Signed limited livre d'artiste, a remarkably beautiful book of beasts paired with the artist's own text and haunted by the ghosts of WWII.
Fine in near fine slipcase.
"Je crawle autour du Singe, du Scorpion, du Boa. Je suis bleu comme la colère."
Glowing lithographs of animals and sea creatures, one of the most remarkable of Lurçat's variations on the bestiary theme. GEOGRAPHIE ANIMALE is a post-war fantasia dedicated to the memory of the artist's stepson, a parachutist captured and killed in 1944. Lurçat, himself deeply involved in work for the Resistance, "symbolized French defiance, aesthetic and moral" (W.J. Strachan). Memories and images from the Occupation appear in translated, transmuted forms: the Owl of Good Hope, watching from the towers and the shadows; the obscurely terrifying Spider of Nuremberg, with a dizzying number of legs. Lurçat's texts, poetic and fanciful as his images, are dreamy one moment and brutal the next, like his imagined natural world: "Nos escadrons sont infinis," say the Hippomastiques of the Amazone; "U.N. est inconnu chez nous. Frère, il faut mourir..."
Read more: Strachan, The Artist and the Book in France.
(Lausanne): André Gonin, (1948). 13.75'' x 10.5''. Original printed wrappers housed in original blue paper-covered boards, backed in vellum. In blue slipcase. Contains 18 unbound leaves, each with a short text and lithograph on facing pages. Edition of 280 signed and numbered copies; this copy no. 196. Signed by Lurçat and publisher André Gonin on limitation page.
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