Boris Arvatov: Art and Production (1926–) [Russian, English]

23 July 2020, dusan

Boris Arvatov‘s Art and Production is a classic of the early Soviet avant-garde. Now nearing a century since its first publication, it is a crucial intervention for those seeking to understand the social dynamic of art and revolution during the period.

Derived from the internal struggles of Soviet Constructivism, as it confronted the massive problems of cultural transformation after ‘War Communism’, Arvatov’s writing is a major force in the split that occurred in the revolutionary horizons of Constructivism in the early 1920s. Critical of early Constructivism’s social-aesthetic process of art’s transformation of daily life – epitomised in studio-based painting, photography and object making – Arvatov polemicises for the devolution of artistic skills directly into the relations of production and the factory.

Whilst acknowledging the problems of a pure factory-based Productivism, Arvatov remains overwhelmingly committed to a new role and function for art outside the conventional studio and traditional gallery. Addressing issues such as artistic labour and productive labour, the artist as technician, art and multidisciplinarity and a life for art beyond ‘art’ – finding new relevance amidst the extensive social turn of contemporary participatory art – Art and Production offers a timely and compelling manifesto.”

Publisher Proletkult, Moscow, 1926
132 pages

English edition
Edited by John Roberts and Alexei Penzin
Introduction by John Roberts
Afterword by Alexei Penzin
Translated by Shushan Avagyan
Publisher Pluto Press, London, 2017
ISBN 9780745337364, 0745337368
160 pages

Reviews: Celluloid Liberation Front (Brooklyn Rail, 2017), Noel Halifax (Socialist Review, 2018).

Publisher (EN)
WorldCat (EN)

Iskusstvo i proizvodstvo (Russian, 1926, 45 MB)
Art and Production (English, 2017, EPUB; PDF, added 2020-8-6)

Christina Lodder: Russian Constructivism (1983)

18 March 2020, dusan

“One of the most exciting movements in 20th century art, Russian constructivism radically reassessed the role of the artist and his work. Here, Lodder provides a detailed account of this complex movement and the reverberations it had on culture.”

Publisher Yale University Press, 1983
ISBN 0300027273, 9780300027273
viii+328 pages

Reviews: John E. Bowlt (New York Review of Books, 1984), John Willet (London Review of Books, 1984), Kirill Sokolov (Leonardo, 1984), John Pearson (Slavic Review, 1984), Paul Wood (Art History, 1985), Myroslava M. Mudrak (Art Bulletin, 1987).



David Elliott (ed.): Alexander Rodchenko (1979)

5 August 2016, dusan

The first English-language monograph on the constructivist and productivist artist and designer Alexander Rodchenko.

With essays by Alexander Lavrentiev, John Milner, Andrei Nakov, Szymon Bojko, Gail Harrison, Galina Chichagova, Zakhar Bykov, Hubertus Gassner, and historical writings by Rodchenko, Osip Brik, and Varvara Stepanova.

Published to coincide with the first retrospective exhibition of Rodchenko’s work shown at the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, 10 Feb 79 to 25 Mar 79; Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, 11 May 79 to 17 Jun 79; Musée d’art contemporain, Montréal, 26 Jul 79 to 2 Sep 79.

Edited and with an Introduction by David Elliott
Designed by David King
Publisher Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, 1979
ISBN 0905836138, 9780905836133
136 pages
via Bint Bint


PDF (10 MB)