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Maker(s):Stepanova, Varvara (attributed to)
Culture:Russian (1894-1958)
Title:May 12, '26 to Moni
Date Made:1926
Materials:Collage on paper
Measurements:Sheet: 12 7/8 x 8 in.; 32.7 x 20.3 cm
Accession Number:  AC 2001.81
Credit Line:Gift of Thomas P. Whitney (Class of 1937)
Museum Collection:  Mead Art Museum at Amherst College

a birthday memento to her friend, the artist Solomon Telingater

Label Text:
This collage is a birthday card for Solomon Telingater, who was himself a renowned collage artist. The text says “Mone”—a diminutive form of Solomon—“May 12, ’26.” The date refers to the Gregorian calendar, which was introduced in Russia only with the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. When Telingater was born, in 1903, his birthday would have been on April 29. The large red wrapper came from a kind of candy caramel of the brand Borzhom, referring to Telingater’s origin, the Republic of Georgia. The collaged text on the right border of the wrapper says: “The fly is our enemy. / Abortion as social evil. / The trial of the husband who beat his wife. / Sexual abstinence and onanism.”

In the collage Stepanova combines popular culture, political propaganda—the Cyrillic “B” in her monogram on the lower right recalls the font used in the Socialist Party newspaper Pravda—and Constructivism. The colors red, black, and white and the geometrical shapes reference this artistic movement, for which the artist strongly advocated.
BJ, 2014

symbolism; lines; red; collages; text

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