1931. HEARTFIELD'S PHOTOMONTAGE "TURNED THE BOOK COVER INTO A POLITICAL INSTUMENT" HEARTFIELD, John. A collection of 26 volumes, all of which are preserved in the original publisher's bindings designed and illustrated by John Heartfield, including novels by Upton Sinclair and Ilja Ehrenburg, anti-Nazi books and work in praise of Communist Russia. An impressive collection of strikingly original book jackets designed by John Heartfield which he designed for his brother's firm, Malik-Verlag, for works by such authors as Upton Sinclair and Ilya Ehrenburg. Heartfield placed his photomontage images on the front and back of the jackets to instantly convey the books' contents. This was a dramatic departure from the plain jackets of the period. According to the great designer and typographer Jan Tschichold, Heartfield was the inventor of photomontage book covers; furthermore, his designs for Malik were the first of their kind (Das neue Typographie, 1928, p. 228). "Today it is almost forgotten that [Heartfield] tested the artistic-political impact of photomontage on a wallflower that nobody took notice of, the dust jacket. Photomontage appeared for the first time on this slim, oblong, double page as a genre integrating the graphic, literary, and agitational means of expression into something new. The works, created mostly for the Malik publishing company in the twenties, were a bold experiment: Heartfield made the dust jacket 'active,' and let it 'fight' for the author. It is hardly imaginable today what a fascinating contract those miniature montages were in contract to the usual, sober or whimsical book covers" (Lilly Becher, quoted by Pachnicke). In very good to fine condition. LITERATURE: Pachnicke, John Heartfield (New York: Abrams, 1991, pp. 96-99, with numerous reproductions). PLEASE INQUIRE FOR COMPLETE LIST (Inventory #: 160196)
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