Arp (Hans)

Lot 78
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20000 - 30000 EUR
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Result : 26 436EUR
Arp (Hans)
Ɵ Der Vogel Selbdritt. Privat Druck Otto von Holten, Berlin, 1920. Six original full-page woodcuts by the author. Cover-object featuring in its center, in a vertical rectangle, a fine gold paper inked and slightly lifted to obtain a changing moving image, printed with the author's name and title in black in the middle. First edition (25.8 x 21 cm). Protective gray cloth box. One of the very few known copies of this Dada masterpiece, most of which were destroyed, left immaculate as issued, with its famous but fragile white and gold cover intact, Arp's very first work as both poet and engraver. Copy (no. 27) signed by Arp in graphite on the colophon. It is printed on early 19th-century paper with a Giorgio Adamo Beckh in Norimberga watermark (like Tristan Tzara's Cinéma Calendrier du Coeur Abstrait Maisons, published the same year). As with the latter, the advertised print run was 150 copies, but Hans Bolliger reported that most of the copies were dismantled by Arp himself to make his torn papers. This work thus became much rarer than Tzara's book. What's more, most of the surviving copies were bound due to the extreme fragility of the cover, and copies in original condition can now be counted on the fingers of one hand (including the copy from the 1989 Tzara sale and the one in the Strasbourg museum). It contains some of the most important Dada poems (20 in all), showing that Arp was not only a painter but also a great avant-garde poet: "Arp is at once one of the best German and French poets of his time" (Yves Peyré, Dada exhibition, Centre Pompidou, 2005, page 100, in reference to the present work). Originally published by Der Malik Verlag in Berlin (113 Dada poems announced) under the title Die Schwalbenhode, Arp ultimately kept only 20 poems for the present edition, in addition to the 6 woodcuts. Along with Mirkontsa (1912), La Prose du Transsibérien (1913) and Spirales (1917), Der Vogel Selbdritt is one of the few works of the period to be presented as a book-object. Its cover would later inspire Georges Hugnet for La Chevelure (1937). Provenance: Private collection.
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