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ALEXANDER I. E. (Robert Alexander) & BERMAN, Wallace. 24mo. Pamphlet in glassine outer covers. First edition of this collaborative artists' book by Robert Alexander and his close friend Wallace Berman. The first book by Alexander and his only collaboration with Berman---reportedly only 25 copies were produced. Features poems by Alexander here using a variation of the pseudonym "E. I. Alexander" that he used for his appearance in the first issue of Semina. By the time Semina 4 came around he was using "I. E. Alexander." The poems are printed in different colored inks, with front and back cover illustrations by Berman showing two different views of a baby in the womb. A very early project done around the same time that Berman was working on the second issue of Semina. Robert Alexander met Berman in 1945 and became fast friends when they were both hipster jazz mavens making the rounds of the clubs on Central Avenue and befriending the likes of Charlie Parker. Berman bought a handpress in 1955 and Alexander, already familiar with the contraption, was invaluable in teaching him to use it on early issues of Semina. A very influential presence during this period as a poet, printer, collage artist, and ordained priest, Alexander helped birth the Ferus Gallery, later collaborated on the opening of the Dilexi Gallery, and founded The Temple of Man, a publishing outfit and nonsectarian hub for art, jazz, and poetry based on the maxim "Art is Love is God." An early item from the Berman circle of Beat artists and writers---and exceedingly rare. In 35 years of active searching this is the second copy we've encountered---plus it's a family copy from the estate of Shirley Berman's brother, Donald Morand. The fragile outer cover is sepia toned (as on the other copy we handled) with a few tiny sepia spots---the book itself is fine and the covers white.
  • $2,000
  • $2,000