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Russian Art of the Avant-Garde

Theory and Criticism

John E. Bowlt

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A stimulating anthology of manifestos, articles and statements by the Russian avant-garde


During the first third of the 20th century, Russian art went through a series of dramatic changes, reflecting the political and social upheavals of the country and producing – for a brief, exciting period – a body of
avant-garde work whose influence would eventually be felt throughout the rest of the world. Eagerly breaking with the past and absorbing the innovations of Europe, a new generation of young artists developed
a host of fresh ideas and original styles, including Neo-primitivism, Rayonism, Suprematism and Constructivism.

John Bowlt has collected and translated manifestos, articles and declarations by the principal artists and critics of the era, including Kandinsky, Lissitsky, Malevich, Goncharova and Rodchenko, as well as many lesser-known but nonetheless key players. Illustrated with more than 100 rare photographs and facsimiles and supplemented by clear introductory essays, up-to-date biographical information, copious notes and extensive suggestions for further reading, this new edition remains the essential sourcebook for a clear understanding of the motivations and struggles that produced an extraordinary, seminal period in Russian art.

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'Extraordinary… Bowlt’s choice of texts is excellent… absolutely indispensable for our understanding of Russian art'

'Invaluable… a classic text for all students of Russian art'

'Vital and compelling'

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback

Edition Type: New Edition

Size: 21.0 x 15.0 cm

Extent: 414 pp

Illustrations: 105

Publication date: 16 February 2017

ISBN: 9780500293058

Contents List

Preface • 1. The Subjective Aesthetic: Symbolism and the Intuitive • 2. Neoprimitivism and Cubofuturism • 3. Nonobjective Art: Suprematist Statements, 1915; Statements from the Catalogue of the ‘Tenth State Exhibition: Nonobjective Creativity and Suprematism’, 1919 • 4. The Revolution and Art • 5. Constructivism and the Industrial Arts: Statements from the Catalogue of the ‘First Discussional Exhibition of Associations of Active Revolutionary Art’, 1924 • 6. Toward Socialist Realism • Contributions to the First All-Union Congress of Soviet Writers [Extracts], 1934

About the Author

John Bowlt is Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Southern California, and Director of its Institute of Modern Russian Culture.