Sims Reed Rare Books×


Aragon, Louis, André Breton, Camille Goemans and Paul Nougé

(Brussels). 1928
The scarce Surrealist tract 'AVIS' denouncing Giorgio de Chirico, his 1928 exhibition in Brussells, his arrogance and his treason.

Although a proto-Surrealist painter - perhaps the most important in terms of Surrealism - and one esteemed initially by the Surrealists, their relationship became problematic and ended in acrimony and mutual antipathy. The early 'classical' paintings de Chirico made were highly esteemed by the Surrealists but his later technical preoccupations and then his revival of earlier themes, unsuccessfully in their partial view, provoked a decline and then break in their relations.The present tract, signed by Aragon and Breton as well as the Belgians Nougé and Goemans, was written against the background of early Surrealist activities in Belgium and de Chirico's 1928 exhibition of paintings at the gallery 'Le Centaure'. The text denounces de Chirico - in characteristic Surrealist double-think and suspecting a conspiracy - as a painter 'qui s'est arrogé le droit de trahir une pensée qui depuis longtemps a cessé d'être la sienne' and worse, 'au profit de ceux-là même qui n'en ont jamais pénétré le mystère'.

'The quarrel between de Chirico and the surrealists became more and more intense, particularly after the artist's return to Paris in 1925. It reached a climax in 1928, when Breton's 'Le Surréalisme et la Peinture' was published ... Breton's text about the artist is scathing in its denunciation of the latter's art and attitude ... In 1928 the leading surrealists also published a broadhseet attacking an exhibition of de Chirico's recent pictures at Brussels. From this date on the breach between the painter and the surrealists was never healed; indeed their dispute became thoroughly vituperative and continued so even after the decline of surrealism as a cohesive movement.' (James Thrall Soby).

The tract has only some very minor creasing to the head of the sheet but is in otherwise fresh condition and remains a very good example of this offprint. Scarce in commerce and in institutions we locate a single copy in EUrope at the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in Germany and four copies in the US, at Princeton, Johns Hopkins, Iowa and the Met.

[see James Thrall Soby's 'Giorgio de Chirico', New York, 1955].
[Single leaf]. 4to. (276 x 216 mm). Drophead title and printed text in French recto only on cream wove paper, dated and with the address at lower left, signed by the participants at lower right. Loose as issued.

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