VASILY VASILIEVICH KAMENSKY 1884-1961 ILLUSTRATION TO THE FERRO-CONCRETE POEM CONSTANTINOPLE signed in Cyrillic l.r. crayon on paper 20.5 by 28cm., 8 by 11in.
Painter, poet and one of the earliest Russian aviators, Vasily Kamensky was a central figure of the Russian avant-garde and a close friend of Mayakovsky, Khlebnikov and the Burliuk brothers. The present illustration is sold together with Constantinople, a composition from his landmark collection of Futurist poetry, Tango With Cows: Ferro-Concrete Poems (1913). Kamensky had been one of the first Russians to master flight, and his poems famously evoke birds-eye views of landscapes. "It is only when we recall Kamensky's experience as an aviator that "Constantinople" makes sense. The visually arresting, unreadable composition is a literal word-map depicting the city's architectural features, inhabitants, and urban neighbourhoods as experienced from overhead while looking down from an airplane." (S.W. Palmer, Dictatorship Of The Air, Cambridge University Press).