Chimeneas (Chimneys). Novel by Gustavo Ortiz Hernán with photographs by Augustin Jiménez, Enrique Gutmann and Augustin Victor Casasola. Editorial México Nuevo, México, 1937. 242 pp. Quarto. Deluxe edition. Hardbound with half leather & purple silk. 48 black-and-white reproductions. INSCRIPTION on half-title page dated 1938 and signed 'G' cannot be confirmed as belonging to Gustavo Ortiz Hernán. |
Edition Note: Chimeneas was published in an stated edition of 10,000 copies (1,000 on 75kg paper and 9,000 on 50Kg weight; though, given its scarcity, it is hard to believe this many copies actually appeared). HOWEVER, this copy is 1/(only!)150 copies, specially bound in half-leather("deluxe") as illustrated in Parr & Badger Vol. I, pp. 110-11. very rare!
NOTE ON ILLUSTRATIONS: Title page shown at right. To show more imagery from this fragile book, some of the interior illustrations below are taken from the softbound edition of Chimeneas and not the present copy.
From Parr & Badger, Vol. I, pp. 110-11:
"During the 1930s, in Mexico, Augustin Jiménez was considered to be as important a photographer as Manuel Alvarez Bravo. He was not only wide-ranging in both style and practice--making industrial and advertising as well as editorial and New Vision photographs - but he was also photography instructor at the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plasticas, and a noted cinematographer. He worked on the films of Jyan Bustillo, Luis Buñuel and Adolfo Best Maugard, including the latter's legendary La Mancha de sangre (The Spot of Blood, 1937), banned because of 'sordid' subject-matter, and then lost for many years until fragments were discovered in 1994. The proletarian underworld of prostitution that Jiménez shot so expressionistically in La Mancha de sangre has its echoes in the melodrama of Gustavo Ortiz: Hernán...It is Jiménez who makes this illustrated version of Hernán's novel Chimeneas an important modernist photobook, despite the presence of works by two other photographers. Augustin Victor Casasola's archive photographs of the revolution are mixed with Enrique Gutmann's social documentary studies before Jiménez raises the stakes with a display of modernist strategies ranging from New Vision formalism to photomontage. His best known picture in the book, Un hombre que piensa (A Man who Thinks) is his take on El Lissitsky's famous Constructivist montage, The Constructor. Depicting a rear view of a shaved head, in which are montaged several mechanical constructions, it makes a clarion call for revolution, both political and artistic."
"Mexico City-born photographer Agustin Jimenez (1901-1974) was at the center of his country's flourishing avant-garde, which emerged in the 1920s when international photographers like Edward Weston and Tina Modotti began to travel extensively there and relationships between the local and foreign artists led to aesthetic breakthroughs on both sides. Jimenez is known for crafting an indigenous version of Romantic Pictorialism very akin to Weston's. Jimenez also collaborated closely with the Mexican illustrated press throughout the 1920s and 30s, and in the latter decade became involved with the country's burgeoning motion picture industry--first as a still photographer and then as a cinematographer, in collaboration with such seminal figures as Sergei Eisenstein, Adolfo Best Maugard and Fernando de Fuentes."--see Agustin Jimenez: Memoirs of the Avant-Garde, from Editorial RM
Very Good+; presentable copy of an impossibly rare edition of an already scarce title; nice tight binding; rippling and tanning to endpapers; moderate abrasion to extremities and two small areas of splitting along joints; some discoloration to leather and silk of rear board with small (1/4"/.5 cm) 'wound' rear fore-edge