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Latvian Avant-Garde

Karogu nemeers: dzejas [The flag of anxiety: poems].

Riga: Vaiņaga izdevums, 1922. Small octavo (17.8 × 13 cm). Original pictorial wrappers by Niklāvs Strunke; 111 pp. Signed and inscribed by the author to Viktor Eglītis. Light soil to rear wrapper; occasional underlining and annotations in pencil; still overall very good.

First edition of this first book of poems by Dzelzs (also Dzelzītis, 1892-1982), who was better known as a Latvian lawyer and politician for the Social Democratic Workers' Party. During the 1920s, he collaborated with Linards Laicens and published at least two other works of poetry and prose. After the war, he emigrated and eventually settled in the United States.

With a striking cover exemplifying the social component of Dzelzs' poetry, 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.

This copy is signed and inscribed by the author to Latvian writer and art critic Eglits (or Eglitis, 1877-1945), one of the foremost representatives of Latvian literary decadence and modernism. He grew up and was trained as an artist, first in Vitebsk, then at the Penza art school and later at M. Tenisheva's art workshop in St. Petersburg.

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

As of January 2021, KVK and OCLC only show the copy at Columbia outside Latvia.

Book ID: 51157

Price: $950.00