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Ukrainian Avant-Garde - Industrialization

Novi mashyny ta novobudovy promyslovosty USRR; Novye mashiny i novostroiki promyshlennosti USSR [New machines and new industrial buildings of the Ukrainian SSR].

Kharkiv: Narodnyi komisariiat lehkoi promyslovosty USRR, 1932. Oblong quarto (22 × 29.5 cm). Original string-bound embossed cloth over boards, with constructivist design; 104 unnumbered leaves of illustrations. In Ukrainian and Russian. Very good.

A richly-illustrated promotional album for the achievements of the first five-year plan in Ukraine, a period of rapid Soviet industrialization (1928-1932). The album includes photographs of massive Soviet construction projects such as the Dnieper Hydroelectric Station, plans for the Kharkov Turbine Factory (Turboatom), as well as factories of the Donbas region. A variety of newly designed vehicles including Ukrainian made airplanes, locomotives, motorcycles, tractors are also featured alongside consumer products such as cameras, gramophones, telephones and even a thermos. The introduction to the album announces the goal of showing the "accomplishments of the recent years" and quotes Lenin: "Look at the bourgeoisie. How well they know how to advertise what they need to advertise. Look at the way the enterprises which they consider "exemplary" are praised in millions of issues of their newspapers. Look at the way these "exemplary" bourgeois institutions become the objects of national pride." The authors of the introduction conclude: "Our machine factories and construction sites are the objects of authentic socialist pride of the proletariat." The album also features the only known full illustration of the first Ukrainian-produced truck, Ukraina-4. Two exemplars were produced in Kharkov in 1932, but were never launched into mass production, remaining the only items of their kind. The album appears to be unrecorded, despite being one of 5000 copies printed. Title page verso with Russian title.

The album is a remarkable example of the use of avant-garde principles of design and illustration across all spheres of publishing. The photographs are overlaid with light yellow color, with innovative typography -- all lower case -- hovering near the images. Remarkably, the colophon names everyone who was involved in the compilation, design, and printing of the album. The design itself was created by a student brigade under the leadership of H. M. Pustoviit, about whom very little is known, aside from his possible involvement with the Kiev Art Institute.

As of October 2021, not in the Russian State or National libraries, not in KVK, OCLC.

Book ID: 51607

Price: $2,750.00