Explodity: Sound, Image, and Word in Russian Futurist Book Art

Explodity: Sound, Image, and Word in Russian Futurist Book Art

J Paul Getty Museum Pubns

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The artists’ books made in Russia between 1910 and 1915 are like no others. Unique in their fusion of the verbal, visual, and sonic, these books are meant to be read, looked at, and listened to. Painters and poets—including Natalia Goncharova, Velimir Khlebnikov, Mikhail Larionov, Kazimir Malevich, and Vladimir Mayakovsky— collaborated to fabricate hand-lithographed books, for which they invented a new language called zaum (a neologism meaning “beyond the mind”), distinctive in its emphasis on “sound as such” and its rejection of definite logical meaning.

At the heart of this volume are close analyses of two of the most significant and experimental futurist books: Mirskontsa (Worldbackwards) and Vzorval’ (Explodity). In addition, Nancy Perloff examines the profound differences between the Russian avant-garde and Western art movements, including futurism, and she uncovers a wide-ranging legacy in the midcentury global movement of sound and concrete poetry (the Brazilian Noigandres group, Ian Hamilton Finlay, and Henri Chopin), contemporary Western conceptual art, and the artist’s book.

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Nancy Perloff is the curator of modern & contemporary collections at the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles. She is the author or editor of many books, including Explodity: Sound, Image, and Word in Russian Futurist Book Art.

Pub Date: 2017
Format: Hardback
Pages: 208
Size: 8.75 x 8.75 inches


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