Jun 18, 2020 - Sale 2538

Sale 2538 - Lot 34

Estimate: $ 4,000 - $ 6,000
ALEXANDER RODCHENKO (1891-1956) & VAVARA STEPANOVA (1894-1958) [USSR IN CONSTRUCTION / MAYAKOVSKY / "BANIA."] Uncut proof before letters for magazine cover. Circa 1940.
23 1/2x17 1/4 inches, 60x43 3/4 cm.
Condition A-: discoloration along left edge, tape staining and adhesive residue on verso. Paper.
USSR in Construction was a magazine published between 1930 and 1941, initially intended to focus on the construction taking place with the Soviet Union. An amalgam of avant garde photography and layouts, the publication is considered "one of the most beautifully produced magazines of the twentieth century" (Photobook p. 148). For the 7th issue of 1940, the magazine composed a tribute to Vladimir Mayakovsky, who had taken his own life ten years prior. The issue was designed by Rodchenko and his wife. This cover image features a photograph of Mayakovsky reading from his play, Bania (The Bathhouse) in 1929, with a border of images taken from separate Rosta windows. As the magazine was printed in Russian, German, English, French and Spanish, this uncut proof would have been removed from the presses prior to the printing (in any language) of the cover text. On the verso, there is a black and gray proof of the completed image.