“ONE OF THE BEST-KNOWN TITLES IN PHOTOBOOK HISTORY”: FIRST EDITION OF DIE WELT IST SCHÖN, WITH 100 STRIKING PHOTOGRAPHS
RENGER-PATZSCH, Albert. Die Welt ist Schön. München: Kurt Wolf, (1928). Quarto, original gilt-stamped blue cloth, original photographic dust jacket. $4000.
First edition of Renger-Patzsch’s influential work, sparking “one of Germany’s most pervasive modernist movements” and advancing the cause of a ‘New Objectivity’ in photography, with 100 black-and-white halftone photographs, in very rare original dust jacket.
“One of the best-known titles in photobook history, Die Welt ist Schön (The World is Beautiful) was originally going to be called Die Dinge (Things)… Seen by many as the epitome of the ‘straight’ photographic ethos because of its apparent stark objectivity, Renger-Patzsch’s” work, like that of Karl Blossfeldt, explores with extraordinary resonance the complexity of the close-up (Parr & Badger, 97). “For Renger-Patzsch, photography was a way of recreating the order of things through the order of the photograph. His pictures of factories, mines, architecture, even flowers and animals, have an unwavering precision that is almost painful in its purity” (New York Times). His preferred title of Die Dinge “was more in keeping with his idea of a strictly ‘photographic photography’: pictures that were above all straightforward, easily apprehended documents, free of the distracting artistic interventions of his avant-garde contemporaries… The New Objectivity (Neue Sachlichkeit) style he sparked was one of Germany’s most pervasive modernist movements… The photographs in Die Welt is Schön have a cool reserve and a deliberate ordinariness that still look ‘modern,’ and their elevation of the common object to iconic status feels proto-Pop” (Roth, 50). Text in German. With introduction by Carl Georg Heise. Without extremely scarce printed band and card slipcase. Open Book, 68.
Images quite fine, bit of toning to spine head; light edge-wear and small chip to spine head of scarce unrestored dust jacket.