Friday, April 5, 2013

Russian Futurism in print: “Tango with Cows” (Tango s Korovami), 1914

cover page
pages 4 and 5
pages 6 and 7

David Burlyuk (American, born Ukraine, 1882–1967) and Vladimir Burlyuk (Ukrainian, 1887–1917)
Written by Vasily Kamensky (Russian, 1884–1961)

Tango with Cows (Tango s Korovami), 1914
A 36-page book with lithographs in black and letterpress in black on yellow wallpaper.
From the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago, Mary and Leigh Block Endowment Fund, 2009.238. We gratefully acknowledge the images are from the Community Associates of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Turning the Pages pilot project. 

The following brief but concise description of this piece is taken from the AIC website:
Tango with Cows is a supremely fine example of Russian Futurism in print. Subtitled “Ferro-Concrete Poems”, this collection was printed in letterpress on wallpaper samples, the sheets cut at a provocative angle so that the book’s quality as a visual object overwhelms the legibility of the verses it contains. An encounter between industrial production and personal creativity is compared as a meeting of ballrooms and farm pastures—with the poet merging the two in his guise as a freewheeling, bovine dancer.
This delightfully disconcerting piece is included in the AIC’s Department of Prints and Drawings Gallery Exhibition:
The Artist and the Poet, February 1–June 2, 2013, [has been] curated by Emily Vokt Ziemba, with Mark Pascale. The exhibition [was] designed by Kulapat Yantrasast, principal architect of Workshop Hakomori Yantrasast (wHY).

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