herman de vries: [wit is overdaad]
1st edition numbered 120 copies. Extremely Rare.
published by herman de vries : Arnhem 1960
artists' book with 20 white pages in folder, stapled
dimensions: 13.5 × 10.5 cm
insert paper with text and signed by herman de vries
In very fine condition
the first book by herman de vries appeared in 1960. 'book' may be a big word for this small format booklet of a few sheets, bound with two staples and, surprisingly, without print. no title on the cover, it is blank too. on the colophon page only a few words are printed, in very pale ink and in four languages, like a poem: 'wit / wit is overdaad / blanc est surabondance / white is superabundance / weiss ist übermässig / wit / wit / wit is overdaad'. one might say that this book is at the same time an end and a beginning. it constitutes the end of the work of a scientist soon to renounce the study of nature and who has just announced this by renaming the offprints of a personal scientific publication 'manifest of castrated reality'. it also marks the final point of his parallel work as a painter, related to the abstract movement 'zero'. from 1956 herman de vries has been making monochrome paintings and from 1959, white paintings. [source: Anne Moeglin-Delcroix, 'beyond language', in herman de vries. les livres & les publications (saint-yrieix-la-perche 2005) 29]