Moscow: IZOGIZ; tip. gazety “Pravda”, 1931.  pp.: ill. 52x,27 cm.
Uncut. Very good, some creases and careful restoration of tears and losses (text is
affected in a couple of places).
First and only edition. One of 5000 copies. Extremely rare.
This bulletin is dedicated to one of the core element of the Soviet era and
early USSR in particular - demonstrations and monumental agitation art. In 1931,
a year before the end of a free creative process and ban on art groups, there was
a dynamic art scene in Moscow full of experiments and new art forms. The first of
May was to be celebrated with slogans, posters, flags, diagrams, etc. For example,
on the first page there is a scheme by Soviet Constructivist graphic artists Stenberg brothers on how to place these elements (posters and flags) in columns in the
procession. Another contributor was Pavel Novitskii (1888-1971), Soviet art critic and
VKhUTEMAS head from 1926 to 1930, well-known proponent of Constructivism ideas
who was actively involved in legitimization of OSA group and start of SA magazine
(Sovremennaya Arkhitektura). For this paper he wrote a short piece on decoration of
mass festivities. Among other contributors to the bulletin were poet Demian Bednyi,
writer and art critic Al’fred Basekhes (1900-1969), A. Binov, N. Maslennikov and a few
Five monumental photomontage posters in black and red by Gustav Klutsis
printed in this bulletin and accompanied by his short article on photomontage and
its usage as agitation tool. Klutsis’ close collaborator of that time, Vassily Elkin (1897-
1991), is mentioned as well regarding new font design of slogans (next to unsigned
but most likely to be his two designs of slogans). One of the most interesting things
in this bulletin are rare and inspirational photographs of correct ways to prepare
for festivities - posters, preparations of ‘art activists’ for May 1, examples of street
decorations, illumination of buildings, photos taken during demonstrations, etc.
Right after the October Revolution festivals and demonstrations began to
play an important role in the political and artistic life of the young country. They not
only served as one of the most powerful means of agitation for the Soviet power but
they were also called upon to translate people’s dreams about the new beautiful life in
bright, exciting, understandable images.
At first, festivities dedicated to revolution reminded of military parades with
demonstration of war trophies and fight scenes. Right until the middle of the 1920s
demonstrations were based on work of amateurs with little help from artists. This
became a unique field of experiments where different types of art like architecture,
theatre, painting, pantomime, sculpture united. This gave a push to development of
new art ways as well as lead to the next level of mass holidays. By the end of the
1920s the balance of the “art of a new social formation” was shifting from folk festivals
and amateur performances to monumental and professional art. Handmade masks
were switched to large scale installations and objects accompanied by light and sound
effects. Unusual were the scale of the work itself, when whole cities and big crowds of
protesters were drawn up, when the works of artists were perceived not in the closed
premises of museum or exhibition halls but in open spaces of squares and streets. The
rapid manifestation of the creative initiative of the masses, when almost every factory
or factory created artistic circles, also found its most vivid embodiment in the design
of revolutionary festivities.
What is even more important artists’ decorations for mass revolutionary
festivals laid grounds for constructivism. Artists like Vesnin brothers designed many
decorations for parades and other festivities.
Not found in the Worldcat.
Price: $5,000.00Status: On Hold