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Artists and Their Books
Illustration has often been considered the stepchild of literature, strictly an accompaniment which at best serves as a diversionary respite from the intellectual and emotional triumph of words. But along with the more immediately apparent 20th Century revolutions in the plastic arts, film, performance, music and literature, a quiet but equally profound alteration has taken place in the world of illustrated books and publications. Ubu Gallery’s current exhibition, “Artists and Their Books”, is an attempt to gain the recognition of a wider, informed audience for this essential melding of art and literature. We are presenting drawings, collages and photographs created explicitly for or in connection with books and publications produced from the 1920s to 1960s, with a heavy dose of Surrealism. Some of these books and publications are unique, some limited edition, some mass produced. But virtually all of the art generated fcr these books and publications was created by “fine” artists and is exceedingly rare, significant and collectible. Practically every ma|or artist of the 20th Century has collaborated in the creation of one or more of such works and often these artists supplied their own unique voice as well, rivaling the achievements of recognized literary giants. In many cases, illustration has occupied such an important place in the total oeuvre of the artist that no student of art history, connoisseur or astute collector can afford to turn a blind eye.
Hans Bellmer, Man Ray, Claude Cahun, Georges Hugnet, Jindřich Štyrský and Unica Zürn are among the heavyweights on view.