Moscow: Publishing House of the RSFSR, 1932. First Issue of the English language edition. Softcover. Elephant Folio (16 1/2 x 11 3/4"). Unpaginated, 38pp. Original illustrated wrappers with red, black and white lettering on front cover, protected by modern mylar. With an introduction by P. Valliant-Couturier. Photo sketches by M. Alpert and A. Smolyan. Compositions and cover by N. Troshin.
"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.
Edited by Maxim Gorki, the magazine attracted renown artists like Alpert, Lissitzky, Stepanova, Rodchenko, among others to contribute to the magazine. This issue is devoted to Magetostroi, The Giant and the Builder, with photo sketches by M. Alpert and A. Smolyan. It illustrates the building of the iron and steels works in Magnitogorsk, in the Ural region of Russia, featuring the worker Victor Kalmykov and his rise from an illiterate manual laborer to brigade leader and constructor. In the process of his technical training he learns how to read and write and eventually is honored and awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor. Beautifully illustrated with rotogravures in green and brown of the area, the worker's settlement, the construction of the plant with spectacular photographs, and various leisure activities, including a number of photomontages. Wraps with light wear along edges, with small chip at upper right and some creasing at lower right corner of front cover. Slightly bumped at lower right corner of block. Minor water stain at lower right corner of first three leaves. Small water stain, 3 x 1/2", at center of lower edge of last eight leaves. Wraps in overall good+, interior in good+ to very good condition. g+ to vg. Item #44752