31 May 2007
MAN RAY -- BENJAMIN PÉRET AND LOUIS ARAGON (authors)
1929. [Brussels: Éditions de la Revue Variétés, 1929]. Quarto (302 x 208mm). Printed on Montval paper, four photolithographs by Man Ray tipped in. (Minor spotting on first and last leaf.) Uncut in the original printed wrappers (minor spotting), in a custom-made clamshell case with grey cloth spine and pale blue watered-silk sides.
FIRST EDITION OF MAN RAY'S NOTORIOUS EROTIC BOOK. 'ENTIRELY REPRESENTATIVE OF THE SURREALIST BOOK' AND 'EXTREMELY RARE' (The Photobook). It is an extraordinarily audacious work testimony to the nascent Surrealist movement's preoccupation with sex. 1929 was published at the instigation of Péret and Aragon, two pioneers of literary Surrealism, to raise funds for Variétés and its editor Edouard Mesens, later the doyen of London's Surrealists. Aragon proposed the idea to Man Ray, showing him a sample of the erotic poetry for which he wanted illustrations, and Ray gave him a sheaf of photographs of Kiki and himself. Alice Prin, 'Kiki de Montparnasse', a legendary figure in the Montparnasse of the day, had also been Soutine and Foujita's lover. A VERY GOOD COPY, UNCUT IN THE ORIGINAL WRAPPERS. Number 215 of 215 copies. Pia Enfer 937; John Baxter 'Man Ray Laid Bare' in Tate Magazine, issue 3, 2001; The Photobook, vol. II, p.138; cf. Arturo Schwarz Man Ray: The Rigour of Imagination, 1977, pp.240 and 260.
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