GASSER, Manuel. Szenen aus dem Leben der Rennfahrer.

(Zurich): A Grossenbacher, 1943. First edition. Folio. Unpaginated. 14 loose pages in portfolio. Introductory text by Gasser. An incredible artists book, comprising 29 photoguarve images from newspaper cuttings collected from France and Switzerland over the previous ten years. The images depict cycle races with an emphasis on crashes. It may be that the volume has a fascinating homoerotic undertones, with Gasser drawn to the fit young men in shorts, and some images showing a compatriot consoling a dazed and bleeding colleague with a sympathetic arm around a shoulder. Nevertheless the volume is an amazing homage to road racer, designed by Hans Falk, the layout is simple in concept but masterly in execution. “A mysterious book, yet one thing is certain: it is an extremely early example of the ‘conceptual’ artist’s book celebrating and elevating vernacular photography long before Ed Ruscha, Hans-Peter Feldman or Joachim Schmid. In this, it is at least twenty-five years ahead of its time.” Parr and Badger, The Photobook: A History volume III. Published in an edition of 100 numbered copies. This is a near fine example in printed covers with original clear glassine, glassine with a small chip to the top edge. Very rare, OCLC locates just two copies, both in Switzerland.


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