Paris: GLM, 1936. Bellmer, Hans. First French edition. Small 4to.,  pp., with two illustrations from drawings by the artist and ten mounted gelatin silver photographs. Original printed wrappers. A fine, bright, and near new copy with the photographs showing full and rich tonal quality, measuring approximately 3 1/8 x 4 5/8 inches, or the reverse. This copy is number 44 of 80 copies with the text printed on rose paper, from a total edition of 105 copies. Item #52934
One of the landmark Surrealist books, and one of the very few to be illustrated with original gelatin silver photographs. This is considered Bellmer’s most important and influential work. Therese Lichtenstein (guest curator for the International Center for Photography 2001 exhibition “Behind Closed Doors: The Art of Hans Bellmer”) writes: “Although Bellmer is generally classified as a Surrealist, he actually initiated his doll project with a specific political purpose: to oppose the fascism of the National Socialist (Nazi) Party in Germany in the 1930s. After the rise to power of the Nazi Party in 1933, Bellmer, an established painter and graphic designer, declared that he would make no work that would support the German state. The unconventional or “degenerate” poses of his dolls were directed specifically at the cult of the perfect body then prominent in Germany. The dolls are represented in a constant state of mutation, multiplication, and recombination, often appearing contorted or bound, and occasionally lacking body parts or sprouting extra sets of limbs. These permutations echo autoerotic sensations rooted in the body. Bellmer’s work was also an attempt to destabilize representations of gender being widely circulated in contemporary mass culture.”
To avoid damaging this copy, the images have been downloaded from an internet source.