VKhUTEMAS, 1927. XIII, , 45 pp.: ill. 24,2x17,3 cm. In publisher’s wrappers and
Constructivist photomontage dust wrapper designed by El Lissitzky. Illustrated with 45
photogravures of student architectural drawings. Very good. Restoration of small tears
of the spine and dust wrapper.
First edition. One of 1000 copies. Very rare. Lissitzky’s picture of the hand
with the slide rule with its innovative use of type is one of the most celebrated of all
In order to educate the newly empowered masses, Lenin’s government
established the Higher Art and Technical Studios, known as VKhUTEMAS in 1920.
Both a vibrant teaching institution and a massive design laboratory, Vkhutemas was
a setting where training and experimentation took place side by side. Moreover,
it introduced an entirely different model of education—a place for collective life,
labour, and creativity. Hundreds of students facilitated the process of formulating how
modern art, architecture, and design can be thought of, produced, and experienced.
The continuous feedback between the educational process, research, and testing
performed at various scientific cabinets and laboratories at Vkhutemas ensured
continuous design innovation. The school counted among its ranks such protagonists
of the Russian avant-garde as Alexander Rodchenko and Varvara Stepanova, Alexander
Vesnin, and Lyubov Popova, El Lissitzky and Vladimir Tatlin, Kazimir Malevich and
Nikolay Ladovsky. Vkhutemas, along with Inkhuk (Institute of Artistic Culture), became a
platform for the institutionalization of the avant-garde movement that distilled radical
artistic experiments into a systematized body of knowledge. (‘Walker Reader’, Jun 19,
2017) It seized to exist in 1930.
Among key aspects of the school’s educational structure was its outreach
and exchange which included many initiatives such as school-wide and international
exhibitions and publications, such as this edition.
The book presents the work of VKHUTEMAS students, renderings of factories,
the Palace of Labor, communal housing and other state-sponsored projects (mostly
unrealized): A. Arkina (Architectural task of identifying the physical and mechanical
properties of the form - mass and balance), M. Turkus (Communal House for Workers),
R. Zaltsman (House of housing stock), D. Bulgakov (Avtogarazh) , G. Glushchenko
(Higher School Building - VKHUTEMAS), A. Tamm (Planning of the Moscow Zoo), A.
Kurovsky (Printing House of the Izvestia VTSIK newspaper), I. Sobolev (Bread Factory),
S. Glagolev (Planning of the stadium in the Leninsky District mountains) and others.
The workshops were headed by both avant-garde innovators and traditionalists:
Vesnin brothers, Shchusev, Kokorin, Rylsky, Ladovsky, Dokuchaev. In 1926 the faculty of architecture was divided into three workshops: housing architecture; the architecture
of public, industrial and factory buildings; planning and decorative spatial
architecture. The student had to do at least one project per year of study at which of
Being an architect by training, Lissitzky was one of the first to understand
the significance of the artistic search for «left» art for the development of modern
architecture. Working at the intersection of architecture and visual art, he did a lot to
bring those formal aesthetic discoveries that helped shape the modern artistic culture
to the new architecture.
Worldcat locates copies at libraries of Yale University, Columbia University, Getty Research
Institute, Amherst College, Arizona State University, Art Institute of Chicago, National
Gallery of Art Library.
Price: $7,500.00Status: On Hold