»Putevi«, 1st magazine of the Yugoslavian (Pre-)Surrealists, 1922-24


Putevi [Paths]. Nos. 1 and 2. And: Putevi. Nova serija [Paths. New Series]. Nos. 2 and 3-5. Beograd, 1922-24

Putevi [Paths]. Mesečne sveske za umetnost i filozofiju [Monthly periodical for literature and philosophy]. Nos. 1 and 2. And: Putevi. Nova serija [Paths. New Series]. Nos. 2 and 3-5 [triple number]. Edited by Miloš Crnjanski, Milan Dedinac, Marko Ristić and Dušan Timotijević. Beograd: »Marsias« (Stamparija »Jugoslavia«): 1922-1924.

4to and 8vo (22,6 x 15,4 to 28,1 x 24, 2 cm). 32 [4 (adverts)]; 32 [4 (adverts)]; 32 [1 leaf]; [4 plates], pp. 33-128. Half-tone, cliché and letterpress partly on machine-laid and glossy paper, bound in the original saddle-stitched paper wrappers on differently coloured and textured stock, with black, red or blue title-printing.

An almost complete run of this first collective publishing attempt of the Yugoslavian (Pre-)Surrealists.

Content, Importance: »Putevi« appeared in 2 series with a total of 5 fascicles containing 8 nos. (series 1, issues 1 and 2; series 2, issues 1, 2 and triple-no. 3-5), all in Cyrillic letters. The magazine presents poetry, prose, reviews and criticism contributed by the editors, fellow artists and other later Surrealists like Dušan Matić, Stanislav Vinaver or Aleksandar Vučo. The texts reflect intensive and remarkable research, approaches, methods and sources for surrealist thinking, art and writing, mostly inspired by the French Surrealists. »Putevi« immediately found support all through the international avant-garde cycles, including the likes of André Breton and Marcel Duchamp, who both contributed texts to the magazine.

Illustration: Present set is illustrated by 2 text illustrations after lino-cuts, one of them by Sreten Stojanović (2/1), 1 full-paged illustration after a constructivist drawing by Jovan Bijelić (1/2), furthermore 6 plates with full-paged reproductions of a painting by Sava Šumanović („Dve Žene“ [Two Women], 1/1, tipped-in), 4 drawings by Petar Dobrović (2 landscapes in Dalmatia and 2 male nudes, 2/3-5) as well as 1 cubist drawing by Aleksandar Deroko (2/3-5, tipped-in).

Enclosed in issue no. 2 of the 2nd series is a loose leaf with a reproduction of a design by Picasso depicting a paradise scene with 3 nymphs, drawn by the artist on a post-card especially for and dedicated to the Yugoslav Surrealists and sent to Belgrade for free disposal. This plate often lacks.

Condition: Lacking issue no. 1 of the new series. Front wrapper of no. 1 with one small fault at bottom right, this no. slightly finger-stained, leaves 1-3 with some foxing at this corner. Covers of issues 1/2 and 2/1 with little shelf wear. Staples of no. 5-5 with slight traces of rust, otherwise well preserved, partly uncut set.

Rarity: Scarce in trade in larger convolutes; RBH quotes only one complete set ever auctioned (2022).

Reference: Fonds Destribats 177 (with colour illustr. of front cover of issue 1.1); Šuvaković, p. 55-57 (with colour illustr. of all front covers and the enclosure of issue 2.2). Kapidzic-Osmanagic, H., Le surréalisme serbe, Paris 1968, 61; Šumanović, Retrospektivna Izložba, 1986, Nr. 36 (with illustr., original title »Dva akta« [oil on canvas, 1922]).