Sims Reed Rare Books×

Mouldy Modern. / Histoire Naturelle

Desjardin, Arnaud /Max Ernst

(London). (The Everyday Press). 2014
'Moudly Modern', Arnaud Desjardin's artist book / homage to Max Ernst, inspired by a mould-affected copy of Ernst's original 'Histoire Naturelle'.

From the edition limited to 34 copies, each signed and numbered by Arnaud Desjardin and with the 'Everyday Press' blindstamp; 14 artist proofs were also issued.

The purple fungus found on a complete set of Max Ernst's 'Histoire Naturelle' printed on vélin has given way to a Surrealist facsimile of the original work. Ernst's original portfolio of 1926 (34 lithographs published by Jeanne Bucher, with an introduction by Hans Arp) was based on experiments using the 'frottage' technique. Desjardin's homage is, by contrast, a facsimile of a profoundly mould-affected copy of the original work with the result that Ernst's frottages have been enhanced with purple mould to create an extraordinary and random pictorial confection.

Desjardin's work is an exact facsimile including the original publisher's portfolio of the copy of 'Historie Naturelle', number 198 on vélin, given to 'Liebe Lenja' by Ernst. Desjardin has reproduced the additional booklet with the introduction by Hans Arp, the list of plates and the original justification and has altered the justification with the addition of the details of his own edition in blue marker pen.
[2 bifolia (432 x 280 mm) with title, Arp's 'introduction', list of plates and justification + 34 leaves of plates]. Folio. Illustrated with 34 collotype plates after Max Ernst each printed recto only and numbered I - XXXIV (sheet size: 498 x 324 mm or the reverse) all showing the effects of purple mould. Loose as issued in original publisher's cloth-backed paper-covered board portfolio with blue silk ties, white paper label to front cover with printed title in black, original brown paper wrapping and white card mailing box retained with image in purple and titles in red to front cover, original silver seal and pencil numbering to rear flap.