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Zaumniki (Transrationalists)

(A. Rodchenko) A. Kruchenykh, G. Petnikov and V. Khlebnikov
Petrograd, 1922. Lino-cut cover and hand-printed letters designed by Rodchenko.

Contains a remarkable hand-done frontispiece collage by Rodchenko and Kruchenykh. Recognized primarily for its cover by Rodchenko, in which can be seen the earliest traces of the constructivist cover-style, this collection of futurist poems by Kruchenykh, Petnikov and Khlebnikov, offers more "transrational" works, and further attempts at deriving a word's meaning through the way the word sounds.

In his manuscript of 1921, "The Line," Rodchenko discusses the transition from impressionism and symbolism to a more linear-geometrical oriented style: constructivism. Since his earliest days as an artist, Rodchenko had always admired the absolutes of geometry and "the line," and ultimately refused to draw lines without a square and a compass. When Zaumniki appeared in the year after "The Line," the application of the constructivist theories set forth by Rodchenko in his own manuscript were quite clear on Zaumniki's cover. The lino-cut, hand-printed lettering on the cover uses a style which Rodchenko had created originally for titles for the films of Dziga Vertov. An extremely rare publication.
(Howard Schickler)

Photos thanks to Howard Schickler Fine Art, where you can find Russian books of this period.

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