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Presentation Copy from One Giant of Modern Art to Another

Kandinsky’s Signed Presentation Copy to Diego Rivera

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243.     [KANDINSKY, WASSILY]. GROHMANN, Will, F. Morlion & Georges Marlier. Sélection chronique de la vie artistique. Antwerp: Éditions Sélection, 1933. [1-2] 3-96, [4] pp., numerous text illustrations, many full-page and on coated paper, including a half-tone photographic portrait of the artist. 8vo (25.4 x 18.2 cm), full contemporary smooth-finish Mexican sheep with gilt decorated borders on covers, spine lettered in gilt, raised bands, brown marbled endpapers. Spine rubbed, upper joint beginning to split (but strong). Other than a few stains to interior, a fine, desirable copy—Kandinsky’s presentation copy signed in pencil to Diego Rivera, dated at Berlin in 1933.

     First edition. The pamphlet is a periodical that came out from 1920-1933 with focus on modern art and artists. This number is devoted to Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944), Russian painter, printmaker and art theorist—among the most famous twentieth-century artists and a pioneer of modern abstract art. The periodical came out in 1933, when the Nazis closed down the Bauhaus school of art and architecture, prompting Kandinsky to move to France, where he lived the rest of his life.

     This issue includes an homage to Kandinsky written by Diego Rivera, the best-known Latin American artist, who made early contact with the modern movement in Paris. Rivera made his famous assessment of Kandinsky in the present work (translated in part):

I know of nothing more real than the painting of Kandinsky—nor anything more true and nothing more beautiful. A painting by Kandinsky gives no image of earthly life—it is life itself. If one painter deserves the name ‘creator,’ it is he. He organizes matter as matter was organized, otherwise the Universe would not exist. He opened a window to look inside the All. Someday, Kandinsky will be the best known and best loved of men.


Sold. Hammer: $1,300.00; Price Realized: $1,560.00

Auction 22 Abstracts

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