Item #1836 [ZHITOMIRSKY’S PHOTOMONTAGES]
[ZHITOMIRSKY’S PHOTOMONTAGES]
[ZHITOMIRSKY’S PHOTOMONTAGES]
[ZHITOMIRSKY’S PHOTOMONTAGES]

[ZHITOMIRSKY’S PHOTOMONTAGES]

Item #1836

1) Iaroshevskii, B. Zelenoe chudovishche [i.e. The Green Beast]. Moscow: Izdatel’stvo politicheskoi literatury, 1967. 72 pp. 16,5x13 cm. In original illustrated wrappers. Back cover rubbed and soiled, minor tears of spine, otherwise very good.

2) Konstantinov, O. Sprut s beregov Temzy [i.e. Octopus from the Banks of the Thames]. Moscow: Izdatel’stvo politicheskoi literatury, 1972. 72 pp. 20x13 cm. In original illustrated wrappers. Rubbed, some tears of spine, water stains on lower corners with small and blank fragment of p.3-4 lost, otherwise very good.

3) Beloded, M. Monopoliia “Filips” [i.e. Philips Monopoly]. Moscow: Izdatel’stvo politicheskoi literatury, 1972. 64 pp. 20x13 cm. In original illustrated wrappers. Slightly rubbed, otherwise mint.

4) Butlitskii, A. “Odisseia” Aristotelia Onassisa [i.e. “Odyssey” of Aristotle Onassis]. Moscow: Izdatel’stvo politicheskoi literatury, 1973. 64 pp. 20x13 cm. In original illustrated wrappers. Spine chipped, some stains on pages, otherwise very good.

Photomontages cover designs were created by Alexander Zhitomirsky (1907-1993) who had found an ideal niche for his art in political propaganda. Starting to combine photographs in the late 1920s, he was influenced by Rodchenko, Lissitzky, Klutsis, Stenberg brothers and experienced the visual language of communication. His absolute oeuvre was designs of a propaganda magazine ‘Front Illustrierte für Deutschen Soldaten’ [Front Illustration for German Soldiers] published during World War II. It gained success because of grotesque photomontages and after the war was over, Zhitomirsky continued to create in a similar style. Throughout the Cold War period, Zhitomirsky produced powerful propaganda works on capitalist values, government leaders, peace, disarmament, etc.
The books were published in a series “Leaders of the Capitalist World” (1960s-1980s). In sharp journalist essays, authors expose the true faces of huge companies, billionaires, and politicians. Published for the mass reader, issues were printed with printrun of over 80 thousand copies in the late 1960s. It increased up to 200 thousands by the early 1970s. Above all, the series was useful for propaganda workers.
These particular issues were devoted to United Fruit Company, Philips, Imperial Chemical Industries and the Greek multimillionaire Aristotle Socrates Onassis. In the case of the latter, the author Butlitskii begins with the marriage of widow Jacqueline Kennedy with shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, and then shifts to his biography. In the book on Imperial Chemical Industries, Oleg Konstantinov elaborates on the chairman of ICI and a close friend of Chamberlain, Lord McGowan and his relations with the Third Reich, the role of the company in world economics. Matvei Beloded’s claim about collaboration between Philips and the Nazis starts from the book cover. Zhitomirsky made an image where faces of two men shaking hands are covered with the logo of Philips and the Nazi symbol. “While the legitimate Dutch government relocated to London, in occupied Netherlands the Germans created a government body of Dutch collaborators, among whom Phillips’ representatives took pride of place. <...> During the war, General Head of the Philips Radio Valve Department, Theodor Tromp also worked for the Dutch intelligence agency which served for both the Allies and the Nazies because the major enemies were Communists.” About the post-war company activities, Beloded highlighted Philips’ input into the production of nuclear reactors and other scandalous campaigns. In the book “The Green Beast”, the author exposes “the most ominous embodiment of American imperialism for Central American countries, the banana monopoly United Fruit Company”. Boris Iaroshevskii described its “bloody and full of outrage business”.

Copies of all issues are located in LoC. Harvard University locates copies of issues 1,3,4. Copies of issue 1 are also found in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Virginia Universities. A copy of issue 2 is also located in Art Institute of Chicago.

Status: On Hold
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