Avant-Garde

Henri VAN STRATENLa Tentation de Saint Antoine [The Temptation of St. Anthony].

Antwerp, Lumière, 1921.

4to, loose as issued in publisher’s purple tissue-covered paper chemise with printed label on front cover, (morocco-backed chemise and slipcase by Devauchelle). Unpaginated. 8 original linocuts by Henri Van Straten. Complete. First and only edition, limited to 220 copies.

One of the first 10 copies for private circulation marked A-K, with each plate signed by the artist.

Henri Van Straten (1892-1944), a vital member of a group of printmakers who revived the woodcut art in Belgium after the First World War. This Expressionist group, often referred to as Lumière group or simply “The Five”, also included Joris Minne, Jan and Jozef Cantré and Frans Masereel, the celebrated father of the “novel in pictures”. Roger Avermaete, director of Lumière magazine in Antwerp and the biographer of Masereel, sought out Van Straten after seeing his series of linocuts, L’Après-midi d’un Faune (1919). Van Straten immediately became involved with Avermaete’s magazine and contributed to exhibitions by the Lumière group. His interest in graphic artists like the German Hans Orlowski and Frans Masereel influenced his style in the early 1920s, but he soon developed a style of his own and his skilful display of black-and-white lines made him one of the most important and fascinating woodcut artists of his time. Van Straten disappeared without trace in the 1944 bombing of Antwerp.

Superb copy and very rare indeed in this condition.

Ref. Gilberte Dewanckel, L’œuvre gravé de Henri Van Straten, Bruxelles, BKR, 1973, 6-9 / Joris van Parijs, Frans Masereel, une biographie, 2008, p. 149 / Ludo Raskin, Henri Van Straten : Catalogue de l’œuvre gravé, 2001, p. 120 (illustré) / Sander Pierron, La Xylographie belge contemporaine, 1931, p. 73 / Le Tout Venant, Bruxelles, catalogue 1 (2008)

Price: 2.800,00 euros

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