BYT A UMENI
F. Hala [Editor]: BYT A UMENI [Revue Pro Soucasnou Bytovou Kulturu]. Prague: "Mars" [Fikejz a Kusak], 1931. Original edition [Volume 2, No. 2, 1931]. Text in Czech. Slim quarto. Side-stitched in perfect bound thick photographically printed wrappers. 32 pp. Black and white photographs. 2 color plates [with tissue guards]. 16 pp. of text articles and period advertisements. Wrappers lightly worn with mild soiling. Textblock thumbed. Cover photograph: interior by Dominique, Paris [Andre Domin and Marcel Genevriere]. A very good or better copy. Rare.
Volume 2, No. 2, 1931
F. Hala [Editor]
9 x 12 side-stitched journal with 32 pages of gorgeous black and white photography and 16 pages of text and period Decorative Arts trade advertisments. Published in Prague for only three years [1930 - 1932] BYT A UMENI concentrated on presenting the best achievements in White Functional design in these areas: Architektura Vnitrni Zarizeni [Architecture Interior Furnishing]; Malirstvi [Painting]; Plastika [Sculpture]; Umelecky Prumysl [Applied Arts]; Rucni Prace [Handmade]; Starozitnosti [Antiques]; Vystavy [Exhibitions] and Aukce [Auctions].
- The Smallest Flat by J. Stepanekincludes a full-page color isometric plate.
- Color plates [with tissue guards] interiors by Vichr a Spol, Prague and F. Novaka.
- New Garden Town by A. Hanus.
- Colorfully Decorated Apartment features the work of Dominique [Genevriere et Domin], Paris. 4 pages and 5 photographs. Dominique was founded by Andre Domin (1883 - 1962) and Marcel Genevriere (1885 - 1976); their furniture design was characterized by simplicity and dignity. One of Dominique's first commissions was for residential furniture for silver designer Jean Puiforcat in Biarritz. Dominique exhibited a "Salon d'un Ambassadeur" at the 1925 Paris Exposition International des Arts Deratifs et Industrieles Modernes. In 1926 they exhibited with Chareau, Legrain, Puiforcat and Raymond Templier as the "Groupe des Cinq." They also exhibited at the Exposition Colonial in Paris in 1931 and created a "Salon de Musique" for the 1937 Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques. For the French ocean liner Normandie  four luxury apartments were commissioned for each by a great French design firm (Leleu, Sue, Montagnac and Dominique). The Rouen suite which Dominique designed "was remarkable for the extremely refined use that Dominique made of materials . . . unquestionably the most avant-garde of the four talents assigned to the deluxe apartments."
- In the Shadow of the Colossus interiors by F. Novaka.
- Radicalism In Matters Of Arranging The Apartment by Ing. Frant. Grossmann includes work by H. Kucerova-Zaveska, Ing. Moinik, Ing. R. Weiser, Ing. Frant. Grossmann, and F. Langer.
- Light Sources and the Flatincludes lamps and lighting by Ing. M. Prokop.
- Glass by Prof. L. Smrekova.
- Fabrics by Ant. Kybal.
- Apartment and Engineering storage and furniture solutions by F. Novaka.
The years between 1917 [the entrance of the USA into the World War, the October Revolution and the launch of De Stijl] and 1930 [the second economic crisis, the success of CIAM in Frankfurt and Brussels] are considered the "heroic age" of modern architecture. During this time, the images, language and manifestos of the International Avant-Garde were codified and transmitted primarily through independently produced journals and "little magazines." BYT A UMENI showcased Prague and the rest of Czechoslavakia as a hotbed of functional design, from International Style buildings and interiors, to bent metal furniture and a blossoming avant-garde plastic arts scene.
The culture of the new-founded state of Czechoslovakia after the First World War was orientated and inspired by the Avant-Garde in the major cities of Europe, especially Paris, Berlin and Amsterdam. The short-lived national movement in architecture termed rondo-cubism was later replaced by the new spirit of White Functionalism, which dominated Czechoslovakian architecture until the beginning of the Second World War and which has subsequently come to be seen as one of the most interesting, though often overlooked, contributions to the International Style.
Spreads from this volume can be viewed here.
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