 1938 sentenced to death and executed.
No copies found in Worldcat.