SYSTEM AND DIALECTICS OF ART, by John D. Graham - 1937 [Limited numbered edition, softcover]


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System and Dialectics of Art

by John D. Graham 

Limited edition.  New York:  Delphic Studios, 1937 

Softback is overall in VERY GOOD condition.

  • Cream wraps are mostly clean, with black ink titles. 
  • Wraps show some bumping along head and foot, some closed tears, toning at edges.  Corners are bumped.  See photos. 
  • Spine has black text and is creased, a little darkened with crushed ends. 
  • Binding is secure. 
  • Feps are tanned; front fep bears handwritten definition of Dialectics from Webster.  See photos. 
  • Illustrations are clear.  
  • Interior is age-toned, exhibits some chipping at page edges.  Inside pages are free of writing and intentional marks.
  • Text block edges are untrimmed. 
  • Original onionskin wrapper is partially intact.  See photos.  
  • PS2024.0131

154 pages. 6 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches

Born Ivan Gratianovitch Dombrowsky in Kyiv, John D. Graham (1886-1961) was a Ukrainian–born American modernist and figurative painter, art collector, and a mentor of modernist artists.  He immigrated to New York in 1920, where he would be associated with The New York School of artists, mentor a generation of young Abstract Expressionists, and lecture on Modernism.

Graham's System and Dialectics of Art, which was first published by Delphic Studios in 1937, puts these ideas in writing.  The book is an effort to define questions of art exhaustively, applying to the plastic arts laws of logic (as had been done in geometry and Roman law, according to the author).

In the Preface, Graham writes, "It is called a System because it intends: a) to provide a related terminology in art; b) to divide the history of art according to social-economic periods; c) to provide for the classification of works of art and periods of art based on space-consciousness; d) to provide tangible bases for the evaluation of works of art and periods of art.  It is callled Dialectics because it intends to provide the methods of logical argumentation in the domain of art."

Edition of 1000 copies, of which this is copy #867.

Please see photos. More photos available upon request.

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