LEBEDEV, Vladimir Vasilievich (1891-1967). Azbuka [Alphabet].Leningrad: GIZ, 1925. 32 pp., folio (242 x 190 mm). Original decorated gray wrappers. Condition: wrappers slightly discolored with some thumbsoiling, intermittent light spotting internally; repairs to verso at fold, faint stamp to back wrapper. first and only printing of this famous constructivist abc book by the master of the modern picture book. Lebedev's wordless alphabet book of everyday objects and tools introduces the proletarian child to the brave new world of the Soviets. Preliminary drawings indicate that Lebedev conceived of the book in color, but he wisely decided on stark black and white for the final drawings. The result is a masterpiece of Constructivist construction. It is believed to be the first alphabet book that contains the modern Russian alphabet as it was modified after the Revolution. Pravda denounced Lebedev's "Formalist" children's books during the 1930s and he was forced to capitulate to the state-approved Socialist Realism. MoMA 601.
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