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Distributed for Tenov Books


 Translated and with an Introduction by Christina Lodder

Published in 1922 in Russian, Aleksei Gan’s Constructivism was the first theoretical treatise of postrevolutionary Russia’s emergent Constructivist movement. Fired with revolutionary zeal, it was unquestionably a declaration of war on traditional bourgeois art.

Constructivism recasts artists and architects as Constructors, turning away from aesthetic or speculative problems in art and instead focusing on the fusion of art with everyday life in order to create a functional system of design, one in keeping with the great task of building the new communist society. This edition replicates Gan’s original layout, which was one of the first experiments in Constructivist typography and graphic design, and it also presents a substantial introductory essay by art historian Christina Lodder that examines Gan’s own odd, mercurial character and the tracks he left across avant-garde Russian graphics, architecture, film, and theater.

Nearly a century later, Constructivism remains a powerful manifesto, and this new translation will help scholars trace its enduring influence on twentieth-century art and design.

178 pages | 12 color plates, 28 halftones | 6 x 8 | © 2014

Art: Art Criticism

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“Lodder’s translation of the first major manifesto of Soviet Constructivism is a milestone in understanding just exactly what was happening among these small groups of expainters, ex-sculptors, ex-poets, designers, directors and architects.”

Owen Hatherley | Radical Philosophy

"The definitive edition of Gan’s text."

Burlington Magazine

"Pays long-overdue respect to this important experiment in graphic design."

Russian Art and Culture

"Extraordinary. . . . The volume combines the aesthetic qualities of a historical artefact with the academic overview of Ms Lodder’s informative introduction."

Russia Beyond the Headlines

“Lodder’s knowledge of Gan’s career and reputation, her mastery of the complex historical and theoretical debates of the time, and her ability to analyse diverse cultural positions in an integrated manner is impressive. In her account of Gan’s career, Lodder interweaves discussion of both contemporary theory and art-historical debates of the 1920s with close reading of a wide range of primary sources. This volume is an important contribution to the growing literature on Russian Constructivism, and will become essential reading for scholars and students of Russian cultural history and politics of the twentieth century.”

Slavonic and East European Review

“Lodder’s English translation . . . represents a long-awaited resource for scholars of Soviet visual, cultural, and political history, as well as an invaluable text for the neophytes.”

Russian Review

“An intensely valuable book.”

Slavic Review

Table of Contents

Aleksei Gan: A Pivotal Figure in Russian Constructivism
Christina Lodder
Revolutionary Theatre
Forging Links with Avant-Garde Artists
The Working Group of Constructivists
Constructivism 1922
Extending Constructivism: Kino-Fot
Constructivism and Architecture: Sovremennaya arkhitektura – SA
The Theory and Practice of Constructivist Typography
Gan as an Industrial Designer
Gan and Constructivist Media
Keeping the Constructivist Flame Alive
Notes on the Introduction
List of Illustrations
Aleksei Gan
Revolutionary Marxist thought in words, but chronic incapacity in action.
Art is the product of the social life of “crippled” generations.
Concrete social phenomena are the products of practical human activity.
It is essential to understand what the new ideology is in reality.
From the speculative activity of art to socially meaningful artistic work.
Tectonics Faktura Construction.
Our constructivism is fighting for the intellectual and material production of communist colture!
Constructivism in the West.
Notes on the Translation

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