May 10, 2012 - Sale 2278

Sale 2278 - Lot 56

Estimate: $ 15,000 - $ 20,000
GUSTAV G. KLUTSIS (1895-1944) RADIO-ORATOR / LENIN'S SPEECH (#2). Oil and pencil on canvas. 1922.
39 3/4x25 1/2 inches, 101x65 cm.
Condition A: minor staining in image. Framed. Double sided.
Born in Latvia, Klutsis studied at the influential Svomas/Vchutemas art school under Malevitch and Pevsner (1918-1922) and then went on to become a founding member of "October," a group of artists dedicated to serving the needs of the proletariat all over the USSR. Klutsis became the Soviet Union's most prolific photomontage virtuoso, designing emblematic posters to inspire the Communist cause throughout the twenties and thirties. For the fifth anniversary of the Russian Revolution, Klutsis began work on a design for street corner loudspeakers, kiosks that would broadcast Lenin's speeches to passersby. Some of his kiosk designs also included film screens, making them multi-media hubs. Each model he designed, with its different features, bears a conspicuous number, and Klutsis designed upwards of eight such kiosks. Only a very few were actually realized, and none were put into service. The majority of his kiosk designs are much smaller than this painted version, and are pencil-drawn. Paper mounted to the canvas verso has a chart showing turnover of food carts in canteens for children. A label from the City Museum, Department of Social and Communal Hygiene affixed to recto.