Barry Friedman Ltd, NY, label on back of frame; exhibition label in German on back of frame
Lissitzky spent much of the 1920s and 30s working on international exhibitions to promote Stalin's Russia abroad - most notably the Pressa exhibition in Cologne in 1928 and the Film and Photography (FiFo) exhibition in Stuttgart in 1929. He designed installations and displays as well as advertising material and publications, much of which was in his trademark photomontage and constructivist style. It seems that his only involvement with the Russian exhibition of book and graphic design, theatre and photography in Zurich in 1929 was this advertising poster.
The poster contains a striking photograph of two joyful Russian youths, one male and one female, who have been partially merged so that they share a central eye (the original silverprint is now in the Staatliche Galerie Moritzburg Halle). The lower half of the image derives from Lissitzky's exhibition stands from the Polygraphic Exhibition held in Moscow in 1928.
A rare state of this poster, without the secondary red printing, which coloured in the letters of "USSR" and "Austellung" and the column on the left hand side; the only feature that does not appear without the red printing is Lissitzky's logo in the bottom left hand corner (a white "el" should be left blank by the red printing, between the black printed "Lis" and "sitzky", and in some copies the imprint "Gebr. Fretz AG Zürch" also appears). We have not been able to trace another copy in this proof state.
Condition is described in the main body of the cataloguing, where appropriate "In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."