Moscow: Federatsia, 1930. 224 pp. 17x13 cm. In original card boards. Very good, fragile spine with half of it missing, some rubbing and small losses of the extremities of the covers, a couple of underlinings in the text (pencil), traces of damp stain near the spine on the front and back covers.
First and only edition. One of 3000 copies. Very rare. Constructivist cover designed by Alexander Rodchenko.
This edition is doubly interesting for its content and its cover. The collection of articles written from 1921 to 1923 by Boris Arvatov (1896-1940), Soviet art critic and theoretician, one of the LEF ideologists, on the art, production, propaganda, language and theatre of post-Revolutionary Russia. Arvatov proclaimed the uselessness of panel painting, calling for all the art to be connected with the industry. He put forward the slogan of «industrial art», that is, the merger of art with the production of material values. This is a true declaration of the art for the proletariat, written by an art theoretician. Arvatov was an active member of Proletkult, the organization created during the Civil War and supported by Lunacharsky.
This Rodchenko’s cover is one of the most exemplary Constructivist designs, his style is recognizable today still. He was a member of LEF which can still be traced here but already starting in 1930 he retreated from early revolutionary enthusiastic art and moved towards state propaganda art.
WorldCat locates paper copies in Getty Research Institute, The Frick Library, Yale University.