Vorticist or Futurist Machine Age pen and ink drawing dated 1916. 21 x 26 inches. SOLD SOLD

machine age drawing.jpg

Compelling and powerful pencil, pen and ink drawing of an army on the march, dated 1916 in the style of the abstract artists of the First Machine Age. In England, they included artists such as David Bomberg, Edward Wadsworth, Christopher Nevinson, Wyndham Lewis, William Roberts and others. This work is thought to be of Polish or Russian origin. Perhaps someone in the circle of Mayakovski.

Curiously, beneath a block of ink located immediately above the inscribed date, there is additional writing which appears to have been covered over in deliberate concealment. On shining an incandescent light through the paper from the back one can clearly see an inscription in cyrillic.

A stamp is present on the reverse of the paper which may be a reverse R shape denoting the last letter of the Russian aplhabet, with the sound; "Ya".

Mayakovski was known to have worked on agitprop posters around this date and "signed" work by emphasising the "Ya" by having it as the highlighted letter where, for example a poem title containing the letter "YA" was written across his name at right angles, so that both the title and his name shared the YA at the intersection.

The hats are reminiscent of the Polish army "schkapkas".

This work is currently the subject of research.

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65.00 cm
52.00 cm