Author: Paul Éluard (1895 - 1952)
Artist: Michel Guino (1926 - 2013)
Publisher: Degré quarante et un.
A wild history
This book's distinguished beauty actually plays host to a wild history. Éluard promised to write a preface to Iliazd's poem Lidantiu faram (1923), but he retracted his promise after the so-called 'soirée du Coeur à Barbe' incident. Tristan Tzara was the evening's organiser and Iliazd produced the poster. Éluard did not want his name to appear beside Cocteau's on the programme, so he retracted his promise regarding the preface in a letter to Iliazd. But that is not all: on the infamous Dada evening of 6 July 1923, Iliazd refused to take sides in a conflict between Éluard and Tzara. Against Éluard's wishes, Tzara had André Breton removed by the police, and he sued Éluard for 30,000 francs; the second evening's cancellation was, according to Tzara, mostly Éluard's fault. Ultimately, Éluard offered Iliazd the poem * Un soupçon* in order to save their friendship.
Sculptures on paper
Iliazd turned out to be so impressed by the poem that he wanted to turn it into a beautiful edition after Éluard's death. The repeated use of the word 'légère' (which means light, airy and brave) made an especially strong impression, evoking various kinds of associations. Each repetition of the word 'légère' made him imagine air sculptures made of steel in order to visualize Éluard's poem. He also already had an artist in mind for the realization of this project: the young French sculptor Michel Guino, whom he had met in 1955 in Saint-Germain des Prés. Guino's colour etchings – fifteen in total – bear a striking resemblance to the air sculptures made of torn metal Iliazd had dreamed of. These 'sculptures on paper' are so spatial and warm-coloured that they seem almost three-dimensional, appearing to leap off the paper.
Description: Un soupçon: poème / de Paul Éluard ; ill. de pointes sèches par Guino ; mis en lumière par Iliazd. - Paris : Degré quarante et un, 1965. -  bl. : ill. ; 44 cm
Edition: 41 and VI copies on Imperial Japan ('Japon impérial) paper and 23 on old Japan paper('vieux Japon')
This copy: Number 8 of 23 on vieux japon
Note: Signed by the artist and the publisher.
Bibliography: Bénézit 6-584, 6-806
Shelfmark: KW Koopm E 69
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