KOKOSCHKA, Oskar. Die Träumenden Knaben. 10 ff. Illustrated with 10 lithographs (8 in colour and 2 in black & white), by Oscar Kokoschka. 4to., 240 x 275 mm, bound in original publisher's tan cloth with lithographic label, in a protective cloth box. Vienna: Wiener Werkstätte, 1908.
Earliest Issue of this remarkable illustrated book in its original Wiener Werkstätte binding. This was the first graphic work by the painter Oskar Kokoschka. Found here in a brilliant copy, Die Träumenden Knaben represents a major document of modern art, in part because Kokoschka's colour lithographs foreshadow the expressionist movement. From 1903 to 1909 Kokoschka studied at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Vienna; one of his professors being Gustav Klimt. Klimt commissioned this livre de peintre for the Kunstschau which exhibited some of the earliest art works of Viennese Art Nouveau, or Jugendstil. Kokoschka dedicated the book to Klimt.
"In works like his illustrated fable Die Träumenden Knaben ("The Dreaming Youths"), Kokoschka's stream-of-consciousness nursery-rhyme narrative style, and his quirky magic-garden vision -- in which schematic figuration and bluntly stylized organic form floated in uncertain fields of space -- seemed in direct communication with the uncorrupted resources of a child's imagination" (Varnedoe, Vienna 1900 p. 94). The strong colours of his lithographs provide an exotic landscape to support Kokoschka's text. "This book, and Slevogt's Sinbad, Berlin, 1908, are the first important modern livres de peintres from east of the Rhine" (Garvey).
At the time Kokoschka published this book, he was an unknown, twenty-one year old prodigy; sadly, only a few copies were sold, and the remainder of the edition was only issued ten years later in a new binding by the German publisher Kurt Wolff. This is a fine copy, with wear to the fragile fabric of the binding, which seems always to be the case..
The Artist and the Book 147. A Century of Artists Books p. 107. From Manet to Hockney 24. Johnson, Artists' Books in the Modern Era 1870-2000, No. 24 . Andel, Avant Garde Page Design 41
Item nr. 168745