MIRÓ, Joan. À Toute Épreuve. By Paul Eluard. 46 ff. Illustrated with 79 woodcuts by Miró printed in colour. 4to., 320 x 250 mm, loose as issued in original colour printed wrappers illustrated by Joan Miró. In original chemise and bamboo slipcase. Preserved in a new red cloth folding box. Geneva: Gérald Cramer, 1958. PLUS:
__________. Two Original Woodblocks for the Printed Edition, carved by Miró himself. One large woodblock for a double-page spread, 495 x 320 mm. (Dupin 233) and one small woodblock for small ornament 51 x 30 mm. (Dupin 171). Preserved in yellow morocco box with red leather title label. [Paris: Cramer, 1958].
A unique copy of a monument of twentieth-century book illustration, and THE high watermark of Miró's career as a book-illustrator. This copy accompanied by two of the woodblocks used in the making of the book, which is itself an original Miró sculptural object. "One of the most triumphant feats of book illustration in our century" (Soby). Limited to 80 copies of the regular issue, from a edition of 130 copies.
For this edition Miró cut 233 woodcuts with the collaboration of Enric Tormo; together these men spent eleven years on the project. Miró used planks of wood, plastic wood, wire, old wood engravings, and bark paper to achieve the exuberant embellishments that practically dance on the pages of this perfectly produced book. These famous prints were prepared and printed by Jacques Frélaut at the Atelier Lacourière in Paris. "I am completely absorbed by the damn book. I hope to create something sensational, the most important achievement in engraving since Gauguin" (Miró in a letter to the publisher Cramer, April 1948).
"À Toute Épreuve is a compendium of so many of the formal and iconographic ideas that Miró explored throughout his career, and in many ways even represents a culmination of his aesthetic goals" (Braziller, in preface to 1984 edition of À Toute Épreuve). "A brilliance of invention and a vitality of form and color sweep through the pages of this most distinguished example of Surrealist book production" (Garvey). Fine copy of "one of the most original and beautiful books of the century" (Castleman).
The Artist and the Book 209. Soby, Joan Miró 29 and pp. 135-139. A Century of Artists Books 34 & 101. From Manet to Hockney 121. Dupin, Miró Engravings I, 161-234. Cramer, Joan Miró, The Illustrated Books: Catalogue Raisonné 49. Artists' Books in the Modern Era 139.
Item nr. 167302