Genève: Editions d’Art Albert Skira, 1981. Three volumes. Full brown buckram, stamped in blind, with the dust jackets and card slipcases. Some wear and small tears to jackets at spine head and tails, slipcases a little rubbed at extremities and splitting slightly at opening. Contents fine. A facsimile edition reproducing the original issues in full, of the lavish journal of art, literature, culture, ethnography, psychiatry, &c. One of the most important serial publications of the twentieth century.
In 1933 the Swiss publisher Albert Skira approached Andre Breton about editing a new journal. Breton had previously published two journals dedicated to surrealism and explicitly political: Le Surréalisme au service de la revolution, and earlier La Révolution surréaliste. Skira was adamant that Minotaure remain outside the realm of politics. His manifesto for the journal was laid out in 1933: “Minotaure will endeavor, of set purpose, to single out, bring together and sum up the elements which have constituted the spirit of the modern movement, in order to extend its sway and impact; and it will endeavor, by way of an attempted refocusing of an encyclopedic character, to disencumber the artistic terrain in order to restore to art in movement its universal scope.”
Through its brief life before the war cut short its publication, Minotaure published articles by Breton, Bataille, Lacan, Heine, Leiris, Mabille, Hugnet, Peret, Michaux, Crevel, Eluard, Prévert, Caillois, and many others, along with reproductions of ethnographic objects, and works of art by Duchamp, Bellmer, Ernst, Dalí, Miró, Masson, Magritte, Matisse, Picasso, Man Ray, Brassaï, Ubac, Giacometti, de Chirico, and others. The covers, specially commissioned for the magazine are spectacular: Pablo Picasso, issue one (1933); Gaston-Louis Roux, issue two (1933); André Derain, issues three and four (1933); Francisco Bóres, issue five (1934); Marcel Duchamp, issue six (1935); Joan Miró, issue seven (1935); Salvador Dalí, issue eight (1936); Henri Matisse, issue nine (1936); René Magritte, issue ten (1937); Max Ernst, issue eleven (1938); André Masson, issues twelve and thirteen (1939).
A heavy set, international shipping not advised. Item #2270