Constantin Alajalov

(1900 - 1987)


Modern Art

New York: Société Anonyme, 1926

264 x 190 mm. 124 pages

Edition: unknown.









After finishing work on the Sesqui-centennial exhibition, Dreier set out for Europe to assemble works for an even bigger event. She had made arrangements with the Brooklyn Museum for a landmark show of modern art to be opened in November 1926. With help from Duchamp (secretary of the Société Anonyme) and Kandinsky (vice president) and the support of the Sturm gallery in Berlin and gallery Bragaglia in Rome, she managed to assemble 300 works by 106 artists from 19 countries (including 41 works by 10 Russian artists). Dreier invited Alajalov to assist her in designing the book accompanying the exhibition. Inspired by Duchamp’s Some French Moderns says McBride (1922) and Lissitzky’s For the Voice (1923), Alajalov and Dreier choose a thumb index to organize the 106 artists in sections per country: from A for Austria to U for USA. In the tradition of Constructivism the only colour used for the book is red. The cover design shows a strong relation to the Russian cubo-futurist works of the 1910s. Dreier had purchased such works by Popova and Udaltsova for the Société Anonyme in 1922 at the 1st Russian Art Exhibition (see nr. 50). The diagonal emphasis of the lettering can be traced back to constructivist designs. Later, Alajalov drew caricatures for major American magazines.

 Reference: R. Herbert a.o. The Société Anonyme. New Haven, 1984, pp.7-11.