VVV. Poetry, Plastic Arts, Anthropology, Sociology, Psychology.
(Surrealism) Hare, David, editor.
New York: 1942; 1943; 1944.
Nos. 1-4 (all published), profusely illustrated. In 3 volumes (as issued, nos. 2 & 3 being a double issue) vols. Original printed wrappers, including the famous “chicken-wire” wrapper of No. 2/3, designed by Marcel Duchamp, some very slight fading to wrapper edges, a few other with minor flaws, otherwise a fine, bright, set of quintessential journal of the war-time Surrealism movement in America, in a custom red silk clamshell box. Item #232322
With the outbreak of war in Europe, when New York became the home to many exiled Surrealist artists and writers (Dalí, Man Ray, Matta, Yves Tanguy, et al), VVV became the most important journal giving voice to the Surrealist movement. Published by the young American sculptor David Hare, with André Breton, Max Ernst, and Marcel Duchamp as editorial advisors, this short-lived but substantial journal dedicated to “Poetry, Plastic Arts, Anthropology, Sociology, and Psychology” gave Surrealism an entirely new exposure to audiences in the States. The first issue (October 1942) exhibited a cover design by Max Ernst and included writing by Breton, with contributions by Claude Lévi-Strauss, William Carlos Williams, André Masson, and Robert Motherwell. The inclusion of Williams and Motherwell signaled that an American presence was not only welcome, but critical to the publication's success. The next issue, a double issue, is famous for covers by Duchamp: on the front is an anonymous etching representing an allegory of death that Duchamp appropriated; the back cover features the shape of a woman's profile, cut out of the cover, in which a piece of chicken wire is inserted. The final issue has a bold cover designed by Matta, and features many fold-out pages of varying sizes, a combination of different papers, and many color images. Complete runs are now very difficult to obtain in acceptable condition.