The Czech Avantgarde experienced renewed vitality in the inter-war period. A new generation of artists came together in an association called Devětsil which maintained contacts with the European avant-garde. The graphic design of books aroused particular interest among the young creators who were members of this group.Two aesthetic currents coexisted in Devětsil: Poetry, which exalted the subjective essence of the creative act, and Constructivism, which aspired to objectivity and the standardization of mass production.
Alvin Lustig created covers for the American publishing house New Directions between 1945 and 1952 that show a deep knowledge of the artistic movements of the first half of the 20th century. The collection maintains a strong unity, although each book manifests its individual character: subtle, abstract, evocative.
Elaine Lustig Cohen began her career in the studio of Alvin Lustig. After Lustig’s death in 1955, she continued to design book covers on her own for various publishers and other clients in the cultural world.
Bookworm is a journey through books guided by Andreu Jansà, librarian and curator of the Enric Bricall Reserve Fund. Students will have the privilege of studying unique copies of the Elisava Library.
The objective of the Reserve Collection is to become a true universal history of modern graphic design applied to the publishing world. The books that make up the collection are documented in the main accounts of the history of 20th century graphic design.