Paper $28.00 ISBN: 9780745337364 Published November 2017 For Sale in All Americas and the Caribbean except Canada
Cloth $99.00 ISBN: 9780745399454 Published November 2017 For Sale in All Americas and the Caribbean except Canada

Art and Production

Boris Arvatov

Art and Production

Boris Arvatov

Distributed for Pluto Press

Edited by John Roberts and Alexei Penzin
192 pages | 6 x 9
Paper $28.00 ISBN: 9780745337364 Published November 2017 For Sale in All Americas and the Caribbean except Canada
Cloth $99.00 ISBN: 9780745399454 Published November 2017 For Sale in All Americas and the Caribbean except Canada

Now nearly a century since it was first published in 1926, Boris Arvatov’s Art and Production remains a classic text of the early Soviet avant-garde. This is the first English edition of this influential work—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, Arvatov’s writing played a major role in the split that occurred in the constructivist movement of the early 1920s—Productivism. Arvatov acknowledges the problems of a factory-based Productivism, and he presents a new role and function for art outside the conventional studio and traditional gallery setting. Dealing with issues such as artistic versus productive labor, the artist as technician, the multidisciplinarity of art, and the struggles of finding new relevance amidst the contemporary participatory art trend, Art and Production offers a timely and compelling manifesto for contemporary debates on art and politics.
 

Contents
Acknowledgements
Introduction Art and ‘Life-building’: The legacy of Boris Arvatov, by John Roberts
1 Capitalism and the Artistic Industry
The Form of the Artistic Industry
Art and Craft
The Art of Commodity Capitalism
The Artistic Manufactures of Monarchistic Absolutism
Applied Art in the Age of Machine Capitalism
Technical Intelligentsia and the Birth of New Forms
Architecture
 
2 Easel Art
The Origins of Easelism
The Degradation of Sculpture
Painting
Flight from the Easel
Constructivism
 
3 Art and Production in the History of the Workers’ Movement
Petty Bourgeois Utopianism
Art and the October Revolution
Productionist Art and LEF
 
4 Art in the System of Proletarian Culture
Methodology
Technique
Collaboration in Art
Ideology of Artists
Art and Everyday Life
Depictiveness in Art
 
Afterword The ‘Electrification of Art’: Boris Arvatov’s Programme for Communist Life, by Alexei Penzin
Index
 
Review Quotes
Craig Brandist, University of Sheffield
“The appearance of an English translation of Arvatov's 1926 book Art and Production, one of the key statements of Soviet contructivism, is long overdue and will be welcomed by all those interested in the relationship between art, politics and social change. Sandwiched between John Roberts's engaging and informative introduction and Alexei Penzin's erudite and stimulating afterword, Arvatov's text reveals the profundity of early Soviet engagements with the transformations of the role of art and of the artist in conditions of revolutionary change and industrial development. The text is much more than a historical curiosity, however, for it explores some of the questions we are still grappling with, such as the relation between cultural production and mass communication, fine and applied arts and the capacity of art to act as a base for the revolutionising of social consciousness. The appearance of this text both in its original Russian, and in subsequent translations, has inspired many new engagements that have renewed consideration of the central questions of artistic production. There is little doubt that its appearance in English in the centenary year of the Russian Revolution will once again arouse considerable interest and inspire new work on the subject.”
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