December 24, 2009

Comte de Gobineau : wachful eye of his time

Remarkable man by his abundant literary production, Joseph Arthur de Gobineau (1816-1882) entered in politics with the support of Alexis de Tocqueville who made him Chief of Staff to the Foreign Ministry. He eventually led a diplomatic career posted to Persia, Greece, Brazil and Sweden. Gobineau wrote many poems, articles, novels, short stories. He attracted the admiration of some contemporaries, notably Richard Wagner. But public recognition did not come. it's his Essay on the Inequality of Human Races which brought him posthumous fame. European Racist movements from the late nineteenth century seized the book and borrow away a large part of Gobineau's ideology who is marked, de facto, as one of the founding fathers of racial thinking. That tarnishes the reputation of his work which is, however, rather diversified. More than a historian, Gobineau has emerged as a lyric writer and a romantic, close to Stendhal or Mérimée.

Currently, la librairie Loliée offers :
  • Gobineau (Comte de). Céphanolie, Naxie et Terre-neuve. Souvenirs de voyage. Le Mouchoir rouge - Akrivie Phrangopoulo - La Chasse au caribou. Paris, Plon, 1897, in-12, original covers and back, binding (Vermorel). First edition.
  • Gobineau (Comte de). Essai sur l’Inégalité des races humaines. Paris, Firmin-Didot et Cie, 1884, 2 volumes in-12, binding. Second edition.
  • [Gobineau (Comte de)] - Dreyfus (Robert). La Vie et les Prophéties du Comte de Gobineau. Paris, Cahier de la Quinzaine, Seizième cahier de la sixième série, 1905, in-12, bradel bradel. Copy with a dedicace from the author to Marcel Bontemps.
  • Gobineau (Comte de). La Fleur d’or. Paris, Grasset, « Les Cahiers Verts », 1923, in-12. Copy on vergé bouffant paper.

December 17, 2009

Olvier Debré signs

Figure of abstract painting, Olivier Debré (1920-1999) studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris.He joined the architectural studio ran by his uncle and attended the one of Le Corbusier. He made his first paintings around 1943, influenced by Picasso. After the war, he met with the avant-garde : Serge Poliakoff, Nicolas de Staël, Pierre Soulages. His work, still then figurative, slided towards abstract art, based on the construction of tint colored areas. Strongly inspired by nature (storms, typhoons), the artist's approach is to materialize, eliminating any realistic depiction, the feelings of these violent events: "I refrains from being called a landscaper. I translate the emotion which is in me in front of a landscape ... It is not my will acting but the emotion that dominates me. I am only sincere in the shock, the momentum." Besides painting, Olivier Debré is passionate for architecture. He create, among others, the stage curtains of the Comédie Française, the Hong Kong Opera and the Shanghai Opera. He collaborated with choreographer Carolyn Carlson for whom he designed the sets and costumes for the ballet "Signs" whose theme is inspired by his painting.
(sources : Evene, Wikipedia)

Currently, the librairie Loliée offers :

  • Debré (Olivier) - Jamme (Franck André). Pour les Simples. Illustrations by Olivier Debré. Montpellier, Fata Morgana, 1987, in-8, in leaves, cover. First edition. One of the 50 first copies on Arches paper with two original engravings signed by Olivier Debré.
  • Debré (Olivier) - Marester (Guy). Une Nuit qui n’aura pas de fin. Encres de Olivier Debré. Paris, Bernard Dumerchez, 2005, in-8 carré, ein leaves, cover. First edition with 7 inks by Olivier Debré. One of the first 75 copies on Arches paper.

December 11, 2009

Zürn / Bellmer : Dark Spring

Compagnion of Hans Bellmer, Unica Zürn, born in Berlin in 1916, had with the surrealist artist met in 1959, a stormy relationship marked with various interments in psychiatric clinics. It's from Bellmer's flat that Unica jumped out of the window in 1970. Fragile, Unica Zürn described her childhood as wonderful. This period was nevertheless marked by the divorce of her parents, and the loss of the family home, where his father, writer, used to collect objects brought back from his travels. "Dark Spring is the story of her childhood's impressions pushed up to their tragic consequences. Between a father beloved but distant and a hated mother, the little girl will learn about the adult world, and will discover an horrifying and fascinating sexuality, a crazy love which will lead her to suicide "(biography from Belfond publisher -1971).

Currently, the librairie Loliée offers :
  • [Bellmer (Hans)] - Zürn (Unica). Sombre Printemps. Traduit de l’allemand par Ruth Henry et Robert Valançay. Burin original de Hans Bellmer. Paris, Pierre Belfond, collection des « Cahiers du regard », 1970, in-folio, in leaves, publisher's case. First french edition with, on frontispiece, an original engraving by Bellmer, numbered and signed. Limited 170 copies on Arches paper, this one compelted with a suite of the engraving on Japan paer, numbered and signed.
  • [Bellmer (Hans)] - Zürn (Unica). Sombre Printemps. Traduit de l’allemand par Ruth Henry et Robert Valançay. Paris, Belfont, « Cahiers du Regard », 1971, thin in-8. First french edition with, on frontispiece, a reproduction of Bellmer's engraving.

December 04, 2009

Mucha's arabesques

Slavic, Alfons Mucha (1860-1939) was formed in Vienna and Munich before settling in Paris where he made his name by making illustrations in magazines, newspapers and books. Sarah Bernhardt, seduced by his style, ensured the reputation of the artist from 1894 to 1900 : Mucha became the sole creator of her posters. With an important production (drawings, pastels, sculptures, objects, jewelry), Mucha established himself as one the masters of Art Nouveau. In 1900, he created a spectacular setting for the Universal Exhibition. He decorated the Bosnia and Herzegovina pavilion and got the silver medal. He went on with his illustrator activities and signed the poster advertisements for brands such as Moët et Chandon or Nestlé. Between 1912 and 1926, Mucha put his skills to serve a monumental project to the glory of the Slavic people. Believer and humanist, Mucha thought that art can participate in the uplifting of the soul. He raised money from wealthy American industrialists and got a particular support from Charles R. Crane who invested in The Slav Epic, composed of 20 scenes covering nearly 1,000 square feet of painted canvas. This gigantic work provides an important evidence about the rise of Nationalism in Europe. Settled in Czechoslovakia in 1910, Mucha took part in the birth of the Czechoslovak Republic in 1918. He drew the weapon of the new nation, stamps, banknotes. In 1939, the country is occupied by Germany and the Republic ends. Mucha, a Freemason, is interrogated by the Gestapo. He died shortly thereafter in July of that year. After the war, forgotten by the communists who do not appreciate this "bourgeois art" , Mucha's work is finally rediscovered in the 60s.

Published in 1900, Clôches de Noël et de Pâques (Bells of Christmas and Easter), collection of three tales by Emile Gebhart, is representative of the art of arabesque of Mucha who frames the text of many floral ornaments.
(sources : Wikipedia, Mucha museum)

Currently, the librairie Loliée offers :
  • Mucha (Alphonse) - Gebhart (Émile). Cloches de Noël et de Pâques. Illustrations et décoration par A. Mucha. Paris, Champenois, Piazza, 1900, in-4, publisher's green case . Edition illustrated with 80 colored plates by Mucha. Limited to 252 copies. One of the 35 copies on Japan paper, with a suite in black on China paper of the 80 plates.