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How To Electroplate Baby Shoes for Pleasure and Profit
 How To Electroplate Baby Shoes for Pleasure and Profit
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Herzefelde, Wieland, John Heartfield: Leben und Werk, Dargestellt von seinem Bruder, ["John Heartfield: Life and work. Portrayed by his Brother"], Dresden, DDR, VEB Verlag der Kunst, 1962, first edition, 4to (11 x 7.75"), HB, beige linen cloth w/ black spine titles and facsimile of the artist's initial signature occasionally used to sign his work, NF / VG. Edgewear and creasing to dust jacket extremities, noticeable due to black background on the front. Rear top corner bumped, otherwise pristine. Interior clean and bright..

356 pp. Frontispiece is a photographic portrait of the artist; profusely illustrated throughout,in b/w and several in 2 or 3-color, many full-page; text in German; notes on plates divided into sections: I. In text (1-333); II. Typography Work and Book Cover Designs (1-77); Theater Set Designs and Theater posters (78-102); Newspaper work and Political Posters (103-232); Addendum: Letters, Poems, Essays, Remembrances; Index.

The first comprehensive monograph about the life and prolific works of John Heartfield, by his brother, Wieland Herzfelde. Illustrated in color and b/w with numerous examples of his seering photomontages, and rarely seen, lesser known posters, graphic design and typography, book covers and theater designs.

John Heartfield (Helmut Herzfelde, 1891-1968) was born in Berlin in 1891 and trained as a graphic artist in München in 1908-1911. Best known as a pioneer of the interface between art and print media, and commonly considered inventor of political photo-collage - satirical, anti-fascist "photomontages" - a form that traced to cryptic postcards passed to friends from the trench soldiers during their WWI service. "They pasted on postcards a mischmasch of advertisements for hernia belts, student song-books and dog food, labels from schnaps and wine-bottles, and photographs from picture papers, cut up at will in such a way as to say, in pictures, what would have been banned by the censors if we had said it in words." (Quoted in 'Hans Richter: Dada: Art and Anti-art', New York, McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1965, pp. 117).

During WWI Heartfield anglicized his name in protest against prevalent German xenophobia and extremist anti-British propaganda. In the post-WWI Weimar period he played a key role in founding the Berlin wing of Dada, 'Berlin Club Dada', where he met and collaborated with Georg Grosz, Raoul Hausmann, and Hanna Höch. Heartfield and Grosz began experimenting with photomontage, a term coined by the Berlin Dadaists, in 1915 or 1916. Heartfield edited the group's periodical, DADA and organized the 'Erste Internationale Dada-Messe' (First International Dada Fair) in Berlin in 1920. Early in 1924, he met and struck up a friendship with Bertolt Brecht, an individual who would have a major impact on him throughout his life. On the 10th anniversary of the beginning of WWI, Heartfield exhibited his very first photomontage, entitled "After 10 Years-Fathers and Sons" in Berlin. Throughout the 1920s and 30s he incorporated images from the political journals that proliferated during this period of acute political upheaval. His collage work developed into a political medium, and a powerful satirical weapon he was to use throughout his career. Sharply critical of the Weimar Republic, Heartfield's work was banned during the Third Reich. He relocated to Czechoslavakia. where he continued his photomontage work for the AIZ (which was published in exile); in 1938, fearing a German takeover of his host country, he left for England. Once England declared war, he was interned as an enemy due to his German ancestry, during which his health declined. After WWII he settled in East Germany and Berlin. His work was 'rediscovered' and gained recognition in the DDR of the late 1950s, where his anti-fascist efforts were greatly appreciated. Heartfield has been a strong influence on fine artists and graphic designers ever since.

A thorough survey of Heartfield's large body of work, rare, particularily this first edition in a dust jacket.

For a fascinating project based on Heartfield, his life and his powerful works, visit this informative Towson University site: http://www.towson.edu/heartfield/2.html    [Book ID # 2075]


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