Cover of Volume 4, Issue 11, November 1922
Lithograph after a drawing by El Lissitzky
September 18 — November 1, 2008
Peter Blum Gallery presents WENDINGEN: A Journal for the Arts, 1918-1932. On view is the complete set of 116 issues of the important art journal. Wendingen, meaning turnings or upheavals in Dutch, was a monthly publication organized by the Amsterdam art society Architectura et Amicitia. The first issue was published in January 1918, with a limited edition of 650 copies. In total, 116 issues would be published by its end in 1932. Hendricus Theodorus Wijdeveld, an architect associated with the Amsterdam School, was its editor and primary force up till 1925 when he resigned at its height.
After the devastation of the First World War, and the postwar chaos, Wendingen united different artists and architects who found in it a unified purpose. Despite its connections to architecture, the avant-garde journal made egalitarian efforts to explore a variety of art and design topics. The journal devoted each issue to a single topic or artist, ranging from sculpture to dance and theatrical design. Each cover was created by a different contemporary artist and contained innovative typography, making it highly influential to the graphic arts of the period. There were no stipulations that the covers conformed to the journal’s content, resulting in an overview of contemporary Dutch art. The covers were an unconventional double square format, based on the Japanese tatami mat proportion, while the complicated hand binding was tied to the arts and crafts movement. Wendingen’s subjects and contributors included many prominent artists, designers and architects, including El Lissitzky, Eileen Gray, Josef Hoffman, Gustav Klimt, and Erich Mendelsohn. From 1925 to1926, it published a series of seven issues devoted to the work of Frank Lloyd Wright.