- Susan Compton
Russian Avant-Garde Books: 1917-34
MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1993, Hardcover, , 1st American Edition, Fine /Fine
1–175 pp. Quarto [10 x 7¾ inches], about 100 illustrations including 16 color plates on unnumbered pages, frontis, DJ, and endpapers. Blue cloth with gilt lettering, decorative endpapers, Fine book in Fine DJ. Contents: Preface; 1. The 1920s and 1930s: an introduction; 2. Writers and Designers: new partnerships; 3. Medium and Message: design, technique and content; 4. Theatre: a revolution in design; 5. Utopian Ideas in Art and Architecture; Notes; Select bibliography; index of illustrations; and index. "Of all Soviet plays which Meyerhold produced The Bed Bug [Klop, here shown] has been revived most often. The plot, which was based on a filmscript written by Mayakovsky in 1927, required two styles of design. The first, for scenes set in the present, was carried out by the young cartoonists, . . . who chose most of the costumes and props from what was on sale in Moscow shops. The second, for an imaginary future world, was carried out by Rodchenko in what today would be called a 'science fiction' manner. The hero, a lapsed party-member named Prisypkin, disappeared in a fire which broke out during his drunken wedding orgy; his corpse was frozen and brought back to life by a future generation living 'ten Five Year Plans' hence."