Tiflis: [Selfpublished], 1917.  leaves. 24х19 cm. Lithographed edition. 16 lithographed illustrations. Lithographed manuscript text includes manuscript designs by
Kruchonykh. In original lithographed wrappers by Zdanevich. Near fine.
First and only edition. Very rare. Approximately 250 copies printed.
This is the best and most celebrated book designed by Kirill Zdanevich as well as a striking example of collaboration between him and Kruchonykh where “boundaries between text and illustrations are blurred”. The handwritten font becomes so sweeping and large, that it takes on almost a poster character. This is not just poems but poems-slogans, poems-posters which perhaps most consonant with the language of the time. And these slogans are written as befits such «agitation» - emotionally and expressively. The cover of the book is solved in a futuristically peremptory manner. Half of it is filled with a black rectangle, which is most associated with the «Black Square» by Malevich and produces quite a strong impression.
It is known that in the 1910s art life in Tiflis was thriving. Besides Zdanevich brothers there were Kruchonykh, Terentiev, Kolau Chernyavsky, U.N. Marr, Gudiashvili,
Kakabadze, and many others. All roads led to Tiflis in that short period of time. No wonder that some of the best examples of Russian avant-garde books were created
In the spring of 1917 Kruchonykh published a book of poems that can be roughly translated as ‘‘Learn Artists!’’ in which S. Valishevsky and K. Zdanevich took part. This publication can be considered the first actual performance of the Syndicate of Futurists (Tiflis futurist art group). The collection includes eight poems by Kruchenykh, some of which are illustrated by himself, one poem by S. Valishevsky and 17 drawings by Zdanevich. On the back cover of the book there was announced, probably not published, the collection Zhlam (A. Kruchonykh, K. and I. Zdanevich, N. Chernyavsky, Ziga Valishevsky, etc.).
Earlier same year there was Kirill Zdanevich’s personal show held which became one of the first significant moments in Tiflis avant-garde life. His art was called ‘orchestral’ stressing the complexity of his style combining other influences (among others he was inspired by Larionov and Goncharova and exhibited with them at Donkey’s Tail, Target and other famous shows). He was an active member of Syndicate of Futurists working closely with Kruchonykh and Terentiev. His abstract drawings evoked associations with Malevich’s suprematism, and his cubo-futuristic illustrations based on play of forms and textures created an image of constant improvisation and energy.
MoMA #152, Vzorval’ #29.