Type@Cooper - The Graphic Life of Letters in Russian Avant-Garde Book Design

The Graphic Life of Letters in Russian Avant-Garde Book Design


with Jared Ash




Mon., Mar. 28 – Mon., Mar. 28, 2016
6:30PM – 8:30PM
location: Rose Auditorium

From 1910 through the 1930s, “the book” played a consistently fertile medium for innovation and experimentation among artists of the Russian avant-garde. While constructivist theories and works by El Lissitzky, Alexander Rodchenko, and Il’ia Zdanevich (Iliazd) are generally familiar to type historians, students, and designers, less well known are the neo-primitivist and cubo-futurist publications of the early 1910s that influenced them.
Though the text of these earlier editions is written primarily in manuscript and reproduced through lithography, this talk will highlight specific practices and design elements in them that not only appear later in constructivist typography, but epitomize it. In addition to the afore-listed artist-designers, we also will look at Aleksei Kruchenykh, Vasily Kamensky, Pavel Filonov, Natalia Goncharova, Mikhail Larionov, and Olga Rozanova, all of whom strove to re-endow the printed word with the same vibrancy and vitality found in ancient texts, sacred manuscripts, painted signboards, and other forms of visually expressive text.






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Lecturer: Jared Ash

The Graphic Life of Letters in Russian Avant-Garde Book Design
Jared Ash is Special Collections Librarian at the Thomas J. Watson Library, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, where his primary responsibilities are developing and cataloging Watson’s collections of Russian, Slavic, and rare materials.
From 2006 to 2012, Jared was Curator and Librarian of Special Collections at the Newark Public Library (Newark, NJ), where he curated a number of exhibitions drawn from Newark’s rich collections of artists’ books, illustrated books, fine prints, photographs, and fine printing.
As Curator of the Judith Rothschild Foundation from 1997 to 2002, Jared developed and cataloged a collection of more than 1,200 Russian avant-garde books, periodicals, and works on paper that was donated to the Museum of Modern Art in 2001; he collaborated with MoMA’s Department of Prints and Illustrated Books on the 2002 exhibition, The Russian Avant-Garde Book 1910-1934, and contributed an essay, chapter introductions and more to the accompanying catalog. In addition to the MoMA catalog, Jared also has contributed essays on the Russian avant-garde and book design to publications for the Art Institute of Chicago and the library of the Van Abbemuseum, The Education of a Typographer (edited by Steven Heller), and the journals, Central Booking and Art Documentation.
Jared holds degrees in Russian Studies from Brown University and New York University, and a Master’s in Library and Information Science from Rutgers University.




Venue