PHOTOMONTAGES OF THE NAZI PERIOD, by John Heartfield - 1977 [1st Ed]
Photomontages of the Nazi Period
by John Heartfield
First Edition, Published by: Universe Book. New York, NY. 1977. Essay by Wieland Herzfelde translated by Eva Bergoffen. All other translations from German provided by Nancy Reynolds. 143 pages. 8.25" by 10".
Hardback is overall in VERY GOOD+ condition with a VERY GOOD DJ.
- ISBN: 9780876632819
- Red cloth covers remain free of major signs of age or wear.
- Front board exhibits flecks of white paint to a small area of the bottom edge and gently rubbed corners.
- Spine is firm with gilt title and publishers logo, exhibiting mildly softened ends.
- Binding is firm.
- Rear endpaper bears sketches in pencil.
- Illustrations are fully intact and unworn.
- Interior remains free of any apparent signs of age or wear.
- Inside pages are free of writing and intentional marks.
- DJ is nicely preserved behind Mylar and is backed with archival paper.
- DJ is gently age-toned and scuffed and exhibits creases along the edges, portions missing from the corners and tears to the following areas: front top edge 1.5", front bottom edge 1.5", rear top edge 1.25" with missing portion; inner left flap is creased along the area of the lower corner.
- Book may exhibit additional minor signs of age or wear.
The volume opens with essays from art historian Peter Selz, publisher Wieland Herzfelde, Russian writer Sergei Tretyakov, illustrator and activist Heiri Strub, Friedrich Pfafflin and artist Richard Carline. Includes reproductions of Heartfield's photomontages with supplementary notes. Concluding section features a chronology, bibliography and profiles of the contributors.
John Heartfield knows how to salute beauty. He knows how to create those images which are the beauty of our rage since they represent the cry of the people - the representation of the people's struggle against the brown hangman with his craw crammed with gold pieces. He knows how to create these realistic images of our life and struggle arresting and gripping for millions of people who themselves are a part of that life and struggle. His art is art in Lenin's sense for it is a weapon in the revolutionary struggle of the proletariat. --Louis Aragon
John Heartfield (1891-1968) began contributing work to Die Neue Jugend, an arts journal published by his brother. His friend, George Grosz, who worked with him at the journal, later recalled how John Heartfield "developed a new very amusing style of using collage and bold typography". Grosz helped him develop what became known as photomontage (the production of pictures by rearranging selected details of photographs to form a new and convincing unity). We... invented photomontage in my South End studio at five o'clock on a May morning in 1916, neither of us had any inkling of its great possibilities, nor of the thorny yet successful road it was to take. As so often happens in life, we had stumbled across a vein of gold without knowing it."
In 1918 Heartfield and Grosz joined the newly formed German Communist Party (KPD) and over the next fifteen years produced designs and posters for the organization. He participated in the First International Dada Fair of 1920. It is claimed that Heartfield had a major influence on the German Dada group that included Otto Dix, Max Ernst, Raoul Hausmann and Kurt Schwitters.
Sergei Tretyakov was another artist linked to the Dada group. "Heartfield's first Dadaist photomontages are still marked by their abstract nature. Scraps of photograph and printed text are arranged not so much according to meaning but according to the aesthetic mood of the artist. The Dadaist period in Heartfield's work did not continue for long. He soon ceased to waste his artistic talents in abstract fireworks. His works became aimed shots... Soon no line could be drawn between his montages and his party work."
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