September 4, 2015


Spy Vibers might enjoy this recent release by PIE Books that serves up 320 pages of classic graphic design from Russia made between 1905-1922. Although strictly not a Cold War focus, Avant-Garde Graphics in Russia should appeal to readers interested in the history of design, political and avant-garde art, as well as Russian and Soviet design and iconography. From the press release at Bud's Art Books: The influential Russian avant-garde style is revealed as it rarely has been before, with 300 movie posters, propaganda posters, package design, book design, typography, and much more. Produced & imported from Japan, only the introduction is in English but this is mostly about the art, and it’s as wild as it is abundant here. From Buster Keaton films to industrial wonder, plains, trains, cars, bicycles... amazing work. It begins with roots in Fin de Si√©cle style that was widespread in England, France and Europe at the turn of the 19th century. An artist colony was established outside Moscow, and the Russian equivalent of William Morris & Co began to combine painting and art crafts with theatre and music. By 1910, French influences and Italian Futurist art began to have influences. And things really took off by 1915. The war isolated Russia from the west, and the abstraction in art got even more extreme than anywhere else, crystallized in Russian Avante-Garde. In 1917, the Russian Revolution brought even more acceleration to the movement. Change was everywhere, and political messages went out in the form of wild, abstract poster art. Collage, wild design, Futurism, all were in the melting pot of this unique art movement. By 1922, the revolutionary artists were out and realism reclaimed the artistic stage. The Avante-Garde was over. The roots of Art Deco start to appear here, but that would be a movement primarily in the U.S. and Europe, and looked down upon by the conservative new rulers in Russia. More info at Bud's Art Books and Amazon. Enjoy comrades! 

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