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Breitenbach, Josef (Artist/Photographer) & Dryansky, Larisa (Contributor). BREITENBACH: MANIFESTO. Tucson, AZ: Nazraeli Press, 2008. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 52 pages. As New.

Retrospective Catalog, presented as an Artist Book. One of the most beautiful art photography books of our time. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a very small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now scarce. An austerely elegant production by Nazraeli Press: Oversize-volume format. A very tall and slim book. Cream cloth boards with photographic reproduction pasted in front and titles embossed on the cover and spine, as issued. Photographs by Josef Breitenbach. Essay by Larisa Dryansky. Printed on thick coated stock paper to the highest standards. In publisher's original plastic wrappers. Without DJ, as issued. Published in conjunction with The Josef Breitenbach Trust. Presents Josef Breitenbach's "Manifesto". "Born in Munich in 1896, Josef Breitenbach began taking photographs while working in the family wine merchant business. Proving less than successful at the latter, he opened his first photographic studio in 1932. Munich at that time was a stronghold of libertarians and bons vivants, and Breitenbach's clients included actors, cabaret stars, writers, and political figures. It was a short-lived venture. When Hitler became Chancellor in 1933, the photographer escaped to Paris, where he stayed for the next six years. There, Breitenbach's close friendship with Max Ernst brought him into contact with the Surrealist Movement although he never became a formal member of that group. His work was included in a number of exhibitions, alongside that of Man Ray, Brassai, and Cartier-Bresson. After the outbreak of war and a period of internment, he fled to New York and established himself as a teacher and commercial photographer. His early work remained unseen until its surprise re-discovery after his death, in 1984" (Publisher's blurb). Josef Breitenbach was the classic Modernist case: A tough-minded, serious, soulful artist whose work was ahead of its time even as he absorbed whatever he found useful among the Movements swirling around him. He is now considered a major forerunner of Andy Warhol in his application of color to black-and-white photographs through toning and bromoil transfer. His Bauhaus-inspired work, especially the photograms (such as "Bird, New York, 1948") are masterpieces that have all the color, warmth, and detail of a painting combined with the clarity, precision, and fluidity of a photograph. Breitenbach's most famous champion/collector today is Sir Elton John, who has amassed what is probably the finest collection of his work. The Sir Elton John Photography Collection has been promised to the City of Houston, which should help make Breitenbach's magnificent work permanently available to the public. An absolute "must-have" title for Josef Breitenbach collectors. This title is a contemporary art photography book classic. This is one of very few copies of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing still available online, is still in the publisher's original plastic wrappers, and has no flaws, a pristine beauty. Please note: Many copies available online have serious flaws because the cream cloth covers soil very easily. A scarce copy thus. 29 full-page plates. One of the greatest artist/photographers of the 20th century. A flawless copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER JOSEF BREITENBACH TITLE IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 1590051858. $70.00

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