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Portfolio]: Anita Berber: acht Originallithographieen - BEREND, Charlotte (Anita - 1919. [1279579]
Berlin: Gurlitt Presse. 1919. Elephant folio. Set of eight 20" x 25" lithographs housed in a portfolio decorated paper over boards in quarter vellum gilt. Each lithograph is laid into a thick card matte, some of which show signs of foxing or light stains. The outer portfolio has splits along some folds, with wear and some staining, and the title sheet is edgeworn and foxed. Overall very good, the lithographs are near fine or better.The lithographs depict Anita Berber in various erotic poses taken from her theatrical personas, with hand-tinting added to several of the images. Of a total of 80 sets, this is number XIII [13] of only 40 sets Signed by Berend and highlighted in watercolor by her on four of the lithographs. Most of the sets are alleged to have been destroyed after the work was banned; only one other set with hand-tinting is known to survive.Berend was the first female artist to be inducted into the Berlin Session movement. Her specialty at this time was in creating prints of actors and dancers. According to The Seven Addictions and Five Professions of Anita Berber, Weimar Berlin's "Priestess of Depravity" by Mel Gordon:"Berend sketched eight canvases of the decadent dance personality. Each picture captured Anita in a new and more provocative pose. There was the terrified child in a short hoop-skirt which fell just below her naval, directing the viewer's eye straight to the startled figure's exposed vagina and lower torso; the smiling adolescent, bagging her nightgown from top to bottom, to display her boyish breasts as well as her pubic hair and a single silk stocking; the confident fashion-plate sprawled across a chair; the inviting whore, sensationally naked except for an open black overcoat, rolled up stockings and high heeled pumps; the saucy revue-girl at her makeup table, tonguing a phallic-looking oyster; a hard-faced dancer, in Parisian attire, expertly pleasuring herself with her right leg thrown over the arm of a chair; a beckoning bride, wearing only dark hosiery, in a curtained chamber room; and a naked openmouthed showgirl, seated on her fur wraps.""The Gurlitt Gallery Press privately printed 80 luxurious sets of the 'Anita Berber Portfolio' in the summer of 1919. Berend hand-printed and signed 40 of the oversize lithographic parcels and assumed that because of their fantastic cost and tiny print run, the series would probably elude Berlin's hard-pressed censoring boards. She was wrong. The entire Portfolio was labeled pornographic and quickly suppressed. Ten years later, the drawings reappeared in Viennese erotic encyclopedias and moral histories of the period. They would be among the most enduring images of Anita Berber between the time of her death and the beginning of Nazi rule."Anita Berber, beautiful, androgynous, and bi-sexual, was described by some as "Europe's first postmodern woman." She acted in Expressionist films directed by Richard Oswald and co-starring Conrad Veidt. Along with Sebastian Droste she caused a sensation with their series "The Dances of Depravity, Horror, and Ecstasy." She ruled the cabaret and casinos of Berlin during the period of the Weimer Republic, inspiring the careers of Marlene Dietrich and Leni Riefenstahl, and performing exotic dances "radiantly naked except for an elegant sable wrap, a pet monkey hanging from her neck, and a silver brooch packed with cocaine." She died tragically (if not surprisingly) in 1928 at the age of 29, a few months after collapsing on the cabaret floor of a Beirut club while performing abroad. In 1991 Otto Dix's portrait of her appeared as a German postage stamp.A collection of rare and superb images of the devotedly decadent Berber. With a copy of The Seven Addictions and Five Professions of Anita Berber, Weimar Berlin's "Priestess of Depravity" by Mel Gordon (reproducing the illustrations from this set). OCLC seems to locate two locations for the portfolio (National Library of Israel and National Art Library, of the Victoria and Albert Museum). .
      [Bookseller: Between the Covers- Rare Books, Inc. ABA]
Last Found On: 2016-12-01           Check availability:      IOBABooks    

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