Alvard, Julien: TEMOIGNAGES POUR L’ART ABSTRAIT 1952. Paris: Editions d’Art d’Aujourd’hui, 1952. Abstract pochoir plates

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Julien Alvard and R.V Gindertael

Leon Degand [introduction]

Julien Alvard and R.V Gindertael, Leon Degand [introduction]: TEMOIGNAGES POUR L'ART ABSTRAIT 1952. Paris: Editions d'Art d'Aujourd'hui, 1952. First edition [published in an edition of 1500 copies]. Text in French. Square quarto. Thick paper boards. Printed and fitted vellum wrappers. 295 pp. 27 color pochoir plates. 200 black and white gravure reproductions. 32 artist portraits. Vellum wrappers lightly chipped and sun darkened at spine. Gift inscription on front free endpaper. Light spotting throughout, including plates and plate margins, but none too objectionable.  Textblock edges spotted. A  good copy in a very good set of vellum wrappers. Rare. Extant copies rarely come to market due to the inclusion of 27 spectacular pochoir plates, as well as the additional 3 black and white plates.

If you are looking for a copy of this book to break the plates, thank you for stopping by and please keep looking. 

8 x 9.5 softcover book [Testimony for Abstract Art] dedicated to profiling and presenting 34 contemporary Postwar abstract artists. Printed in a limited edition by Editions d'Art d'Aujourd'hui in March 1952. It is easy to see why the 27 pochoir plates found here are frequently offered as individual prints -- the pochoir colors are remarkably vibrant and strongly resemble seriagraphs. The artist portraits by S. Vandercam are printed in gravure, and the remaining 200 black and white plate and text images are printed via standard offset lithography.

Includes full-page pochoir plates by Alberto Magnelli [x 3], Jean Arp [with E. Pillet], Andre Bloc, Silvano Bozzolini, Chapoval, Sonia Delaunay, Del Marle, Jean Dewasme, Jean Deyrolle, Cicero Dias, Cesar Domela, Adolf Richard Fleishmann, Jean Gorin, Auguste Herbin [x 2], Andre Lanskoy, Jean Leppien, Richard Mortensen, Edgar Pillet, Serge Poliakoff, Marie Raymond, Alfred Reth, Nicolas De Stael, Victor Vasarely, and Far-El-Nissa Zeid.

Includes full-page pochoir plates by Emile Gilioli, Robert Jacobsen and Berto Lardera.

Illustrated sctions on E. Beothy, Alexander Calder, Naum Gabo, Anton Pevsner, Day Schnabel, and Julien Alvard are also included.

Many of the leading artists of the day contributed original prints to this survey of abstraction. Arp's longstanding interest in collaborative art is evident in this print, which is credited to Jean Arp and Edgard Pillet. Arp also collaborated with Sonia Delaunay and with his wife Sophie Tauber-Arp, among others.

From "The Art of the Pochoir Book" exhibition at the University of Cincinnati: "The effect is arresting: paging through the leaves of a pochoir-illustrated book, the reader is abruptly stopped by the extraordinary effects of lush, vibrant colors and bold geometric shapes. Bright oils and watercolors seem to come alive on the page in an almost three-dimensional experience. These volumes, with their focus on patterns and color interactions, use a stenciling technique to present decorative arts and the possibilities of book printing.

". . . Pochoir is the French word for stenciling, a form of coloring pictures that dates to a thousand years ago in China. It was introduced to commercial publishing in France in the late 1800s, and there it had its most exquisite expression. The pochoir process would use from 20 to 250 different stencils applied to a black-and-white collotype print from a photograph. The collotypes are affixed to stencil sheets of metal or board, and the patches to be colored are cut out. Each color to be applied uses a separate pompon, or brush of coarse, shortly-cropped animal hair, to sponge or dab on the paint. Each stencil is done in turn until the image is finished, so it is essential to place the stencils exactly in position.

"Though pochoir illustration had its heyday in the 1920s, with Paris as its center of greatest artistic production, several places produced pochoir books during this decade, including London, Florence, New York, and the avant-garde publishers of Prague and other Eastern European cities. In the United States, pochoir gave way quite early to related methods like serigraphy and silk-screening. Occasionally today some fine press books are illustrated using the pochoir method, but its most sumptuous flowering eight decades ago represents a remarkable era in the history of the book."