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Latvian Avant-Garde

Andreja Kurcija Dvēseles kabarejs: dzejas [Andrej Kurcij's soul cabaret: poems].

Riga: “Kulturas Balss” izdevums, 1921. Octavo (18 × 12.5 cm). Original pictorial wrappers by Niklāvs Strunke; 47, [1] pp. This copy curiously reproduced the front wrapper design to verso as well, likely a printer's error. Occasional light pencil marks; small stains to front wrapper; else very good.

First editon of this early book of poems by Latvian leftist writer, literary, and art critic Andrejs Kurcijs (1894-1959), who studied philosophy in Berlin in the early 1920s and later developed a theory of "active art" (Aktiva maksla) that combined European philosophy with cubism.

With a striking cover by Niklāvs Strunke (1894-1966), one of Latvia's most important artists of the avant-garde. A painter, graphic designer, and illustrator, Strunke studied at the Imperial Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia and trained with noted Russian artists such as Bilibin, Roerich, and Bakst. Beginning in the late 1910s, he helped implement Cubism in Latvian book and graphic design, as well as painting.

Not in Fraser, "Publishing and Book Design in Latvia 1919-1940."

As of December 2020, KVK and OCLC show two copies outside of Latvia (at Columbia and Bayerische Staatsbibliothek).

Book ID: 51156

Price: $750.00