18 November 2014
MAN RAY -- PÉRET, Benjamin (1899-1959) & Louis ARAGON (1897-1982). 1929. [Brussels: Éditions de la Revue Variétés, 1929.]
Quarto (290 x 199mm). Four half-tone plates by Man Ray. (Deckle edges with light wear and lightly darkened.) Original wrappers, the upper side printed in black (light wear at the extremities).
FIRST EDITION OF MAN RAY'S NOTORIOUS EROTIC BOOK, 'entirely representative of the surrealist book' and 'extremely rare' (The Photobook). One of 48 copies on Holland paper, this one a very good example uncut in the original wrappers. 1929 is an extraordinarily audacious work, offering a most revealing side of Man Ray, and attesting to the nascent surrealist movement's preoccupation with sex. It was published at the instigation of Péret and Aragon, with all contributors named, in order to raise funds to support Variétes and its publisher 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; Man Ray gave him a sheaf of photographs of himself at play with Kiki de Montparnasse. Number 54 of 48 copies on Holland paper, after 7 on Japan, from an edition of 215 copies only. Dutel 1986; The Photobook, vol. II, p.138; Pia Enfer, 937.
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