Vtoroy Voyenny Zayom 1943[Second Military Loan, 1943], a Boyevoi Karandash Serires Poster (no. 72 in the series) by by Ivan Astapov (1905-1982) and Valentin Kurdov (1905-1989, People’s Artist of the Russian Federation). LOSKh, Leningrad, 1943, 34 x 53 cm.
An interesting War Loan poster produced in besieged Leningrad by a pair of artists that usually specialized in satirical productions. The bottom caption reads, approximately, “Let my ruble become a bomb or an artillery shell hitting the German vermin.”
Ivan Astapov (1905-1982) studied art at the Saratov Art School and later in Moscow under D. Kardovsky. A well-respected realist painter and book illustrator, Astapov was one of the principals of the “Boyevoi Karandash“ during the war, and became the head of the “Boyevoi Karandash“ art council after this artist collective was re-established in 1956.
Valentin Kurdov was a graduate of Perm Art School, where he studied under V. Ikonnikov (see notes to lot 4). He continued his art education in Leningrad VKHUTEIN where he worked under under Malevich, and at some point took lessons from Filonov. These encounters with the avant-garde had little effect on his style (at least, on the style of his officially exhibited works), and he went on to a successful career as a Realist artist, and book illustrator. Kurdov’s work as a satirical posterist is largely tied to Boyevoi Karandash. During the war he also produced a well-received series of wartime lithographs (Po Dorogam Voiny [War Roads], 1942-1944).