[JEWISH RENAISSANCE] Graviury na dereve [i.e. The Woodcuts] / text by I. Ioffe and E. Gollerbakh
Leningrad: printed by the author, typography of the Academy of Arts, 1928. Item #1271
47,  pp. 24,5x18 cm. One of 1200 copies. Original illustrated wrappers. Few tears of the spine, otherwise in a very good condition.
First and only edition. The book summarizes the works of Solomon Yudovin (1892-1954), Jewish, Belorussian and Soviet artist, the distinct representative of ‘the Jewish renaissance’.
Solomon Yudovin was no doubt one of the figures who helped to define and picture the face of Jewish art of the first quarter of the 20th century. As a young man, he participated in the ethnographic expeditions organized by his uncle Semyon An-Skiy (1863-1920) and the Jewish Historical Ethnographical Society across the Pale of Settlement in Ukraine and Belarus. The goal of these expeditions, held in 1912-1914, was to capture the everyday life and culture of the people across the Pale. Yudovin worked as a photographer, artist and secretary, and as a result had collected a lot of data on the Jewish household items, ritual accessories, gravestones (matzevah), synagogue paintings, Jewish ornaments, etc. These ornaments pictured by Yudovin have influenced all the artists who were working in traditional style at the time, like Rybak and Lissitzky, and became an important element of Jewish visual culture. He experimented with photos from the expeditions, in the method of photo-impressionism, but soon has found his main style in woodcuts and linotypes.
Yudovin was active in Vitebsk in the first years after the revolution of 1917 where he collaborated with Marc Chagall. In 1918 he participated in the decoration of the city of Vitebsk for the parade of the first anniversary of October Revolution - the occasion for which Chagall famously did an open call to all the local artists in the newspaper ‘Izvestiya Vitebskogo Gubernskogo Soveta’ urging them to produce ‘big and expressive’ posters. Next year Chagall and Yudovin participated in the exhibition of Jewish artists in Vitebsk. In 1941-42 Yudovin created a series of woodcuts picturing Leningrad under siege, and the series became one of his best-known works.
This book consists of 49 woodcuts and also includes the list of all the woodcuts and linotypes produced by the artist to the day.