With critical success over the past four years, artist Deborah Sengl (b. 1974, Vienna) has exhibited taxidermied rats, drawings and paintings in order to restage Karl Kraus’ nearly-unperformable play The Last Days of Mankind (Die Letzten Tage der Menschheit, 1915–22). Featuring Sengl’s entire installation, the DoppelHouse Press edition also includes essays that examine her ambitious dramaturgy, which condenses Kraus’ ten-to-fifteen hour drama into an abridged reading of its themes: human barbarism, the role of journalism in war, the sway of popular opinion and the absurdities of nationalism. Published in conjunction with the centenary anniversary of the Armistice which ended The Great War but bred another soon to come, this edition of The Last Days of Mankind offers an agit-prop protest crossing the boundaries of art and spanning the knowledge of the century that has passed since Kraus penned his play.
Prokop’s meticulously researched history restores Jacques and Jacqueline Groag to their rightful places in the pantheon of Viennese Modernists. The couple studied and worked within a circle of notables including Ludwig Wittgenstein, Adolf Loos, Paul Engelmann, Josef Hoffmann and Franz Čižek. Beginning with the Groags’ early collaborations in the 1930’s to their lives as Jewish émigrés after the Anschluss, Prokop explores the couple’s unique aesthetic contributions in pre-Reich Vienna and Czechoslovakia as well as later in Britain for postwar exhibitions, monuments, furniture and textile design.
Ivo de Figueiredo’s lyrical and imagistic prose navigates a difficult search for family origins and his estranged father in a remarkable, sensitive book. Figueiredo traces his father’s Goan family in the diaspora and shows us that the hybrid cultures and tragedies specific to inter-ethnic and multi-racial families bear latent gifts for literature and culture when treated with openness, bravery and the curiosity of a scholar. Figueiredo is the critically-acclaimed biographer of Norway’s treasured cultural icon, Henrik Ibsen (forthcoming in English with Yale University Press, 2019), and his next book is the official biography of Edvard Munch, commissioned by the Munch Foundation. In 2002, He was awarded the Brage Prize for a biography of Johan Bernhard Hjort, and A Stranger at My Table received one of the highest non-fiction honors in Norway, the 2016 Language Prize.
A surprising and revealing memoir populated with art historians, art influencers, and the former lover of Marcel Duchamp, Beatrice Wood. Distinguished author and expert on Dada and Duchamp, Francis M. Naumann’s close friendship with Wood, who was many decades his senior, continued until the end of her life at age 105. She not only set Naumann upon a course of original research that would define him, but also provided a moral platform and an artist’s view on what an art historian could or should be. One among many lessons learned in this story is how the individuals we know and admire most in life can serve to shape our future, molding us—consciously or unconsciously—into the people we inexorably become.
“Naumann shows that mentorship, when it’s done right, is itself a work of art.” – Calvin Tomkins
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