Tagirov, Faik Shakhirdzanovich
Тагиров, Фаик Шахирджанович
Born 1906, Bol'shshie Achasyry, Kazan, Russian Empire; died, USSR, 1978
Faik Tagirov worked in printed material and publishing for over 60 years. During the mid-1920s, Tagirov worked in the Tatarstan literary scene with Adel’ Kutui and Qadi Nazmi, Kazan-based authors of the period. His interest in printed material led him to become a pioneer in the Soviet Union in the fields of typeface and book design. In the 1930s, when the Tatar alphabet was changed from Arabic to a Latin-derived script called Janalif (New Alphabet), Tagirov was at the forefront of the campaign for the change and he participated in the creation of posters for its promotion. From 1938 onward, he worked on propagating Cyrillic scripts from Uighur, Korean, Hindi and other languages. In contrast to his support of a Roman-based Tatar alphabet, his early design work used Tatar Arabic script. Although he was a Kazan-based artist, he spent the majority of his life in Moscow, due to studying at VKhUTEIN [Higher Art and Technical Institute] from 1925 to 1930, where he graduated.
In 1925, Tagirov worked in photomontage and was active in Soviet Agit-Prop movement of the 1920s. Photomontage and geometric forms are a hallmark of his style along with the illustration skills added by his artistic comrade, Alexandra Korobkova. The pair created, what Tagirov called, “a new ‘architecture of books’ ". He exhibited at the International Exhibition of Decorative Arts in Paris in 1925. By 1927, he and Korobkova were designing Tatar-language magazines and journals published in Moscow. Works by Tagirov and Korobkova were presented at the All-Union exhibition "Art of the Peoples of the USSR" in Moscow (1927). From 1930-1933, Tagirov taught theory and practice font design at the Moscow Polygraphic Institute's Department of Typed Fonts (ONSh) where he worked with designers to standardize the Cyrillic printed word.
Sources & Citations
D. A. Shmarinov, D. S. Bisti, et. al. Knizhnoe iskusstvo SSSR. T.2: Oformlenie, konstruirovanie, shrift. Moscow, Book Publishers, 1990, P. 125.
Faller, H. M. (2011). Nation, language, Islam: Tatarstan's sovereignty movement. Budapest: Central European University Press.
Maxim Edwards. Faik Tagirov, A Tatar Rodchenko. April 19, 2012, The Kazan Herald (online version)