Category: periodicals

Russian Modernist Journal

In 2003, the Tretiakov Gallery in Moscow commissioned a facsimile reprint of the single issue of the early Russian modernist journal ‘Unovis’. This journal, organized by the Russian artist Kazimir Malevich and produced in 1920 by the staff and students of the Vitebsk Art School, is one of the principal forms of documentation of the art movement of the same name that flourished in Moscow from 1919 to 1922.

This facsimile edition also includes a book of essays on the movement and its makers (in Russian) and a reproduction of a full-color poster.


Surrealist newsletter acquired

The Fine Arts Library recently purchased a set of four issues of 14, rue du Dragon, the short-lived newsletter of the Cahiers d’Art. The title came from the address of the larger journal’s offices, located
in Saint Germain-des-Pres and just around the corner from the Café des Deux Magots, a popular hang-out in the thirties for the Surrealists and their literary friends.

We have four of the five issues that were published in  the spring of 1933 (a fifth issue, and an index, were published in 1935). Each issue is an octavo, folded from one sheet, and includes two inserts – one sheet of advertisements for local cultural businesses and a pink flier touting the Cahiers. The texts are generally reviews of films and theatre, excerpts from novels, poems, and notices of gallery shows, plus at least one large black and white photograph of a work of art produced by one of the Surrealists or French Modernists.

Analytical art

Who knew, in the summer of 1971, that the newest hotbed of art theory would be born, and grow up, in the villages of Chipping Norton and Leamington Spa and the industrial city of Coventry, twenty miles apart from each other and over one hundred miles northwest of London, the supposed center of British contemporary art? For it was there that David Rushton and Philip Pilkington – first-year students in the Fine Arts course at the Faculty of Art & Design, Lancaster Polytechnic – published the two (and only) issues of Analytical Art, rare copies of which have just now entered the Fine Arts Library collection.

Rushton and Pilkington quickly dissolved their work into the larger mission of ‘Art & Language’ group. (The entire text of the introduction to the last issue of the journal is: This is the final issue of Analytical Art. The editors will subsequently be publishing in Art & Language). Together with Terry Atkinson and most especially Charles Harrison they went on to make the discussion of conceptual art central to the critical dialogue of the seventies.


On The ‘Radar”

William Burroughs, photographed by Robert Mapplethorpe (1982)


The Fine Arts Library has recently acquired a complete, boxed set of the art journal RADAR, which was published in Switzerland between 1982 and 1988. This German language publication highlights the contemporary art scene in Europe and beyond; each issue includes an original photograph. In addition to this Mapplethorpe, this set features work by Gerard Malanga, Victor Bokris, and others.

To learn more about this title, please see this link:|libra…

“Radar” can be consulted in the Special Collections Reading Room of the library.


New Journal Provides Translations of Current Scholarship

Art in Translation is a new online journal published by the Visual Arts Research Institute, Edinburgh (VARIE). Art in Translation (AIT) publishes writing from around the world on the visual arts, architecture, and design in English translation.

Global in scope the journal covers all areas of the visual arts including painting, drawing, sculpture, architecture, design, and electronic media.  Topics covered so far have varied from Jomon ceramics, rationalist architecture and Mbuya masks.

Shades of Nakedness: the Douglass A. Roby Fund

One of the singular, and most generous, book funds available to the Harvard College Library is the one created by Douglass A. Roby, Class of 1965. Although Mr. Roby spent a great part of his career working for the New York City Transit Authority, he was an accomplished scholar, receiving advanced degrees from Yale University and Hunter College and specializing in medieval history. Just before his death in 2001, Mr. Roby established a fund to support library resources that provide a positive portrait of the lives of gay men and women.

One of the purchases made using Roby funds was a periodical called The Male Figure.  Bruce of Los Angeles (Bruce Bellas, 1909-1974) was one of the foremost photographers to emerge from the Southern California body-building mail-order catalogue scene of the mid-Fifties and early Sixties. This example of his work, a portrait of Rlee Brewer (not a typo), comes from the journal Bruce produced, published in three dozen tiny chapbooks from 1956 to 1965. In the era before Stonewall and Gay Liberation, when there was the very real chance that anyone purchasing photographs of nude men would be arrested, images of this sort had to be coded to pass as (somewhat) innocent depictions of musculature and exercise in a manner that would make them recognizable to (mostly closeted) gay men and invisible to everyone else.