Moscow: Vsekokhudozhnik, 1934. Item #301
80 pp., 47 pl. 18x15 cm. In original printed overlapped wrappers. Very good. A few pale stains on the spine, tears of the wrapper’s extremities.
One of 1000 copies. Rare.
This is a catalogue of graphic art from the exhibition «Artists of the RSFSR for 15 years» which opened on June 27, 1933 in Moscow. It was shown a year earlier in Leningrad in the State Russian Museum featuring the best works of Soviet artists created during that period. In all, more than 3500 works were demonstrated in Moscow. The catalogue includes a fragment from A.S. Bubnov’s speech (he was a secretary of the organizing committee), names of members of the committee, and a list of graphic works in alphabetical order by the artist and chronologically for each artist. 47 black and white plates include works by Altman, Lebedev, Filonov, Deineka, Kravchenko, Tyrsa, Pakhomov, Vereisky, Kustodiev, Favorsky and others.
The Moscow Jubilee Exhibition included five sections, forming five independent, completely finished parallel exhibitions, united by a common chronological framework and unity of the design set. The sculpture section represented in Leningrad by a very meager and random set of works had to be rebuilt as an equal and integral sector for the Moscow exhibition. Also completely new in comparison with the Leningrad exhibition were sections of the Soviet poster with a caricature and theatrical and decorative art, sections perhaps the most remarkable in terms of exceptional creative brilliancy.
The exhibition was planned as an important political event - demonstration of cultural evolution, growth and prosperity, the superiority to the decaying West. In fact it became a watershed separating avant-garde from the official Soviet art. Although the exhibition was opened with Malevich’s work hanging at the entrance, the triumph of avant-gardists came to an end, the state made a bet on socialist realism. For the lack of understanding of the moment, the exhibition curator Nikolai Punin was fired, later arrested and sent to the GULag.
Here are just some of the names of the exhibitors: A. Arkhipov, I. Grabar, A. Deineka, P. Konchalovsky, P. Korin, A. Kuprin, B. Kustodiev, A. Lentulov, I. Mashkov, K. Petrov-Vodkin, M. Saryan, V. Tatlin, A. Tyshler, P. Filonov, A. Shevchenko, D. Shterenberg, K. Yuon; N. Danko, I. Efimov, A. Matveev, V. Mukhina, M. Rukovishnikov, I. Shadr; V. Deni, G. Klutsis, V. Lebedev, V. Mayakovsky, D. Moore, Stenberg brothers, M. Cheremnykh, B. Efimov, Kukryniksy and many others. Every artist had a different life after this exhibition. For example, Filonov about whom Grabar’ later said that he took «a special place at the exhibition by creating his intricate style of elements of cubism and calligraphy, flavored with a strong dose of homegrown philosophy» wasn’t able to exhibit for several decades after that because official Soviet art society didn’t recognize him as a legit artist.