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- This World War I propaganda poster, by Kazimir Malevich in collaboration with Vladimir Mayakovsky, depicts a Russian peasant and the German Army he is portrayed as having defeated. The oversized peasant on the left panel is greeting the German emperor, who moves towards him with his army of cheerful soldiers, confident of victory. On the right side, the peasant walks away after having crushed the enemy. With his army destroyed, the emperor is dismayed. The verse by Mayakovsky below the images reads: “A sausage maker came to Lodz. We said to him ‘Welcome, sir!’ Then from Radom, which is next to Lodz, he left with a bruised bottom.” The poster refers to the 1914 Battle of Lódź (present-day Poland). In the early stages of the war, a number of Russian avant-garde artists, including Malevich, Mayakovsky, and Aristarkh Lentulov, formed the group Segodnyashnii Lubok (Today’s lubok), which produced satirical anti-German and anti-Austrian posters and postcards to support the Russian war effort. The name originated from the traditional Russian folk prints, lubok, which combined simple pictures and narratives from popular tales. These artists adapted the style of lubok to their posters, making them readily accessible to the masses and effective as a way of strengthening national morale. The Ukrainian-born Malevich studied art in Kiev and Moscow. He experimented with realism, impressionism, and cubism before turning to what he called “suprematism,” which focused on pure geometric forms and color. Malevich explained his theory of suprematism in essays and applied it to visual works, notably the stage sets he created for Mystery Bouffe, a 1918 play by Mayakovsky. Following the Russian Revolution of 1917, Malevich held important administrative and teaching positions, but he came under attack after the Soviet government condemned modernist and abstract art as decadent and bourgeois. His works were largely forgotten for a time, but he is now recognized as one of the major artists of the 20th century.
Author in quotations or text extracts
Segodnyashnii Lubok, Moscow
Title in Original Language
Подошел колбасник к Лодзи. Мы сказали: «Пан добродзи!..»
Type of Item
- 1 chromolithographic print