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essay about authorbibliographyartist's influences
LEF
country
Russia
period
1915-1946
The journal LEF ( ”ЛЕФ”, Левый фронт искусств), was the bulletin of the Leftist art front – the alliance that gath-
ered a wide number of the avant-garde writers, photographers, critics and designers of the Soviet Union. he aim
of the journal, according to the manifest in one of its initial issues, was to reexamine the ideology and practice of
the so-called Leftist art. Also to renounce individualism by strengthening the importance of art for the develop-
ment of the communist society. he journal was published on two occasions – from 1923 until 1925 as LEF, and from
1927 until 1929 as New LEF (Novy LEF). he editors of LEF were Osip Brik, the Russian formalist critic and Vladimir
Mayakovsky, the famed poet and one of the authors included in the Manifest of Russian Futurists, published in 1912
under the name “A Slap To Public Taste”. he two were joined at Novy LEF with the associate editor Sergey Tretyakov,
the constructivist writer, playwright and one of the most published authors in the irst edition of the journal. he
celebrated layout of LEF was the work of the sculptor, photographer and graphic designer Alexander Rodcenko,
one of the founders of Constructivism. He based his designs on his own photomontage and, later, on photography
characterized by dynamic diagonal compositions dealing with the subject of motion and with reduced details. he
journal was inanced by Soviet state, and it pleaded the points of view of the Productivists –the leftist faction (of
Constructivism) that wanted to include art in everyday life. In 1924 the journal was, albeit critically, approved by
Lev Trotsky in his “Literature and Revolution”. he journal, among the rest, had published the poem of Mayakovsky
“Of his”; “he Montage of Attractions” by Sergey Eisenstein, and “he Red Cavalry” of Isaac Babel. Sergey Tretyakov
was arrested in Stalinist purges in 1937, accused of espionage and executed. Isaac Babel, despite considered one of
the greatest Soviet prose writers, was arrested in 1939, accused of revisionism, formalism, Trotskyism and espionage
on behalf of Andre Malraux. He was tortured and executed, his works removed and his name eradicated from all
historical records and registries. Babel was rehabilitated in the 50’s; Tretyakov in the 60’s.