Kharkiv: [Persha drukarnia Derzh. vydavnytstva], 1926. Item #1290
23 pp. 17x13 cm. In original wrappers with letterpress design. Tears of spine and back cover, fragments of spine and outer corner of copy lost, small holes in front cover, pale water stains along spine, pencil marks on margins, otherwise very good and clean internally.
One of 3000 copies. Extremely rare.
The brochure contains a manifesto of the Ukrainian modernist group ‘Avangard’ and an explanation of why its initiator, Valerian Polishchuk had decided to quit the previous organization. The powerful literary organization ‘Gart’ [i.e. Hardening], advocating national culture, collapsed in the fall of 1925. A short time before the end, some people left it and among them was Polishchuk.
The Ukrainian journalist Valerian Polishchuk (1897-1937) is known as a founder of literary and artistic groups ‘Grono’ (1920) and ‘Avangard’ (1925-1930). It was a modernist literary group of young Ukrainian left-wing creators, including poets, prose writers and artists.
According to this book, they witnessed weakening progress of revolutionary art, returning to old ideas instead of relevant images. They called “to introduce valid contemporary Europeanism in [Ukrainian] art and expose epigonism of neoclassicism, academism, decadence and Ukrainization”. They offered young workers to join them in the development of the proletarian world of technical revolution. The group declared itself “avangard [vanguard] of post-revolutionary art”. The manifesto was signed by V. Polishchuk, G. Tsapok, V. Yermylov and O. Levada. This group released an edition of three issues with different titles but the same Esperanto subtitle ‘Avangardo’ and continuing pagination. All of them were designed by Vasyl Yermylov.
The group was later criticized by Soviet literary historians for spreading bourgeois views on artistic creation: “Focusing on leftist movements of Western modernism, in particular constructivism, the group showed disrespect for realism and progressive traditions of the national culture”. In particular, it was caused by “shameless and pornographic” texts by Polishchuk printed in the magazine ‘Avangardo’ while the author himself promoted an idea to socialize sexual relations in the communist society. The group ‘Avangard’ was forced to self-liquidate in 1930. In 1934, Polishchuk was sentenced to 10 years of labor camps for anti-Soviet activity, but the case was revised soon and Polishchuk was shot in 1937. All his works were banned.
The group ‘Avangard’ differed from another modernist group ‘Nova Generatsiia’ in aesthetic principles although both existed in the late 1920s and called for new development of Ukrainian art, rejecting the national culture.
Worldcat doesn’t track this edition.