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Hungarian Avant-Garde

Dokumentum: művészeti és társadalmi beszámoló [Document: artistic and social reports], nos. 1-5 (all published).

Budapest, 1926-1927. Large octavos (24.5 × 17 cm). Original pictorial wrappers; 52, 40, 36, 36, and 36 pp. Illustrated from photographs throughout. Good to very good copies of these fragile publications, with light wear to wrappers. Two issues with pencil ownership annotation to cover (see below).

Complete run of the rare Hungarian avant-garde journal, published by Lajos Kassák as a follow-up to "Má" (which ceased in 1925), after his return to Hungary from abroad. In total, only five issued were published. It gave voice to an emerging generation of Hungarian surrealist writers, such as Andor Németh, Tibor Déry, and Gyula Illyés, and it was constructivist and cross-disciplinary in orientation. With contributions ranging across painting, architecture, design, and other genres, by Walter Benjamin, Moholy-Nagy, Picasso, Kazimir Malevich, Jan Tschichold, Béla Székely, Kalman Danziger, Robert Reiter.

"The multimedial aspects of Kassák's magazines are emphasized across all the chapters of Art in Action, especially in the final one, by Gábor Dobó, on the magazine Dokumentum, which was started after Kassák had returned to Budapest in 1926, and which ran for only five issues. Dobó describes the 'synthetic' approach of the publication as its commitment to include various types of subject matter from the sciences to the arts, as well as different media, from painting and photomontage to dance and stage design, architecture, and engineering. As with the rest of the book's authors, Dobó also emphasizes the internationalism in this magazine's references. Kassák's preoccupations in Dokumentum remain consistent with those of his later Vienna years, as is evident from the pages reproduced from this magazine, which in several cases either recycle the exact same image, or present other works by the same artists, from previous publications in which Kassák had a hand, such as MA and the Book of New Artists" (Meghan Forbes, review of Art in Action: Lajos Kassák's Avant-Garde Journals from A Tett to Dokumentum (1915-1927), accessed at https://artmargins.com/art-in-action-lajos-kassaks-avant-garde-journals/).
Two issues with the name Černík written to front wrapper, possibly indicating the set was in the possession of Czech critic and publisher Artuš Černík (1900-1953), a co-founder of the Devětsil group and a leading propagator of avant-garde tendencies in Czechoslovakia.

As of November 2020, KVK and OCLC appear to show only two complete holdings in North America.

Book ID: 51019

Price: $13,500.00