Iliazd and the Modern Art of the Book

Johanna Drucker
February 06, 2010
Scripps College Humanities Auditorium

Ilia Zdanevich, aka Iliazd, began his artistic career in the vital world of the pre-Revolutionary Russian avant-garde in the 1910s.The typographically expressive works he made between 1917 and 1923 laid the foundation for his later productions in Paris, where he became one of the foremost producers of livres d’artistes under the imprint 41 Degrees. During his long career, Iliazd worked with many of the most distinguished artists of his generation — Picasso, Ernst, Miro — among others. But Iliazd’s own contributions to the works he produced provide lessons about the design of books as modern works of art. This lecture examines Iliazd’s work from the point of view of its charasteristically modern aesthetic, stressing the legacy of his vision and the many dimensions of his varied output.

Johanna Drucker is the inaugural Martin and Bernard Breslauer Professor of Bibliographical Studies in UCLA’s Department of Information Studies. She has written and lectured widely on topics related to the history of the book, with special emphasis on artists’ books, typography, experimental poetry, and contemporary art. She is the author of eight published volumes of scholarly writing, including The Visible Word: Experimental Typography and Modern Art 1909-1923, which contains a section on Iliazd. Her most recent titles include Graphic Design History: A Critical Guide (with Emily McVarish), Sweet Dreams: Contemporary Art and Complicity, and SpecLab: Digital Aesthetics and Speculative Computing. In addition to her scholarly work, Drucker is known as a book artist and writer whose works often make use of experimental typography.

Please note that Frederic W. Goudy Lectures are free and open to the public.

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