Tbilisi, 1924. 48 leaves with printed typographic designs and photographic illustrations. 28x20 cm. Rebacked. Tears of the wrappers are restored. Good clean block.
Provenance: from the collection of Simon Chikovani (1902-1960), inscription on the title page ‘Simon Chikovani. 1/XI/1925’. Another copy signed by Chikovani was sold at Christie’s for 36 800 USD in 2014.
The only issue of the Georgian avant-garde group under the same name. Signed by the leader of the group Simon Chikovani (1903-1966) on the title page.
Extremely important and rare example of alternative avant-garde experiment. Tiflis of 1910s-1920s is well-known as a place where daring new ideas in book design and art were first developed. Collaborations of Zdanevich brothers, Kruchionykh, Sudeikin, Gudiashvili and others led to the creation of the unique avant-garde pieces like ‘Fantasticheskiy kabachiok’, ‘1918’ or Iliazd’s pentalogy ‘AslaabliCHia pitiOrka dEistf’.
Georgian poets and artists always participated in these and other projects and when Soviet army captured Tiflis in 1921 and most of Russian art gurus went elsewhere they were left alone. In 1924 the atmosphere was still liberal enough to create something provoking and that’s when H2SO4 was born, the avant-garde group led by Chikovani, artists Irakli Gamrekeli (1894-1943) and Beno Gordeziani (1894-1975) and others.
Although they were heavily influenced by dadaism (the Dada manifesto was printed in this magazine for the first time anywhere in USSR) the group declared that they are against dada, futurism and LEF movement in Moscow.
The symbol of this interpretation became the indecent sign shown to Malevich’s Black Square on p.7 of the magazine. H2SO4 magazine is considered a bold typography experiment using unorthodox letterpress elements. Irakli Gamrekeli is mostly responsible for the design.
MoMa. Russian Avant-Garde Book. 534.