Mосква (Moscow): Государственное издательство изобрази, 1935. First edition. Softcover. Folio (16 1/2 x 11 3/4"). Unpaginated. Original illustrated wrappers, with red and black lettering on front cover.
"USSR in Construction" was a stunning photographic propaganda magazine published in the Soviet Union from 1930 to 1941, and briefly in 1949. It was published in Russian, French, English, German, with a Spanish-language edition added in 1938. The magazine's self-proclaimed aim was to “reflect in photography the whole scope and variety of the construction work now going on the USSR.” It was conceived and designed to be an important foreign relations tool and to portray a positive image of the developments occurring in the Soviet Union to the rest of the world. "USSR in Construction" informed readers abroad of the rapid construction and industrialization taking place within the Soviet Union and depicted the nation as a leading industrial power. From a design perspective, the magazine was a fascinating example of early 20th-century photomontage, with its recurrent use of inserts, and spectacular fold-out pages. The method of printing used for the printing was rotogravure, a type of intaglio printing process, in order to create extremely high quality duotone images (in blue, green, salmon, and olive). With this striking Russian-language issue of "USSR in Construction" dedicated to the "brave Soviet paratroopers," renown Soviet artist Aleksander Rodchenko* and his wife Varvara Stepanova introduced a circular design as the basis for their page layout, thus allowing them to accomodate a variety of scenes from the parachutists' everyday activities as well as Communist political messages. This issue is complete with the parachute fold-out, and the origami-folded centerfold depicting Stalin surrounded by half a circle, which in turn is superimposed over a triangle-shaped image of clouds with numerous parachutists floating down.
Discoloration and minor foxing along upper margin of covers. Moderate creasing along spine. Tiny closed tears along fore-edge of back cover, with previous owner's inscription (in Russian) on upper margin. Tip of corners slightly creased throughout (not affecting text or images). Text in Russian. Wrappers in overall fair, interior in good+ to very good, parachute fold-out and origami-folded centerfold in very good condition. f to vg. Item #39916
*Aleksander Mikhailovich Rodchenko (1891-1956) was a Russian artist, sculptor, photographer and graphic designer. He was one of the founders of constructivism and Russian design; he was married to the artist Varvara Stepanova. Rodchenko was one of the most versatile Constructivist and Productivist artists to emerge after the Russian Revolution. He worked as a painter and graphic designer before turning to photomontage and photography. His photography was socially engaged, formally innovative, and opposed to a painterly aesthetic. Concerned with the need for analytical-documentary photo series, he often shot his subjects from odd angles - usually high above or down below - to shock the viewer and to postpone recognition. He wrote: "One has to take several different shots of a subject, from different points of view and in different situations, as if one examined it in the round rather than looked through the same key-hole again and again." (From Wikipedia).