Eric Chaim Kline, Bookseller

Eric Chaim Kline, Bookseller

VI (Volksillustrierte) Sondernummer: Spanien. AIZ, Jahrgang 1936, Nr 15, 25. November (Special Edition: Spain. Volume 1936) [Heartfield Photomontage]

Prague: Die Volksillustrierte, 1936. First edition. Softcover. Folio (15 x 10 1/2"). Pages (2) 227-238 (2). Original photo-illustrated cover with black lettering, protected by modern mylar. Back cover features a famous Heartfield photomontage: MADRID 1936 NO PASARAN! PASAREMOS! (They shall not pass! We shall pass!). The montage depicts two intimidating vultures in fascist uniforms sitting atop the skyline of Madrid with overpowering, mounted bayonets in the foreground. Contains the photo-illustrated articles "Madrid The Heroic City" by Colonel A, W. Long as well as that on the bombardment of Madrid, the suffering of children and general population, featuring the Franco quote: "I will destroy Madrid, despite all pity, ward by ward." An article by I. W. de Rivera describes the situation regarding foreign volunteers in the fight against fascism. Includes two pages with advertisements and imprint featuring offices in Switzerland, Holland, the USA and England. Text in German. Tissue guards laid in. Very good + condition. Item #49803

John Heartfield (1891-1968), born Helmut Herzfeld, is best known for his "Use [of] Photography as a Weapon" - this line was written on a banner above the entrance of the room especially dedicated to his work at the 1929 exhibition "Film und Foto" in Stuttgart. Heartfield saw photomontage, a term coined by the Berlin Dadaists, as a tool of political protest and was best known and admired for his more than fifty photomontage dustjackets for book publications.

His vitae is "littered" with names instrumental in avant-garde movements of the 20th Century: George Grosz, Kurt Schwitters, Jan Tschichold, Herbert Bayer, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, El Lissitzky, Alexander Rodchenko, and famously Kurt Tuchosky in his work "Deutschland, Deutschland über alles," to which Heartfield contributed his photomontages. His publishing endeavors included the founding of the Malik Verlag, the Neue Jugend, a magazine published with George Grosz, and his 237 contributions to the AIZ (Illustrated Worker's Newspaper) between 1929 and 1938. During his stay in Russia, 1931-1932, Heartfield contributed to "Soviet Union in Construction," a collaboration between El Lissitzky and Rodchenko, experimenting with photography and photomontage.

With George Grosz Heartfiel edited and contributed to the first Communist satircal magazine, Der Knüppel (The Cudgel), from 1923 to 1927. His success in the 1929 Stuttgart Film und Foto exhibition prompted othe artist to show interest for the use of photomontage, e.g. Bayer and Moholy-Nagy in the German fashion magazine Neue Linie, and in Russia Rodchenko and Lissitzky as mentioned above.

Brecht congratulated the AIZ on its tenth anniversary in 1931 writing "the camera can lie just like the typesetting mahcine. The task of A-I-Z to serve truth and reproduce the real facts is of immense importance, and, it seems to me, has been achieved splendidly." (Brect in AIZ 10, No. 41, 1931). In 1933, after the takeover of the Nazis, Münzenberg moved to Paris and Heartfield to Prague, operating the Malik Verlag amd AIZ from there. The last AIZ issue published in Berlin was released on March 5, 1933, and Heartfield began publishing AIZ from Prague later that month. "Heartfield's first photomontage from Prague, Durch Licht zur Nacht (Through light to night; 5/33), a comment on Nazi book burning, appeared on 10 May, 1933." (David Evans, John Heartfield, page 12). The edition for each issue was reduced to 12,000 in Prague, compared to 500,000 in Berlin.

In 1936 Heartfield renamed AIZ to Volks-Illustrierte (VI) and in 1938 the operations were moved to France where seven additional issues without contributions by Heartfield were releasedbetween January 15th and February 26, 1939. Heartfield moved to London in 1940, after a narrow escape from the Gestapo. He was not welcomed by the British government but placed in various interment camps which had a severe effect on his health. Eventually he was able to continue his campaign against the Third Reich producing advertisements for the radio broadcast "Freedom Calling," a production utterly dispised by Adolf Hitler. In London Heartfield met Gertrud Fietz. They moved to East Germany in 1950 and got married there just before Heartfield's death in 1968.

Price: $1,250.00

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