Czech Samizdat Unofficial Art Catalogs

Edice Situace [Situations], nos. 1–15 (all published).

[Prague]: Jazzová sekce (Jazz Section), 1979–1983. Quartos (30 × 21 cm). Original staple-stitched wrappers; 19, [1] pp. per issue. Numerous black-and-white reproductions per issue, printed on better quality stock. Very good.

The complete run of these fifteen catalogs of unofficial, conceptual Czechoslovak art from the Normalization era, semi-legally printed by the Jazz Section, an organization of jazz musicians that legally organized within the Czechoslovak Musicians’ Union and thereby gained the right to publish bulletins for supposedly private use by its members. Until it was forced to close in 1986, the Jazz Section operated in a legal “gray zone”: it thus played an important part in counteracting strict Normalization cultural policies by publishing material related not only to music, but also unofficial art and theater. For more on the Jazz Section, see ‘Social Currents in Eastern Europe,’ pp. 128. The head of the Jazz Section, Karel Srp, served as editor of the present series and wrote the short introductions to the catalogs. Each issue features numerous full-page photographic reproductions showing artworks, happenings, performances, as well as original text, biographical information, and lists of exhibitions. The artists covered are, in order of publication: Adriena Šimotová, Karel Miler, Jitka Svobodová, Milan Grygar, Emila Medková, Stanislav Kolíbal, Jan Svoboda, Eva Kmentová, Libor Fára, Václav Boštík, Petr Štembera, Karel Malich, Dalibor Chatrný, Hugo Demartini, Vladimír Janoušek. Overall design by Joska Skalník. Working in a range of media, from wire sculptures to performance art and happenings, many of them worked in obscurity during the 1970-80s, but have since emerged to greater acclaim KVK, OCLC show complete runs at the Clark, University of Toronto, Watson Library (Metropolitan Museum), and individual issues at the Getty, Harvard, and Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam). The Czech National Library only holds three of the fifteen catalogs. Complete sets are very scarce.

Book ID: 51954

Price: $3,500.00