Moscow: GOSTEKHIZD, 1933. 87 pp.: ill. 17x12,5 cm. Original illustrated wrapper. Near fine.
Extremely rare. No copies according to the Worldcat.
The book includes the two theoretical works by Benenson and Murashov on the development and goals of the Soviet furniture industry and the chapter by N. Guchev. The chapter by N. Guchev describes the results of the contest, that was called collectively by 25 different organisations, including the all-Union committee for unification, central committee of wood and carpenter workers, Soyuzmebel and others. The content entered 149 projects, the examples of them are given in the chapter. The jury included engineers, urban planners, wood workers and one delegate from the Communist academy.
One of the most interesting parts of the book is the actual projects with illustrations provided (total of 57 images).
Despite the progressing attack on the formalist art in Soviet art the projects included the examples of constructivism and even Bauhaus-inspired designs. The same year Hans Meyer has created the famous Birobidzhan city plan, partly embodied in the Soviet Far East. However there is not much information about the influence of Bauhaus on Soviet furniture design of the 1930s. The projects however show that the anonymous designers have gained some inspiration from there.
The shortlist of laureate included the projects like ‘Cheiorniy kvadrat’ [i.e.’Black square’], ‘Na perehodnom etape’ [i.e. During the transmission period], ‘Zeleniy shum’ [i.e. Green noise]. Apart from the projects ‘The Black Square’ there’s also ‘Black and Red Square’ which alludes to Malevich. He was probably unaware of this projects, but the analogy is interesting. The bed ‘Black Square’ has a large headboards with black squares located on it in the chaotic order. One of the most surrealist projects is ‘The Green Noise’, in which the table has skyscraper like catalogue shelves from both sides of the chair, allowing the minimal space in between.
Overall, an interesting overview of the Soviet furniture that was never produced.