[KLUTSIS & SENKIN’S PHOTOMONTAGES] Pamiati pogibshikh vozhdei : Al’bom vospominanii pod redaktsiei F. Kona [i.e. Memorial to Fallen Leaders : Album of Reminiscences Edited by F. Kon]
Moscow: Moskovskii rabochii, 1927. 88 pp., 22 leaves with photographs. 35x27 cm. In original illustrated constructivist cardboards with gilt lettering, in modern custom case replicating cover design. Covers restored, case slightly rubbed, otherwise mint.
First and only edition. One of 10 000 copies. Rare. Banned edition.
Designs of the front and back covers present collaboration of Gustav Klutsis and Sergei Sen’kin, notable Soviet masters of photomontage. Their work proves that the constructivist experiments began to be used extensively in Soviet political art in the late 1920s.
The front cover combines drawn red flags and a photograph of hands of a living man: the Revolution was carried out by individuals. The back cover immensely differs from it. An endless human stream, pouring through Lenin’s mausoleum, was squeezed into a Z letter; behind people the red geometric figures contrast with the black background. The work clearly expresses the nature of Soviet ideology and what happened with the most contributors to this edition later. Ten years after that Gustav Klutsis had been arrested on fabricated charges and shot in 1938.
The book commemorates the 10th anniversary of October 1917 and admires 22 Bolsheviks who played a significant role in the Revolution but died before this celebration. Each article is supplemented with a portrait. Among the authors are the future victims of the Great Terror: N. Bukharin, Ia. Peters, Ia. Ganetskii, A. Rykov, N. Bryukhanov, A. Liubovich, M. Frumkin, A. Kamenskii, V. Knorin, O. Pyatnitskii, A Shatman. Initially, it was a remarkable collection of articles written by prominent party leaders, but it was claimed to be dangerous during the Stalinist purges. This book was banned and kept in limited access collections until the late 1980s.
Worldcat shows copies at Princeton, Notre Dame, North Carolina, Illinois Universities, Art Institute of Chicago and New York Public Library.