The Momentum of Modernism 1920-1930
The momentum of modernism, interrupted by World War I, was unleashed afterwards in the “Roaring Twenties.” Cubism and Dada were established styles by then, not outrageous affronts to aesthetic propriety. From this period onwards, artists’ books generally consisted of two forms. Accessible, inexpensively produced volumes, often of revolutionary design, with photomechanical reproductions conveyed ideas and images to the greatest number of persons. Fernand Léger’s La Fin du Monde (1919) is an extraordinary example of such a publication. Other artists’ books were more traditional works in which the tendency was to use only original prints and the finest papers and bindings to create sumptuous volumes that were referred to as livres d’artistes. The range and variety of artists’ books created in this decade are in keeping with the frenetic nature of the period.
Les Mots En Liberté Futuristes by F. T. Marinetti (Milan: Edizioni Futuriste di Poesia, 1919).
Das Kestnerbuch by Multiple Authors (Hannover: Heinrich Böhme Verlag, 1919)