KANDINSKY (WASSILY) Klänge, FIRST EDITION, NUMBER 64 OF 300 COPIES SIGNED BY THE ARTIST, Munich, R. Piper & Co., [1913]

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Lot 233
KANDINSKY (WASSILY)
Klänge, FIRST EDITION, NUMBER 64 OF 300 COPIES SIGNED BY THE ARTIST, Munich, R. Piper & Co., [1913]

Sold for £ 37,562 (US$ 53,143) inc. premium
MODERN BOOKS, MANUSCRIPTS & ORIGINAL ILLUSTRATIONS
KANDINSKY (WASSILY)
Klänge, FIRST EDITION, NUMBER 64 OF 300 COPIES SIGNED BY THE ARTIST, on vergé de Hollande paper watermarked Van Gelder Zonen, 56 woodcuts (12 in colour), light offsetting to text, publisher's burgundy linen-backed red boards with large gilt-stamped design on covers, spine faded, 4to, Munich, R. Piper & Co., [1913]

Footnotes

  • 'LA PALETTE DE CÔTÉ ET À SA PLACE LA MACHINE À ÉCRIRE': ONE OF 300 SIGNED COPIES OF KANDINSKY'S MASTERPIECE OF ARTISTIC AND POETICAL EXPRESSIONISM.

    Klänge ('Sounds' or 'Resonances'), defined by Kandinsky as an "album musical", comprises thiry-eight prose poems accompanied by fifty-six woodcuts in black and white and colours. It was one of the earliest artist's books to contain non-representational art, and Kandinsky's stated aim was to break down artistic barriers: "Nous combattions pour la peinture, mais peindre seulement n'est pas suffisant. J'ai eu l'idée d'un livre synthétique qui balayera la moitié des conceptions anciennes, étroites, en brisant les murs qui séparent les arts".

    Kandinsky himself saw the work as an important turning point in his artistic journey, the repetitions and alliterations foreshadowing dada and zaoum poetry: "Dans les bois et dans le reste – les bois et les poèmes – on peut découvrir les traces de mon passage du "figuratif" à l'abstrait". He had begun work on the woodcuts in 1907, and later on he would explain that he had been writing the poems for a long time too: "C'est depuis de longues années que j'écris de temps en temps des "poèmes en prose" et parfois même des "vers". Ce qui est pour moi un "changement d'instrument" — la palette de côté et à sa place la machine à écrire [...] [Ce livre] est un petit exemple de travail synthétique" (XXe siècle, n° 3, 1938).

    Kandinsky's genius is probably best summed up by Hans (or Jean) Arp: 'Kandinsky s'est livré dans ces poèmes aux recherches spirituelles les plus rares. De "l'être à l'étant pur" il a fait surgir à la lumière des beautés que jamais personne n'avait encore contemplées. Les poèmes de Kandinsky révèlent la vacuité des apparences et de la raison'. Arp also remarked that the sonorous quality of the poetry in Klänge was very influential in modern literature and was recited by the Dadaists in the Cabaret Voltaire in Zürich.
Contacts
KANDINSKY (WASSILY) Klänge, FIRST EDITION, NUMBER 64 OF 300 COPIES SIGNED BY THE ARTIST, Munich, R. Piper & Co., [1913]
KANDINSKY (WASSILY) Klänge, FIRST EDITION, NUMBER 64 OF 300 COPIES SIGNED BY THE ARTIST, Munich, R. Piper & Co., [1913]
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