URSS en Construction. Year 14 Number 5. Editions d'Etat des Beaux-Arts, Moscow, 1931. 40 pp. Folio (41.5 x 30 cm.). Original wrappers. Staple bound. Stunning color and black-and-white reproductions.
Vladimir Ilich Lenin; albom fotografii. Credited to A. Petrov and M. Grebennikov. Produced by the Institut marksizma-leninizma. Gos. Izd-vo Izobryetatelnogo Iskusetva, Moscow, 1960. First edition. Unpaged. Quarto (11.25 in./29 cm.). Hardbound. 104 black-and-white reproductions.
Very Good-; boards slightly bowed; some rippling to spine; small damp stain lower edge; inscription in German to front endpaper.
Lenin's personality cult persisted long after his death in 1924. This retrospective photo-biography, produced in 1960, is a model of hagiography. It shows Lenin in a whole host of roles--scholar, revolutionary, man-of-the-people, statesman, etc... beginning as far back as his childhood in the 19th century and moving. It is, not incidentally, an amazing catalog of portrait styles. But, despite their variety, they remain, at the level of psychological insight, eerily opaque.
This seminal propaganda monthly was published under the Stalinist regime, initially from 1930 until 1941 in Russian, French, German, English and briefly in Spanish. Following the Nazi invasion, the magazine folded and was not revived until 1949. The point of the publication was to demonstrate to Westerners the thriving construction the nation was allegedly undergoing at the time and to give the impression of the country was a world-class industrial powerhouse. When it reappeared in 1949, after WWII, the monthly was dedicated to the rebuilding of the Soviet Union. This issue is devoted to metallurgy with photo-montages by B. Ender.
From Parr & Badger:
"From 1930-1940 URSS en Construction employed the best Soviet photo-journalists and graphic designers. Amongst the photographers were Max Alpert, Arkadi Shaikhet, Georgi Zeima, Boris Ignatovich, Semen Fridland and Georgi Shaikhet. Designers included Nikolai Troshin, El Lissitzky, Sophie Kueppers, Aleksandr Rodchenko and Varvara Stepanova. All the visual strategies of the propaganda photobooks, designed by Lissitzky, Rodchenko and others -- the elaborate photomontages, innovative photography, fold-out pages, transparent overlays and so on -- were developed in URSS en Construction, one of the most beautifully produced magazines of the twentieth century." It was published in Russian, French, English and German. This is the French version.
Very Good; a fragile publication; chips near crown spine and upper corner.