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Made in Russia: Unsung Icons of Soviet Designby Michael Idov
Synopses & Reviews
An irreverent survey of surprisingly enduring icons of Soviet design. This knowing survey presents some of the more populist but nonetheless enduring work in graphic and industrial design that was a product of the Soviet era--a period that remains politically sensitive and underexplored, yet whose influence on the objects and aesthetics of Russian daily life has been profound. Made in Russia celebrates fifty such masterpieces, ranging from pioneers of Soviet technology such as the Lada car, the Sputnik rocket, and the Lomo camera, to icons of quotidian culture such as the fishnet shopping bag, the beveled twelve-sided glass, a Cold War-inspired arcade game, and Misha the Olympic bear. After an introduction from editor Michael Idov and an essay on the place of design in Soviet culture by Gary Shteyngart, the objects are presented with a short accompanying essay from one of today's best-known Russian writers giving a brief history of its creation, and each is illustrated with black-and-white archival images. Three color sections throughout the book include additional images of a selection of the objects. Designed by the creator of The Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopedia series, the book is as much an intelligent reading book on forgotten aspects of Soviet culture as a tongue-in-cheek illustrated survey of an under-acknowledged but prolific period in Russian design and creativity.
Book News Annotation:
Idov, contributing editor at New York Magazine, presents this survey of communist Soviet design. Graphic and industrial design flourished during the Soviet era; from the satellite Sputnik to collapsible cups and net bags, mid-twentieth century Soviet design coupled functionality with sleek aesthetics. This book celebrates the design triumphs of the Soviet Era via essays by the likes of: Boris Kachka, Vitaly Komar, Gary Shteyngart, and Lara Vapnyar. Essays include visually stunning photographs of products and illustrations from the era, appealing to those with an interest in design and Soviet history. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
This irreverent survey celebrates the more populist and enduring work in graphic and industrial design that was a product of the Soviet era - a period that remain politically sensitive and under-explored, yet whose influence on the objects and aesthetics of Russian life and thought has been profound.
Made in Russia presents fifty such masterpieces, from pioneers of Soviet technology such as the Sputnik, the Buran snowmobile, and the LOMO camera to icons of quotidian culture such as the fishnet shopping bag, the beveled glass, a Cold War-inspired arcade game, and Misha the Olympic bear. Edited by the journalist and author Michael Idov - a Soviet product himself - and including essays from Boris Kachka, Vitaly Komar, Gary Shteyngart, and Lara Vapnyar, the collection explores the provenance of these objects in the forgotten Soviet culture and the unique climate for design from which they could only have emerged.
About the Author
Michael Idov is a contributing editor at New York Magazine and the author of the 2009 novel Ground Up, published in English as well as Idov's own Russian translation. His essays have appeared in numerous publications including GQ, The Wall Street Journal, and The New Republic. He lives in New York City.
Boris Kachka is a journalist and author whose writing has been published in New York Magazine, Condé Nast Traveler, and Russia! Magazine.
Vitaly Komar ia a conceptual artist and, together with Alexander Melamid, one of the founders of the Sots Art movement. His work has appeared at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and at the Venice Biennale.
Gary Shteyngart is the best-selling author of fiction including The Russian Debutante's Handbook, Absurdistan, and Super Sad True Love Story. His writing has also appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, and The New York Times.
Lara Vapnyar is the author of the novel Memoirs of a Muse and a collection of short stories, There Are Jews in My House. Her work has been published in The New Yorker and Harper's Magazine.
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