Okno Uztag No.9 [Uzbek Telegraph Agency Window Display Poster No.9], an Uzbek-language poster by Vladimir Rozhdestvensky (1897 -1949, Meritorious Art Worker of the Uzbek SSSR). Tashkent, 1941, 84 x 61 cm.
This large-sized unsigned stenciled poster is a last minute arrival, and we did not have time to obtain a translation of the title. Our attempt to use Google machine translation failed miserably, but we did find an on-line reference ascribing this poster to Rozhdestvensky. We are also fairly sure that the poster dates to the early days of the war, because Tashkent artists seemed to be exceptionally productive — a 1942 UZTAG Window poster illustrated in the (Russian-language) online article “Visual Arts in Uzbekistan during the Great Patriotic War” bears the serial number 262! The same article contains a long list of artists involved in UZTAG posters production, Rozhdestvensky among them. It also mentions the names of M. Reich, and V. Kaidalov, stating that both were later drafted into the military service; these two names have caught our attention as we had a chance to offer their works in our previous sales. Vladimir Kaidalov’s poster published by a different Agit-Okno operation later in the war is offered in this Sale as lot 22.
By the start of the war, Rozhdestvensky was considered Uzbekistan’s leading graphic artist. It is our impression that the artist, who received no formal art education, came to Central Asia with the Red Army at the end of the Civil War, and stayed there after demobilization. He found work as a newspaper artist, and eventually became the chief artist of a Tashkent satirical magazine Muktum, a position that he held for many years. Aside from working for satirical magazines and producing posters, Rozhdestvensky also illutrated books and regularly exhibited his easel graphics and paintings. Remarkably, the artist had lost his right arm at some point in his career, and had to learn to work with his left arm.