Synopses & Reviews
Between 1927 and 1933, as the new Soviet Union emerged and the Communist party struggled to transform an agrarian country into an industrialized state, a group of young artists pitched in by designing fabrics depicting tractors, smokestacks and symbols of collective modernity, cloth with which to mold its buyers into ideal Soviet citizens. Few of these designs ever saw mass production, and the experiment failed as propaganda--comrades clung to their traditional floral motifs--but it yielded bold and intriguing new designs. "Soviet Textiles: Designing the Modern Utopia" presents some 40 of them, and analyzes the political and artistic context in which they were made. Pamela Jill Kachurin identifies major themes and motifs, including industrialization, transportation, electrification, youth, agriculture and collectivization, and sports and hobbies, and analyzes the work both as propaganda and as graphic art, in this, the only English-language book to treat them from that perspective.