Ukrainian Avant-Garde - Children's Books

Pryntsypy iliustruvannia dytiachoi knyzhky [The principles of illustrating children's books].

Kyiv: Vydavnytstvo "Kul'tura", 1929. Octavo (18.7 × 14 cm). Original pictorial wrappers; 66, [2] pp. and twelve leaves of plates. About very good; partially uncut and unopened; light soil to edge of front wrapper; text beginning to separate between pp. 32 and 33; private inventory number to rear wrapper.

Interesting contribution to the theory and practice of Ukrainian children’s book design in the avant-garde spirit. While illustrators in Kharkiv and Odessa were largely under the influence of the Jewish Kultur-Lige movement of the previous decade, in Kiev a more radical and avant-gardistic approach emerged, more closely allied in spirit with the "Soviet Bauhaus," the VKhUTEMAS art school in Moscow and its most famous graduates and faculty, which included such leading lights of the Russian avant-garde as Liubov Popova, Aleksandra Ekster, Aleksandr Rodchenko, and Kazimir Malevich.

The author of the present work, Borys Stepanovych Butnik-Sivers'kyi (1901-1983), had graduated from Chernigov Art Academy and became a researcher in the field of children's art and art education. He formed the Office for the Study of Children's Art at the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences and also taught courses on new revolutionary art and art pedagogy. Butnik-Sivers'kyi sought to do away with naturalistic and realistic illustrations, and provides a system of ensuring coherence between the "acoustic" and the "optical" aspect of the book that makes use of innovative color schemes, flatness of shapes, simplicity of forms, the partial incorporation of child-like drawings and contours, and expressive rhythms. Inspired by the folk tradition of Ukraine, his work with young children, and the avant-garde design of Soviet posters and book design, he developed the first truly Soviet and revolutionary approach to illustrating children's books, which would prove influential for an entire generation of artists in Kiev and beyond.

With a six-page summary in German. One of 2000 copies printed.

Rare; as of August 2021, not found in KVK, OCLC.

Book ID: 51471