Russian Avant-Garde Collection

1912-1930

Geographical area: Russia

Related collections: Italian Futurism

Related topics: The Typographical Renewal

Related exhibitions: The idea of ArtThe Avant-garde Applied (1890 – 1950)What Is an Artist Book?

If Paris was the hub of Futurism, which radiated from there throughout the whole of Europe, the place welcoming it with greatest enthusiasm, aside from Italy, was Tsarist Russia. There the literary tensions that had begun stirring against Symbolism facilitated rapid assimilation.

Cubo-Futurist poets and writers worked as nowhere else in close synergy, if not symbiosis, with avant-garde artists. Larionov, Natalia Goncharova, Olga Rozanova, Kazimir Malevich, and the Burliuk brothers (to name only the most famous) produced woodcuts, drawings, and even original works that were inserted into books, and the books themselves were often made by nontypographic techniques (lithograph or mimeograph) and then stapled or glued together. All these publications were bound by hand and produced in print runs that were very small, especially for a country as large as Russia.