Playa Vista, California: Two Hands Press, 2018. Delauney, Sonia. Limited Edition. Accordion. Lettered copy "X" of 30 lettered copies hors de commerce, artist book folded accordion style. Fine. Item #CNBR360
This the first Two Hands Press edition, a facsimile - or "recreation" as the press prefers to describe it - of the first edition of 1913, lettered copy "X" of 30 lettered copies hors de commerce; there are also 150 numbered copies, for a total edition of 180 copies. "Transsibérien" is considered a seminal avant-garde artist book of the 20th century; of the eleven copies of the original edition that have sold at auction in this century, the average price realized has been about $200,000. This is the first true facsimile, using similar methods and materials as the first edition of 1913.
The original "La Prose du Transsibérien" was written, designed and printed by letterpress and illustrated by pochoir in an edition that was stated to be 150 copies (in three subsets, in the French manner). The actual number completed has long been in dispute, as has the number of surviving copies. A census by Kitty Marryat of the Two Hands Press located 40 copies; a French scholar claims to have recorded 73 copies, but will not produce his list for examination.
The poem by Blaise Cendrars (1887-1961), Swiss-born modernist poet and novelist, is a free verse, free wheeling look at the poet's life and the events of the Russian Revolution as contemplated during a journey on the Trans-Siberian railway, followed by a short poem about Paris. The letterpress text is printed in over 38 typefaces in four colors, printed in 22 panels on a narrow, long sheet. Cendrars’s collaborator, the artist Sonia Delaunay-Terk (1885-1979), interwove the text with colorful abstract pochoir, that when folded made a relatively small accordion book, but when fully opened was 78.25" by 14.25". Cendrars and Delaunay-Terk called it the "first simultaneous book." It created a sensation among those who saw it when it was first displayed, particularly among those who were involved in the avant-garde artistic movement.
___DESCRIPTION: Artist book created by letterpress printing (in four colours in sixteen print runs on a Heidelberg press) which was digitally produced to match the original typefaces, with the abstract artwork created using pochoir; when extended the "book" measures 78.25 by 14.25 inches, folded accordion style (vertically one time and horizontally twenty-one times) which creates a 7.25 by 3.625 inch "book" (paper label on one side of the folded "book" with the title and Kitty Marryat's signature) that is enclosed in painted vellum wrappers. The folding pattern is deliberate such that "you can't actually see anything in the book, neither the text nor the imagery, until the book is completely unfolded" creating "a frisson of excitement as the book finally reveals itself". With a separate essay by Kitty Marryat, proprietor of the Two Hands press, on the history of La Prose du Transsibérien and how this re-creation was brought to life, this also accordion style printed on one side only, consisting of twelve panels with the colophon at the end, this copy X of 30 lettered copies, total edition 180, and signed by Kitty Marryat, enclosed within a three-panel folding wallet, which itself is enclosed within the vellum wrap which also protects the artist book, this encased in a clear plexiglass slipcase.
___CONDITION: Fine, as new having been acquired directly from the Two Hands Press; the plexi-glass slipcase also fine, clean and without wear.
___POSTAGE: International customers, please note that additional postage may apply as the standard does not always cover costs; please inquire for details.
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