Köln, Berlin: Verlag Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 1971. First edition. Three softcover 8vos in letterpress printed wraps, with silver foil stamping on front of covers. Unpaginated (ca. 128 pp., 144 pp., and 144 pp.) All three very good with rubbing, spotting, and age toning to covers, heavy darkening along spines, bumps to corners, and two reading creases along spine of volume three. Pages throughout are clean and solid.
A set of three artists’ books featuring a deluge of appropriated and manipulated images, a few of which include Dürer’s painting of Adam and Eve, Ave Maria sheet music, Batman, baseball, congress, James Dean, Garbo, street signs from Germany, the Eiffel tower, the Onassis family, portraits of Jesus, Rolling Stones, Cadillacs, commercial airplanes, the 1968 Mexico Olympics, Marilyn Monroe, the bust of Nefertiti, Barbara Streisand winning her Oscar, bullets in various calibers, repeating images of tires, details of handguns, Frank Sinatra, Super Boy, watches, recording equipment, Andy Warhol, X-15 fighter planes, currency, zeppelins, cigarettes, and images of teeth. Kriwet’s powerful visual narrative walks a delicate line between awareness, fascination, obsession, and critique of media. Together the three books, organized from a–z, feel more like a movie questioning the direction of culture and its idols.
The covers were designed by Hannes Jähn who worked for nearly fifty different publishers in Germany between the1950s and 1980s. Item #594