A “CELEBRATION OF THE INDUSTRIAL AGE”: FIRST EDITION OF HIPMAN’S PRÁCE JE ?IVA, 1945, WITH 173 STRIKING PHOTOGRAVURES OF POST-WAR CZECHOSLOVAKIA
HIPMAN, Vladimír. Práce je ?iva [Work is Living]. (Praha): Ceská Grafická, (1945). Folio, original half brown cloth, original photographic dust jacket. $1500.
First edition of this tribute to the workers of Czechoslovakia, with 173 rich full-page photogravures. Scarce in original dust jacket.
A prominent figure of the Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity) movement, photographer Vladimir Hipman paid dramatic tribute to workers throughout Czechoslovakia in the rich photogravures of this scarce postwar classic. “The quality of the series of modernist photographs of factories and chimneys or details of wire, nails, chains, metal graters and other industrial products, created in the 30s and 40s by the now unfairly neglected Vladimir Hipman remains unappreciated” (Photorevue). Hipman’s vibrant photobook is a landmark “celebration of the industrial age” (Roth, 46), featuring modernist displays of machinery, tools and hoops of glistening wire interwoven with images of workers spectrally lit by molten steel, crossing high steel against a framework of beams, or at work in fields and forests. Like the documentary photography of Lewis W. Hine, Práce je ?iva.is a bold display of “New Vision paeans to industry”-an affirmation of photography’s ‘heroic worker’ mode… seen at its apotheosis… in the work of E.O. Hoppé and Albert Renger-Patzsch in Germany, or Vladimir Hipman in Czechoslovakia” (Parr & Badger I:122, 126). Text in Czech.
Book fine; some edge-wear, tape reinforcement to verso of extremely good dust jacket. Uncommon in this condition.