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L. Pescador, 1995

 

 

 

 

Negerplastik

by Carl Einstein

Edited by Ezio Bassani and Jean-Louis Paudrat

Translated by Carlo Lodovico Ragghianti

 

pages: 168

editor: Abscondita, Milan

year: 2009

serie: Carte d’artisti

language: italian

ISBN: 978-88-8416-201-4

price: 19,50 euro

 

There is no doubt that Carl Einstein's Negerplastik, right from its first release back in 1915, has been historically one of the seminal books in regards to the discussion and spread of African plastic arts in Europe. A true pamphlet for all twentieth-century avant-garde art that are more or less explicitly inspired by the "black" arts, this volume is still today, nearly a century after its publication, an interesting reading for avid fans, absolutely essential and indispensable.

 

At first glance, the may seem superseded, especially because of the pictures suffering from the weak resolution due to the technical means at the time, but later, at a more careful reflection, ones realizes that these images have formed and largely still form the foundation of the Western perception of African aesthetics we now call "classical".

 

Already in 1985 Ezio Bassani, in one of the mythical African supplements to the "Art Criticism" by the famous critic Ragghianti, had published the first Italian translation of the text of Einstein, together with the re-publication of the prologue by the second workbook of the German author Afrikanische Plastik (of 1922) in the Italian translation of Italo Tavolato of 1924 and had then announced that its partial reconstruction of the existing locations in museums or private collections of Negerplastik pieces was said to be completed in collaboration with the French scholar Jean-Louis Paudrat.

 

The final outcomes of this important research work was crowned in 1992 with the publication of a new German edition of the Einstein's masterpiece, and after 17 good years, now  they are published in Italy, thanks to the small Abscondita publishing house which publishes an economic paperback version. In the pictures: The book cover of the just released volume, the book cover of the second edition of Negerplastik of 1920 and the book cover of the 1985 African Art Criticism.