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Czech Avant-Garde

Pásmo. La Zone: Pamphlet International. Die Zone: Internationales Flugblatt. The Zone: International Pamphlet. La Zona: Revista internazionale. Vol. I, no. 4.

Brno: Pásmo, [1924]. Folio (47.5 × 31.5 cm). Original decorative self-wrappers; [6] pp. folded accordion-style. With illustrations and reproductions. Vertical and horizontal crease; expertly restored at the folds with japan paper; occasional light foxing; else very good.

This issue contains a series of programmatic texts of the European avant-gardes. It opens with a long quote by Lajos Kassák. Mieczysław Szczuka, a member of the constructivist group "Blok", reports on the developments of the Polish avant-garde. Particularly noteworthy is a text by Kurt Schwitters about “Merz.” It states, among other things: “By the strength of the rejection, by the greatness of the public's indignation, the artist recognizes the power and greatness of his elemental force. […] Merz is consistency. Merz means creating relationships, preferably between all things in the world.” Another contribution by Willy Baumeister explains the “mechano" principle in art, the creation of machines that do not produce other material objects in the usual sense. “As a machine, it has no practical purpose. It has a real purpose as an artistic force development of our time.” The article also outlines and explains individual devices. Vilém Santholzer writes about mathematics as a folder of modern beauty. In doing so, he spans an arc from the rejection of ornamentation to the design of everyday objects, cinema, sociology, and international understanding qua mathematics and order across language barriers.

Of note is a lengthy discussion by Karel Teige of the development of the image. The non-objective paintings of the Russian and Dutch Constructivists, he says, “are in danger of becoming decoration.” Rodchenko's rejection of painting is for him a symptom of this problem. In general, the thirst for images was now being quenched by photography, and the poster had become the successor to the fresco. At the same time, he emphasizes that images are increasingly taking over the functions of language, citing flag language and Morse code as examples. “Painting,” says Teige, “is dying off,” and he attributes this not least to its reproducibility. Benjamin's later thesis of the end of the “aura” is hinted at. Teige believes that a new type of painting must be created. Pictures would now have to be produced by machine and no longer by hand. Moholy-Nagy would later support this thesis as well. For Teige, the typographic picture poem is one of the new types of image. The issue contains a picture poem by Jiří Voskovec. The current new publications of the international avant-gardes are again discussed extensively; among them, for example, the new issues of "De Stijl”, “G", “Ma", “Manométre", “Merz", "L'Esprit Nouveau”, “Stavba", and “Zenit.”

Salaris, Riviste futuriste, pp. 211–213; see Vloemans 34.

As of March 2023, no complete runs found via OCLC, which only lists one copy of this issue.

Book ID: 52850

Price: $3,800.00