June 25, 2008

Bertini, the hybrid

Gianni Bertini, born in 1922 in Pisa, is a painter of the abstract movement he joins in the late Fourties. His early pieces "I Gridi" (screams), provide a work around stamped letters. In 1950, Bertini focuses his work on the use of stains. The following year, with the exhibition of his work called "nuclear" art at the Numero Gallery of Florence, he takes part in one of the first demonstration of "Art Informel" in Italy. The Fifties are marked by his collaboration with the group "imaginary spaces" initiated by Pierre Restany, and numerous trips in major European cities he visits for personal exhibitions. He then goes to the U.S.A. and collaborates with the Gres Gallery in Chicago. In 1961, Sweden organizes a retrospective of his work to be resumed at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels. For the occasion, the art critic, René de Solier, writes a tribute to the artist whose he describes the work made of forms, signs and things as a "new hybrid":
"'The Gianni Bertini's adventure is obvious, and without concession, based on a golden rule, or job : not to be imprisoned in a formula. Do not only depend, and independence is there, on the only post-abstract painting . "

In the early Sixties, Bertini gets close to New Realism and, in 1965, he subscribes to the first Mec'art Manifest. In 1984, a retrospective is devoted to his work at the Centre National des Arts de Paris. In 1991, he produced a cycle of works on the Gulf War : "To remember" and in 1992 a new cycle on Antonin Artaud.

Currently, the librairie Loliée offers :
  • Bertini (G.) - Krea (H.). Round about Midnight. Alès, P.A.B., 1961, small in-8. First edition with an original engraving by Bertini. Limited Edition to 50 copies, justified and signed by Bertini.
  • [Bertini (G.)] – Solier (René de). Bertini. Paris, s.é., 1963, in-12. Facsimile of Solier's manuscript with compositions by Bertini and published for the painter exhibition at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels in 1963.

June 19, 2008

Stories of O : Réage /Crepax

Story of O, written under the pseudonym of Pauline Réage, is published in 1954 thanks to the will of Jean-Jacques Pauvert who buys the rights of this sulfurous novel in which a woman, wilingly becomes a sexual slave. Pauvert entrusts the redaction of the preface to Jean Paulhan, the first recipient of the story, and restricts the release to 600 copies. The first twenty copies on Arches paper has an original engraving by Hans Bellmer, surrealist whose work on eroticism, animated and inanimated bodies resonate with the theme of this "destruction in joy" to borrow the words of Pauline Réage .

In 1975, Guido Crepax grabs this cult novel and adapts the full text in comic books. Published to 900 copies, the book includes a double preface : by Roland Barthes and Alain Robbe-Grillet who highlights the subtleties of the two versions:
"While Pauline Réage had taken care to give us her heroine with barely perceptible signs of usury or small physical faints (all these well known "humain" details that separate Greek marble of its model) here, breasts are a bit too heavy or features, already marked by light weariness that makes it more poignant, are suddenly replaced by strong black lines without the slightest mistake, the slightest tremor, lines which delineate areas of flesh with an abstract perfection, without past, without possible lassitude, forever smooth and firm. "

Currently, the librairie Loliée offers :
  • Réage (Pauline). Histoire d’O. With a preface by Jean Paulhan. Paris, Sceaux, J.J. Pauvert, 1954, in-12. First edition limited to 600 copies. This one on laid paper with the engraving of Hans Bellmer, theoretically reserved to the 20 first copies on Arches paper.
  • Crepax (Guido) – Réage (Pauline). L’Histoire d’O by Guido Crepax. Introduction by Roland Barthes and Alain Robbe-Grillet. Genève/Milan, Taousinc et Franco Maria Ricci, 1975, in-folio, binding in black silk with a gold O on the cover. First illustrated edition limited to 900 copies on laid paper numbered and signed by Guido Crepax.

June 11, 2008

Diderot, Rameau's nephew

"Qu’il fasse beau, qu’il fasse laid, c’est mon habitude d’aller sur les cinq heures du soir me promener au Palais-Royal. C’est moi qu’on voit, toujours seul, rêvant sur le banc d’Argenson. Je m’entretiens avec moi-même de politique, d’amour, de goût ou de philosophie. J’abandonne mon esprit à tout son libertinage. Je le laisse maître de suivre la première idée sage ou folle qui se présente, comme on voit dans l’allée de Foy nos jeunes dissolus marcher sur les pas d’une courtisane à l’air éventé, au visage riant, à l’oeil vif, au nez retroussé, quitter celle-ci pour une autre, les attaquant toutes et ne s’attachant à aucune. Mes pensées, ce sont mes catins."

On this paragraph opens Le Neveau Rameau (Rameau's Nephew - text in french here) in which Diderot maintains a philosophical conversation between two allegorical figures of himself: He - this nephew who has a materialistic vision of life, and I - Diderot, the philosopher who wants to help humanity. The unconventional construction, the satirical dimension - Diderot scratches some famous names - explain that the manuscript does not appear in France. It is Goethe who published the book in 1805 in Germany. The first french edition dates from 1821 and appeares in a set of 22 volumes described as the first collective edition - in addition to Le Neveau Rameau, it also presents the Voyage de Hollande (Travel to Holland) in a first edition. In 1891, Georges Monval, Librairian at the Comédie-Française, finds the autograph manuscript of Diderot among other papers of the family of Angelique de Vandeul, the daughter of the philosopher. The text of this manuscript is most of the time chosen for recent editions, like the one of 1924, illustrated by Naudin (drawing reproduced above).
(Source: wikipedia.fr)

Currently, the Librairie Loliée offers:
  • Diderot (Denis). Œuvres. Paris, Chez J.L. Brière, 1821, 22 volumes in-8, bounded at that time (P. Gaudreau). Ex-Libris from 'Henry William Shaw. First collective edition.
  • Naudin (Bernard) – Diderot (Denis). Le Neveu de Rameau. based on the original manuscript published by Georges Monval. Preface by M. Louis Barthou. Illustrations by Bernard Naudin. Paris, Auguste Blaizot, 1924, fort in-4, en feuilles, broché. Exemplaire sur vélin de Rives.

June 04, 2008

The dazzling town planning of Le Corbusier

Monograph of the New Time Pavilion designed by Le Corbusier for the International exhibition "Art and Technique" of 1937, Des Canons, de s munitions ? Merci ! Des logis … S.V.P (guns, ammunition? No, thanks ! Some sojourn please...) declines the architect's theories which combine social, architectural thoughts and practical realization. Le Corbusier poses a very visionary view on the situation of Paris, he also considers a model for a cooperative village. He identifies the four functions of town planning (live - recreate - work - move) and underlines that modern town planning can no longer operate without the pair home and leisure.

Here is what he (already) said about the misery of Paris:
... the lack of air and sunshine, agent of degeneration.
... wells for tuberculosis.
... Proof.
Luxury Slums :
... Where we also grow sickly ... the same courtyards, the same vis-à-vis, but people can recover by a long vacation.
... 33 km of H. B.M. [social housing blocks] have only perpetuate the old formulas.
... In the chaos, noise, foul air, fever, five million beings wear themselves out. "

Currently, the Librairie Loliée offers :
  • Le Corbusier. Des Canons, des munitions ? Merci ! Des logis … S.V.P. Boulogne sur Seine, Éditions de l’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui, 1938, in-4 oblong. First Edition.
  • Le Corbusier. Le poème électronique. Paris, Editions de Minuit, "les Cahiers Forces Vives", 1958, First edition.