Moscow: Tip. gazety “Pravda”, 1931-1932. 22 issues (#1-12 for 1931; #1-10 for 1932). Ca. 30,5x22 cm. Every issue in original illustrated wrappers. Very good. Some soiling and rubbing, a few small tears of spines, few pencil underlinings.
Complete set of the title. Very rare.
The magazine was issued at first under the title ‘Iskusstvo v massy’ [i.e. Art for the Masses] (20 issues in 1929 and 1930) and then it was changed to ‘Za proletarskoe iskusstvo’ (22 issues).
‘Za proletarskoe iskusstvo’ is part of a great era of Soviet constructivism with recognizable wrappers and artwork by Klutsis, Moor, Deineka, Kukryniksy, Klutsis, P.
Filonov, Efimov, OST, Tyshler, Labas, Zernova, Pimenov, Mavrina, Daran, Toidze, Arizo, and many more. Among the most interesting materials are design projects of monument of killed soldiers (by Krandievskaya, Manizer, Shadr, et al.), architecture designs by Shchusev, Iofan, Ladovsky VOPRA, et al.; many reproductions of paintings and posters, including photomontage posters, photographs of mass parades decorations and club interior decor, covers and illustrations of proletarian children’s books, Hannes Meyer in USSR and his design of the room, textile designs, and other materials on art life of the Soviet Union.
This magazine can serve as a primary source for the study of the attempt in the 1920s to create ’proletarian art’. Its aesthetic program and founding principles are
discussed alongside polemics on the future development of Soviet art. The Association of Artists of the Revolution (AAR) was the largest and most powerful creative group of the period from 1928 to 1933, owing to its support of Marxist ideology. The title and the idea of ‘Art for the Masses’ derives from Lenin’s maxim: “Art belongs to the people. It must have its deepest roots in the very thick of the working masses. It should be understood by these masses and loved by them.”
Despite the fact that the AAR was in constant dispute with a famous group, October, which included well-known artists such as Lissitzky, Rodchenko and
Eisenstein (essentially a battle between proletarian art for the masses and ambitious art for the masses) both groups had more in common with each other than they had differences. Their shared concept of ‘art to the masses’ embraced collective audiences. Both radically politicized art and believed that it should be used for purposes of ideological propaganda, in particular for class warfare.
Even though the AAR was leading its fight for the purity of the proletarian art it was shut down with all other art and literary groups in 1932. Members of the magazine were killed in 1938 during political purges of ‘terrorist groups of Moscow artists’. Both the October and the AAR were in the artistic avant-garde of that period.