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Czech Avant-Garde – "Dynamoarchism"

Aktiv: sborník nového umleckého myšlení [Aktiv: an anthology of new artistic thought], no. 1 (all published).

Prague: Nakladatelství K. Synek, [1946]. Quarto (29.7 × 21 cm). Original pictorial wrappers; 39 pp. One photographic insert (a black-and-white photograph by Miroslav Hák). Front wrapper with paper loss along upper margin; else about very good.

Rare first and only issue of this curious post-war Czech almanach, which sought to establish the “dynamoarchist” tendency in the contemporary visual arts and poetry. Its key aims are outlined in a long essay entitled “Výzva” (An appeal), which calls for “an active form of anarchy” and establishes the link between revolution and art, while basing itself on a fusion of German Romanticism and philosophical idealism. Another essay, by Jaroslav Morák, further elaborates the theoretical underpinnings of the movement. The anthology contains original poetry by František Listopad and Jaromír Hořec, and the surrealist prose of Ivan Andrenik. Other figures of the rising post-war generation who were loosely affiliated with the group were Jan Grossman and the artists Miroslav Hák a Jiří Santar. The journal was to appear “no less than three times a year” and the last page contains an announcement for a corresponding series of books, as well as calls for other “Dynamoarchists” to get in touch.

However, the reaction of post-war literary and artistic public was largely negative, both for aesthetic reasons and from the perspective of Marxist criticism. While somewhat sympathetic to the status of the arts in Soviet Russia, the authors were against any ideological restriction of the arts. According to some sources, part of the print run was confiscated, most likely following the communist takeover in 1948, which might explain its scarcity:
as of December 2021, KVK, OCLC show no copies in North America.

Book ID: 51735

Price: $1,750.00