Lithuanian Graphic Arts – Displaced Persons

40 wood-cuts: Paulus Augius Augustinavičius, Viktoras Petravičius, Vaclovas Rataiskis-Ratas, Telesforas Valius. Text by Paulius Jurkus.

Augsburg: “Žiburiai,” 1946. Folio (35 × 24.7 cm). Original printed boards, quarter cloth binding; [19] pp., 40 leaves of plates. Signed in pencil by Telesforas Valius. Good or better; trace of private library label to lower spine; some scuffing and rubbing to corners and spine extremities; stamps of a non-existing Latvian library in Connecticut.

Important work on the vibrant modern Lithuanian graphic arts, which developed from the 1930s onward as a result of the encounter of traditional folk motifs with Western influences, and led to a flowering in the 1940s and 1950s, with many of the prints focused on the trauma of war and exile. "Lithuanian graphics, whose many representatives were studying in Europe, made their way through all the doctrines' letters and have poured in our art a great originality.... We find in them the pulsation of the Lithuanian soul having taken a liking to symbolism and mysticism. Our traditions and our inner liking for stylization have led our engravers far from realism" (from the preface). Preface and artist biographies in English, French and Lithuanian. With woodcut prints by Paulius Augius (1909–1960), Viktoras Petravičius, Vaclovas Rataiskis-Ratas, and Telesforas Valius (1914–1977), leading figures of the Lithuanian graphic arts movement, which was revived in Lithuanian camps for Displaced Persons (DP), who had fled their country during WWII. There, various studios were established, an Applied Arts Institute was created in Freiburg by artists from Kaunas, and a series of exhibitions were held.

This copy indicates a print run of 425 numbered copies, of which 25 on "offset-paper" and 400 on regular paper (Werkdruckpapier). Other copies state a print run of 300 copies on wove paper. This copy is signed in pencil by Telesforas Valius below the colophon, and with an additional gift inscription to title (dated Freiburg 1948). Valius has also signed all of his woodcut prints in the book.

For more information aboutt modern graphic arts in Lithuania and the movement which is commemorated in the present work, see Paulius Jurkus, "The New Lithuanian Graphic Arts" in Lituanus no. 2 (7), June 1956.

Scarce in the trade.

Book ID: 52100

Price: $750.00