Moscow: Khudozhestvennoe izdatel’skoe aktsionernoe o.vo. AKhR, 1930. Octavo (18 × 13 cm). Original decorative wrappers; 82,  pp. With twenty-five reproductions, including some full-page illustrations. Light soil to wrappers; edges of overlapping wrappers lightly frayed; spine restored. Still about very good. Item #6418
First edition. This concise text captures the transition in Soviet graphic arts from the period of the New Economic Policy (NEP), a brief period of legal private enterprise, to war communism, when all production was once again taken over by the state. The author discusses the ways in which design of book covers and illustration, postage stamps, bank notes, labels of consumer goods, packaging, etc. has developed and adjusted to the new demands of the Stalin era (1928-1930). The author, poet, and graphic artist Boris Sergeevich Zemenkov (1902-1963) was a one time member of Russian “expressionist” poets. In the Russian context, “expressionism” saw itself as a new synthesis of various avant-garde tendencies and wished to unite the work of “all fractions of Russian Futurism.” From 1919 to 1920 Zemenkov published mostly poetry and several brochures on or relating to expressionism. He was also friendly with poets such as Mayakovsky, Esenin and Aseev. In 1920 Zemenkov entered VKhUTEMAS, a hotbed of avant-garde experimentation. In the mid 1920s Zemenkov was a member of Bytie (Being) a group of VKhUTEMAS artists, which rejected the “excesses of the avant-garde.” In the early 1930s, he wrote a number of books on public art, ROSTA windows, the decoration of streets for public holidays as well as this text about the changes in graphic arts, illustrated with many contemporary examples. Among the illustrations are work by Vladimir Lebedev, B. Titov, Vl. Konashevich, B. Antonovskii, V. Kozlinskii, M. Dlugach, N. Al'tman, Vasyl' Kasian, Ivan Puni, and numerous others.
KVK and OCLC show print copies at Harvard, MoMA, Getty, The British Library, Amsterdam, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek and Staatsbibliothek Berlin.