[Moscow]: Izd. A. Kruchenykh, 1912. Original lithographic postcards. Good condition. Item #250
Postcards of Russian Futurists published by Alexey Kruchenykh in 1912. Dimensions: Approx. 9 x 14 cm.
One of the key representatives of futurism in Russia was, without a doubt, Alexey Kruchenykh (1886-1968). He was the most radical poet of the Silver Age, the founder of the literary language Zaum* and a man of fanatical adherence to futurism. He gathered and rallied around him artists such as Natalia Goncharova*, Michael and Ivan Larionov*, Olga Rozanova* (his wife), and Vladimir Tatlin*. Together with these artists, Kruchenykh released the first lithographed books, which led to the popularity of the Russian avant-garde all over the world.
However, even before the first lithographed books in 1912, Kruchenykh published, with his own money, an amazing series of postcards. The postcards were designed by the futurist artists in the lithographic technique. He invited to this project the following well-known artists of the day: Goncharova, the Larionov brothers, Tatlin, Aleksandr Shevchenko, and Nikolai Rogovin. The lithographic technique was chosen deliberately because the lithographic pencil gave absolute freedom to the artists, who did not want to repeat their works, rather make different variations of them. The authors of these postcards created their paintings in the primitive style, changing their composition significantly.
The artists released thirty-five postcards in this series. Fourteen cards were created by M. Larionov, eleven by Goncharova, three by Tatlin, three by I. Larionov, three by Shevchenko, and one by Rogovin. Kruchenykh could not publish thousands of postcards because the series was not commercial and he paid out of his own pocket without any profit. In addition, the expense of producing these postcards was very high (special paper, double-sided printing, etc.) This may be why some postcards don’t contain any information on the reverse side about the author, the publisher, or even the title. Therefore, we can assume that their circulation was limited to about 300 copies. The rarity of most of the postcards is much greater than that of the well-known series Bauhaus*, since the rarest of them preserved fewer than 10 copies, and probably much less.
Silver Age - the second birth of Russian poetry, referring to the beginning of the XX century. Akhmatova, Mandelstam, Tsvetaeva, Yesenin, Mayakovsky, and other famous Russian poets in this period wrote his best creations.
Zaum – an abstruse language - a literary technique, which consists in the rejection of most of the elements of everyday language and replacing them with other elements, in analogy to conceptualize as language.
Bauhaus - an art school in Germany. In 1923 sixteen Bauhaus artists created postcard series illustrating the school’s art ideas. It was a part of the advertising campaign for their first exhibition. Vasily Kandinsky and Paul Klee were among other artists in this project.
Natalia Goncharova (1881-1962) – an innovator of painting, brilliant designer, painter, graphic artist. The great grand-niece of Pushkin's wife, Natalia Nikolaevna, nee Goncharova. She was known as ”Amazon of the avant-garde”
Michael Larionov (1881-1964) – a Russian painter, one of the founders of the Russian avant-garde.
Ivan Larionov (1884-1920) – a graphic artist. He was a younger brother of Mikhail Larionov. Worked in a Primitive style.
List of postcards:
1. Mikhail Larionov. Bread
2. Ivan Larionov. Landscape
3. Natalya Goncharova. Ice Breaking
4. Natalya Goncharova. Mowing.