6327. Kandinsky's rare Klänge 1913 signed by the artist

KANDINSKY, WASSILY (1866-1944). Klänge. Mit 12 farbigen und 44 Schwarzweiss-Holzschnitten von W.  Kandinsky. München (R. Piper & co Verlag, 1913).

Large 4to (285x280 mm for binding). Complete set of 56 woodcuts including 12 in colours by Wassily Kandinsky. Text in German. Number 251 of 300 copies (complete 345) on Van Gelder laid paper, signed in ink by the author on verso of title.
Original half cloth with gilt-tooled vignettes on the red paper boards and gilt lettering on spine, grey edges, binding partly faded, corners rubbed and slightly bumped, spine defective and lacking parts, two fragments of the spine loose, one of which compleats the spine title, split lower hinges. First woodcut with crease in the outer margin. Small blue stamp on lower margin on title.

Artist and the Book, 138. First edition . The woodcuts printed by F. Bruckmann in Munich.

Kandinsky began work on the woodcuts for Klänge as early as 1907 and several studies for the prints are in the Gabriele Münter Stiftung Munich. Kandinsky  had long associated music and writing, and in a letter to Gabriele Munter from 1904 he wrote that a work of art must "klingen" (sound/resonate). In the brochure published for Klänge published 1913 Kandinsky  wrote: "Ich wollte nichts als Klänge bilden, Sie bilden sich aber von selbst. Das ist die Bezeichnung des Inhaltes, des Inneren. Es ist der Grund, der Boden, auf welchem allerhand, teils von Selbst, teils dank der Hand der berechnenden Gärtners wuchs" (cf. R. Jentsch, p. 60).

"The range of Kandinsky's work is seen here, from cuts in his early style reminiscent of folk art and Jugendstil to his nonobjective designs, which have been so important in 20th century art. Arp has pointed out that the sonorous quality of Kandinsky's poetry in Klänge was likewise influential in modern literature and was recited by the Dadaists in the Cabaret Voltaire in Zürich" (Artist and the Book 138.)