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Michael Fagan Fine Art & Rare Books

Boustrophédon au miroir

Boustrophédon au miroir

Iliazd (Il'ia Zdanevich), with Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes Quarto 29.5x19cm., vellum chemise, unbound as issued, in cloth boards and slipcase. Illustrated with ten full-page etchings and an aquatint by Ribemont-Dessaignes, No. 39 in an edition of 55 signed by Iliazd and RD on title. This is a collaboration of longtime friends from the dada era. The text by Iliazd was written while he was still in Tbilisi and evokes the painters in his earlier life — his brother Kirill, his dear friend Mikhail Ledentu, and the legendary Pirosmani. The verse originally written at the time in French, repeated backward below each line, with the word boundaries placed differently to produce what could be seen as a striking, French zaum. Boustrophédon refers to a type of bi-directional text found in ancient inscriptions on stone. Every other line is reversed in direction, with mirror-reversed letters. These types of complicated palindromes fascinated Iliazd and crop up many times in his books. In the present case, each line is reversed in direction, but the letters themselves are not reversed as they would be in a mirror. Iliazd uses freestyle spacing which causes the reader to slow down and contemplate each word as it is encountered. The title Boustrophédon au miroir is meant to evoke a feeling of traveling backwards while seeing oneself retreating, a sensation of vertigo. OCLC finds four North American library holdings (NYPL, Yale, Newberry, UChi). An exquisite work, in as new condition.
CASOPIS CESKOSLOVENSKÝCH INZENÝRUV A ARCHITEKTUV (1919-1921

CASOPIS CESKOSLOVENSKÝCH INZENÝRUV A ARCHITEKTUV (1919-1921, CASOPIS CESKOSLOVENSKÝCH ARCHITEKTU (1922-1926)

Alois Censky, Vaclav Prokop, Augustin Skudla, eds. Folio 33 x 24.5 cm, clothbound. Eight volumes, from 1919 through 1926 . The reincarnation of the renowned Architektonicky obzor (Architectural Horizons) which ceased publishing in 1918. It resurfaced as The Journal of Czechoslovak Engineers and Architects from 1919-1921 and then was renamed The Journal of Czechoslovak Architects from 1922 through 1926. It kept the subtitle of Architektonicky obzor off and on through 1924. Various editors are noted above. The journal bearing these titles which appeared from 1919 through 1926 was continually published under the aegis of he Union of Czechoslovakian Engineers. In 1927 it reappeared as the journal ARCHITEKT SIA and lost its much of its identifiable characteristics. In keeping with the tone of its predecessor it initially had a more traditional look and incorporated earlier design work from Secessionist and early modernist directions with some nonetheless outstanding newer designs (Fikr, Schmiedl, Sulc, Skrivanek, Kroha, etc.). By 1922 it features Rondo-cubist work and more experimental modernism. Its next life as Architekt SIA would incorporate and herald Functionalist work until its absorption in 1937 with Stavba and Stavitel. The CCAI held to the same standards of excellence of Architektonicky obzor, documenting both evolving mature and emerging new architects with many unrealized projects not found in either contemporary publications or later surveys; it is an important reference for the transitional modernism the flourished in the early years of the First Republic. Fully illustrated with drawings, plans and photos, it touches on all aspects of design, including interiors and furniture, urban planning and contemporary theories. Complete holdings of this journal outside of the Czech Republic are only found in ETA Zurich and Bibliothek Technische Universität, none in North American libraries after 1921, with only 1921 held by CCA in Montreal
Trois etudes pour piano - Tri etiuda dlia fortepiano. Oblozhka Ar. Lentulova . (No.3)

Trois etudes pour piano – Tri etiuda dlia fortepiano. Oblozhka Ar. Lentulova . (No.3)

Nicolas Roslawetz (Nikolai Roslavets) Folio 34×26.5 cm, wrappers, 16pp. Cover design by Aristarkh Lentulov, a lithograph with metallic inks, of the first edition of Nikolai Roslavets Three Etudes, with hand-lettered title page by Lentulov. Each etude appeared separately in three scores with the same cover. The present copy is the third one. The composer had collaborated with the Futurists during this time and his work was included in an anthology headed up by the Burliuk brothers and Lentulov. Roslavets (1881-1944) was likely the most radical composer in Russia of the day and his experimental work employing tone rows and synthetic chords may have surpassed Schoenberg s compositional techniques at that time in being thought through. However, its challenges to the listener and performer earned him great antagonism and scorn from the Soviet Union of Composers and ultimately the musical establishment. He refused to bend to political pressure and during his lifetime he was proscribed, tarred and feathered by the formal critics, his compositions confiscated and destroyed. He became a non-person and was forced to relocate from centers of culture. The proscription of his music and punishment for its performances continued until 1990. This first edition of the etudes is rare, with only the Getty in North America holding a copy; copies in the Bibliotheque Nationale de France and the National Library of Israel are the only holdings outside of Russia.