Natan Altman

(1889 - 1970)


Mikhail Kuzmin



Berlin: Petropolis, 1923

202 x 136 mm. 120 pages.

Edition: unknown.






Krylia, Seti and Glinianye golubki are three books by Mikhail Kuzmin with covers by Altman. Kuzmin (1872-1936) studied music and composition under Rimsky-Korsakov but after 1905 concentrated on literature. After the revolution he stayed in Petrograd but was not politically invoved. His works were prose as in Wings, but also poetry as in Nets. Kuzmin wrote about Roman culture, French baroque and Mozartís music. His poetry was filled with homo-erotic colouration and therefore unacceptable to the soviet authorities. After 1924 Kuzminís work was no longer published and he was obliged to work mainly as a translator. The covers that Altman designed for three of Kuzminís last publications have the same constructivist design. Letters and lines are combined into constructions that are totally abstract and without any figurative element. The wings of the Pigeons are formed  out of the title while the body is made out of the authorís name (left book). The title of Wings is represented by a half circular white construction attached to a diagonally placed linear structure and the Nets do not catch the letter of the title on the third cover. Three covers with similar artistic concepts demonstrate Altmanís ability to construct a suggestive art with simple means. Fourth edition of the book but first with a cover by Altman.


Kilgour 1977, nr 612

Krichevskii, nr. 71

Lang 1990, p. 155

Snopkov 2005, p. 140