Jindřich Štyrský and Toyen
- Erotická revue, ročník 1 (-třetí). Prague, 1930-1933
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In the early 1930s Štyrský concentrated on the theme of eroticism. Between 1930 and 1933 he edited The Erotic Revue, a compilation of erotic verse, literature and art and in 1931 founded Edition 69 (see lots 35, 37, 38). Both published at Štyrský's own expense the periodicals featured explicit illustrations by himself, Toyen and other Czech artists of their circle. Influenced by Max Ernst’s collage-novels and André Masson's illustrations for Aragon’s and Bataille’s erotic writings, the two periodicals rank among the most important Czech surrealist publications of the time, representing a sustained attempt by the interwar Czech avant-garde to explore and expose the taboos of bourgeois culture.
As editor and publisher Štyrský determined the the content of both. In The Erotic Review. 'Poems and short stories mingled with theoretical interpretations of erotic life by Sigmund Freud, Georg Grodeck, and most important for the Czech avant-garde, Bohuslav Brouk, a psychoanalyst... Brouk's books were often designed and illustrated by Teige, Štyrský and Toyen ... In addition to Brouk's explorations of psychosexuality, the most significant literary contribution made by The Erotic Review was its function as a popular dictionary of eroticism. The poets and translators of the Devětsil generation who published their work in The Erotic Review... made important contributions to this rich field of expression. Additionally Štyrský sought out translations of French literature, such as short stories from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, as well as the writings of the Parisian Surrealists.' (Houston, Cullen Collection, exh. cat., pp. 122 & 123).