Berlin: Skify, 1922. 62,  pp. 21x14 cm. In original constructivist wrappers. Creases of wrappers, few minor stains, private stamp on t.p. and p. 33. Otherwise near fine.
One of the Berlin projects produced by El Lissitzky (1890-1941), one of the leading figures in Russian avant-garde art. He is best known for his photomontage experiments and international art projects. In December 1921, Lissitzky moved to Berlin as a cultural representative. He worked on establishing contacts between Russian and German artists, as well as introducing Russian avant-garde into European modernism. In particular, he contributed to “Die erste russische Kunstausstellung” [The First Exhibition of Russian Art] where 150 Soviet artists showed more than 700 artworks.
‘Bird without a Name’ resembles other designs of that period – “Rabbi”, “Object” – altering colored and outlined letters. Along with them, this collection was printed by a Berlin-based Russian emigre publisher “Scythians” [Rus. Skify] The book collects poems by one of the leading members of Russian literary imagism, Alexander Kusikov (1896-1977). He was active in all imagist initiatives and was especially fortunate in publishing business and tricks against censorship. In January 1922, with the help of Lunacharsky, he went on a business trip abroad. Interestingly, Kusikov criticized ‘Object’ of Ehrenburg and Lissitzky for surplus of mechanization – he published that note in the pro-Soviet newspaper ‘Nakanune’ on April 30, 1922.
For two years, Kusikov lived in Berlin, which was the center of Russian emigre culture at that time. He showed his loyalty to the Revolution and received the alias “Chekist” among emigrants. Twice he held scandalous literary evenings with Esenin who passed by through Berlin. Initially, Kusikov was widely published in the European press and was rather influential. After he moved to Paris in 1924, Kusikov became disillusioned with imagism and his literary activity was fading away.
Worldcat shows copies located in LoC, Columbia, Yale, Harvard, Stanford, Wisconsin, Illinois, Chicago, Kansas, Cornell, Dartmouth, New York Universities, Yivo Institute for Jewish Research, Getty Institute, Art Institute of Chicago, Amherst College.