valet; Tipo-lit. N.M. Mikhailova, . 78 pp.: ill. 22,3×18,5 cm. 22,5x18,5 cm. Original
publishers wrappers. Over the original wrapper contemporary owner’s wrapper with
the illustration (in gouache) of unknown artist showing the Jack of Diamonds. Under
the image the date ‘1913’. Below that another date in pencil ‘1945’ possibly added
later. Owners inscription dated ‘1922’ on the title page. Restoration of the publisher’s
wrapper. Otherwise very good.
First edition. One of 500 copies. Very rare.
A sophisticated copy of the one of the first collection of texts dedicated
to Russian avant-garde. «Collection of Essays» (issue 1 and only) was published
in Moscow in the first decade of February 1913 and was timed to the 3rd and 4th
exhibitions of the group in Moscow and St. Petersburg. The main material of the
collection was the article by I.A. Aksyonov, “On the Question of the Current State of
Russian Painting”. In it, the author argues that contemporary young artists are «mostly
painters.» These are I.I. Mashkov, A.V. Kuprin, A.V. Lentulov, P.P. Konchalovsky, R.R. Falke
and A.A. Exter. Aksyonov, characterizing each of these artists, emphasizes, on the one
hand, their independence from French painting, and on the other, their connection with
European painting traditions. He sees their independence in the “distinct nationality
of creativity” and speaks of “an unprecedented high level of pure painting for our
country”. The publication of two articles - a prominent Cubist Henri Le Foconier
(«Modern Susceptibility and Picture») and art critic Guillaume Apollinaire about
Fernand Leger - was intended to identify and reaffirm the Eurocentric orientation of
the «Jack of Diamonds» activity. The collection ended with a review of exhibitions of
Union of Artists and ‘Mir iskusstva’. (Encyclopedia of Russian Avant-Garde)
‘Jack of Diamonds’ was one of the most significant and powerful associations
of the Russian avant-garde. It consisted alternately of most innovative artists who
represented the most important areas of Russian pre-revolutionary modernism — Sezannism, Primitivism, Cubism, Suprematism. The Jack of Diamonds continued the
traditions of the ‘Mir iskusstva’ and ‘Zolotoe Runo’ in regularly familiarizing the
Russian public with modern European painting - French fauvists and cubists, German
expressionists. The artists of the group (“bubnovovaleletstsy”) broke with the traditions
of realistic painting and acted with formalist positions against the ideological nature
of art. Among its founders and the most prominent artists were Petr Konchalovsky, Ilya
Mashkov, Mikhail Larionov, Aristarkh Lentulov. The name itself was allegedly invented
by Larionov with reference to cards. Although the Jack of Diamonds had many other
meanings. For example, in French Valet de carreaux is a scoundrel. Prisoners wore the
clothes with the ace of diamonds sewed on them.
The edition includes paintings by Alexandra Exter, Robert Falk, Petr
Konchalovskii, Aleksandr Kuprin, Henri le Fauconnier, Fernand Léger, Aristarkh Lentulov,
Ivan Mahkov and Vasilii Rozhdestvenskii.
Worldcat locates copy at Getty Research Institute.
Price: $3,500.00Status: On Hold