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on 14 November 2013
This is an amazing collection of Early Soviet children's book illustrations in the very few years of Bolshevism (1920-1935)when a new society was to be built from scratch. It was a time which was marked by great optimism and idealism and a time when artists wanted to be part of this great new ideology.

Chukovsky set up a publishers called 'Raduga' (rainbow) and he and Marshak attracted prominent avant-garde writers, artists and designers to 'Raduga', including pioneers of constructivism, suprematism and futurism. The group included the poet Osip Mandelstam, the constructivist playwright Sergei Tretyakov, Vladimir Mayakovsky and Daniil Kharms.

Artists and writers were charged with producing a children's literature based on the real world: workers, industry, technology, transport, food, everyday objects, animals and buildings and they did this with an exuberant inventiveness and lyricism. Philosophy, pragmatism, good citizenship and science are conveyed with such beauty and are so aesthetically pleasing that it is amazing to think that in a story about electricity: M Makhalov's photomontaged illustrations in 'The Journey Inside the Electric Lamp', could be so cinematic and filled with such high drama and adventure. Many of the illustrations use spare, bold geometric shapes with the muted primary colours of constructivism and these dance alongside stories and rhymes about Soviet Life. The printing technology and palette of colours is very specific to the way that the images are constructed. This is a fantastic source book, a book that I will return to for inspiration again and again and one that any one interested in illustration, printmaking, graphics or typography should read.
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on 5 December 2013
This book is a fascinating insight into the cultural problems and joys expereinced in Russia between the two great wars. Whether you are a historian, someone who enjoys children's literature, a sociologist or a lover of art there is much to read and see in this book.
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on 31 December 2013
The topic is amazing. It represents an important stage in the evolution of the Russian avantgarde, which involves a shift of interest from painting to applied art. Both forewords do not elaborate on this. Instead they substitute art analysis with the predictable political one, a sort of mirror reflection of Socialist Realism.
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on 6 April 2014
Love the book the illustrations and the story behind it. constructivist art at its very best and in such a lovely book
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on 18 February 2016
Beautiful book. Lovely to hold and read.
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on 24 February 2016
Fantastic!
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