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» » » » Jacques VILLON - Original Print - Etching - Untitled (A poem in each Paul Eluard book) 5

Jacques VILLON - Original Print - Etching - Untitled (A poem in each Paul Eluard book) 5

Reference -BDNW3059

Untitled (A poem in each Paul Eluard book) is an original print by the artist Jacques VILLON which will personalize in a unique and original way the interior of art lovers.

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Jacques VILLON - Original Print - Etching - Untitled (A poem in each Paul Eluard book) 5

Artist: Jacques VILLON (1875-1963)
Title: Untitled, 1955
Technique and support: Etching on paper
Type of work: Original print signed by hand by the artist in pencil at the bottom right and numbered I/VI. This work is an additional wide-margined edition of illustration 13 of the tribute book to Eluard "a poem in each book" published in 1956 in 120 copies. In the book, illustration 13 is positioned next to Paul Eluard's poem "I believed rest was possible" from "The Fertile Eyes" (1936). The work offered here comes from the album called "Album A", Reprinted from the book in 20 copies. Each album contains, like the book, 16 prints (including this work by Jacques Villon) but they were printed with wide margins and unlike the prints in the book, all signed or monogrammed by the artists. The album we have was the property of the publisher Louis BRODER. It stands out from the others because it is enriched in addition to the 16 large-margined illustrations with many other prints collected by the publisher throughout his collaboration with the artists on this book.
Dimensions: 41 x 28 cm (image 15 x 14 cm)
Condition: Good, two small almost invisible holes of barely 0.1 mm, probably linked to the printing matrix of the print but which will be completely invisible to the frame. See picture 5
Provenance: Genevieve and Jean Paul Kahn collection


Expert's commentFrom a very young age, Jacques Duchamp alias Jacques Villon has been making prints, his favorite medium. Successively influenced by all the great movements of modern art (Impressionism, Cubism, Surrealism, etc.), the artist retains his independence of mind and his own style. In 1906 he moved to rue Lemaître in Puteaux with his brother Raymond Duchamp-Villon and Frantisek Kupka. This workshop will become a meeting point for part of the Parisian avant-garde with, among others, Marcel Duchamp (his brother), Francis Picabia, Fernand Léger, Robert Delaunay. They will form the “group of Puteaux” or “golden section”.
In 1913, he participated in the Armory Show in New York where his brother Marcel Duchamp caused a famous scandal by presenting his "Nu descending the stairs", then after the war, he devoted himself to abstraction. It was only from the 1940s that his work was recognized when he had already produced a lot. These years also mark the beginning of his collaboration with the greatest contemporary writers including Paul Eluard but also André Frénaud, Robert Ganzo, Tristan Tzara and Henri Pichette.
His contribution to the tribute book on Paul Eluard "a poem in each book" is one of the most surprising and interesting. Indeed, the artist interprets in his own way the poem "I believed the possible rest" and represents the weariness, the loneliness, the old age, the sufferings of the man who knows no rest and leads him to the image of the Undoubtedly ruined at death leaving only the skeleton. This skeleton bends "the back" and walks "head down" like a man under the weight of a labor he undergoes with the regret of not having taken his destiny in hand, of not having dared to leave the well-marked life offered by the company. He is like this cow taken from the surrealist bestiary, which, manipulated by man, only obeys and submits.
Villon's work, like Paul Eluard's poem, is incredibly expressive and allows, as the surrealists like to do, to show the life of the mind. The only glimmers of hope are the light evoked in the poem and the soft colors of the artist. Why did Villon choose this poem? Perhaps it is in connection with his own career as an artist and this belated recognition from which he benefited? I also appreciate this declaration of the artist "what is difficult in painting, it is the first 70 years..."


The Album and the Book :

Explanatory photo 1: Comparison between Album A offprint of "a poem in each book" printed in 20 copies and the book "a poem in each book" printed in 120 copies.
Explanatory photo 2: Album A offprint of 20 copies having belonged to the publisher Louis Broder contained in a gray canvas box with a label stuck on the back and the first cover.
Explanatory photo 3: Proof of printing of Album A which indicates the maximum number of copies of prints contained in total in the 20 albums as well as the names of the artists. It is annotated in red pencil "Editor's copy B" because it belonged to Louis Broder.
Explanatory photo 4: Original print signed and printed with wide margins by Pablo Picasso, contained in album A
Explanatory photo 5: Original print signed and printed with large margins by Max Ernst, contained in album A
Explanatory photo 6: Book "a poem in each book" printed in 120 copies, containing the 16 prints unsigned by the artists (signatures on the proof of printing of the book)
Explanatory photo 7: Print by Pablo Picasso on double page, unsigned contained in the book "a poem in each book"
Explanatory photo 8: Print by Max Ernst unsigned contained in the book "a poem in each book"



To discover in pictures the history of Album A and the rare prints it contains, click on the video below !



Biography of the artist : Jacques Villon, whose real name is Gaston Emile Duchamp, was born in 1875. Coming from a family of artists, he practiced engraving from the age of 16. In 1894, he moved to the Montmartre district, where in parallel with his law studies, he took courses at the Beaux-Arts in Paris. His career began as a caricaturist and illustrator for the Parisian press. At the same time, without really belonging to a particular movement, he decided to devote himself entirely to painting. If his work particularly marked the spirits during the cubist period, where he proposed a different approach from other artists, playing more on dynamism and colors, Jacques Villon also participated in the impulses of fauvism and abstract impressionism. His success will cross the Atlantic and the Museum of Modern Art in Paris will add one of his works to its collection.


History of the book and the album: We advise you to read our blog "THE ALBUM OF LOUIS BRODER: A LEGENDARY PORTFOLIO".


About Paul ELUARD : We advise you to read our blog "PAUL ELUARD: THE CHOSEN ONE OF THE ART".


A few lines from the poem "I believed rest was possible":
An empty shell ruin
Cry into her apron
The children playing around her
Make less noise than flies
The ruin is groping away

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