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The Museum of Avant-garde

Vladimir Mayakovsky

Russia (1893—1930)
Born in 1893 Mayakovsky moved to Moscow very young following his father death. He joined the Social Democratic Labour Party and spent few years in prison due his political activities. In 1910 he studied painting but he soon turned to poetry. He joined a group of futurist artists under the name of Hylaea and in 1912 he got his first poems published in the almanac A slap in the face of public taste. In these early years his work was marked by experimentation and he declared his negative attitude towards the Russian literature, he published A Cloud in Trousers and The Backbone Flute. In 1917 he witnessed closely the Bolshevik insurrections, which he welcomed with hope for change. He returned to Moscow to write political poems, while working in the Russian Telegraph Agency as a painter of posters and boards. In 1924 he composed an elegy on Lenin’s death. He started to travel in Europe, US, Mexico and Cuba. At personal level Mayakovsky suffered from repeated romantic frustrations and towards the end of 1920s he was also alienated by Russian Association of Proletarian Writers: he committed suicide in 1930.

The sun: a poem (Solntse: poema)

Illustrated book / 12.3 x 15.9 cm / Moscow, 1923

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A selection of poems with an afterword by the wordsmith: 1907–1914 (Izbornik stikhov s poslesloviem rechiaria. 1907–1914)

Illustrated book / 11 lithographs, lithographed text, and a halftone reproductive print / 13.7 x 19.9 cm / Saint Petersburg, 1915

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To the workers of Kursk

Cardboard, loose pages / Lithographs after collages / 34.5 x 49 cm / Moscow, 1924

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Le Surréalisme au service de la révolution

Journal / Letterpress / 20 x 28.5 cm / Paris, 1930-1933

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Sergeiu Eseninu

Book / Letterpress and photomontage illustrations / 13 x 17.5 cm / Tbilisi, 1926

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Kino-fot

Periodical / Letterpress / 21.9 x 28.9 cm / Saint Petersburg, 1922-1923

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For the voice (Dlia golosa)

Illustrated book / 75 letterpress illustrations / 13.3 x 18.8 cm / Moscow / Berlin, 1923 / © 2020 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

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LEF

Levyi Front Iskusstv / Journal / Letterpress / 14.4 x 21.5 cm / Moscow, 1923-1925

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Čtvrtletník skupiny Blok / Magazine / Letterpress / 15.8 x 23.8 cm / Prague, 1936-1939

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Good! An october poem (Khorosho! Oktiabr'skaia poema)

Book / Letterpress / 14.2 x 20.8 cm / Moscow / Leningrad, 1927 / © 2020 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

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The backbone flute (Fleita Pozvonochnik)

Book / 16.5 x 24 cm / Saint Petersburg, 1916

About this. To her and to me (Pro eto. Ei i mne)

Illustrated book / 15.3 x 23.2 cm / Moscow, 1923

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A conversation with a tax-collector about poetry (Razgovor s fininspektorom o poezii)

Book / Letterpress / 12.7 x 17.4 cm / Tbilisi, 1926