"Baginen", Literary Monthly – Kiev, 1919 – Illustrations by Joseph Tchaikov
Sold for: $550
Auction house commission: 23%
VAT: On commission only
Baginen, Chodesh Zshurnal, Ershter Buch [Dawn, Monthly, First Booklet], edited by A. Litvak [pseudonym of Khayim Yankl Helfand]. Kiev: Aleukrainishen literarishen komitet, idishe sektsye, June 1919. Yiddish.
Cover design, the title page illustration and additional illustrations throughout the issue, all by Joseph Tchaikov.
The issue contains passages of poetry and prose, plays, translations and critique by David Hofstein, Leib Kvitko, Sholem Asch, Israel Joshua Singer and others. Alongside Tchiakov's illustrations, the issue contains several pictures of works by Belgian painter and sculptor Constantin Meunier (1831-1905).
No other issues published (see: "Jewish Publications in the Soviet Union" [Hebrew], editor: C. Shmeruk. Jerusalem 1961. p. 341; item 3545).
125,  pp +  plates, 25 cm. Lacking back cover. Good-fair condition. Stains. The front cover and two leaves are detached. Tears to edges of several leaves. Stamp on title page. Stains, small tears and blemishes to front cover.
Joseph Moisevich Tchaikov (1888-1979; also spelled Chaikov) – a Jewish sculptor, graphic designer, painter and theoretician, born in Kiev.
Tchaikov studied in Paris during the years 1910-1914 and participated in the Parisian Salon d'Automne exhibition in 1913. After World War I, he was one of the founders of Kultur Lige in Kiev, taught sculpture and illustrated books – mostly children's books – and in the years after the revolution, also designed propaganda banners and posters. In 1921, the Melukhe-farlag publishing house in Kiev published his treatise "Sculpture" (see item 224), which is considered the first Yiddish book on sculpture and focuses on avant-garde in sculpture and the place of sculpture in Jewish art. During the years 1923-1930 he taught cubist sculpture inspired by Russian futurism in Moscow, at the Vkhutemas – Higher Art and Technical Studios (alongside Alexander Rodchenko and El Lissitzky) and was also appointed the head of the union of Russian sculptors.
During the next decades, Tchaikov continued to work in a variety of artistic styles and media, moving away from the style that characterized his early work. The booklets and books featured in this catalog, published between 1919 and 1923, all represent his part in Constructivism and the Russian avant-garde movement and document his early works of art as a cubo-futurist artist and sculptor. Tchaikov's illustrations and cover designs are influenced by the spirit of the times and historical events – the pogroms, wars and revolution (see, for example, items 227, 229, 231, 232); yet also show the spirit of innovation and hope. See for example, the figure depicted on the cover of the journal "Baginen" (Yiddish: "dawn", "awakening" or "beginning" – see item 225) which is blowing the Shofar on the backdrop of the rising sun, its body upright, muscular, pointing to the east and its face divided, combining old and new.