[wit is overdaad]

executed: 1960
classification: works on paper
object/work type: artist's book
technique/material: 20 white pages in folder, stapled
dimensions: 13.6 × 10.7 cm
signature and inscriptions: []
edition: 1st edition 120 copies
descriptive notes: published by herman de vries : Arnhem 1960
current location:
collecting history:
comment: the first book by herman de vries appeared in 1960. 'book' may be a big word for this small format booklet of a few sheets, bound with two staples and, surprisingly, without print. no title on the cover, it is blank too. on the colophon page only a few words are printed, in very pale ink and in four languages, like a poem: 'wit / wit is overdaad / blanc est surabondance / white is superabundance / weiss ist übermässig / wit / wit / wit is overdaad'. one might say that this book is at the same time an end and a beginning. it constitutes the end of the work of a scientist soon to renounce the study of nature and who has just announced this by renaming the offprints of a personal scientific publication 'manifest of castrated reality'. it also marks the final point of his parallel work as a painter, related to the abstract movement 'zero'. from 1956 herman de vries has been making monochrome paintings and from 1959, white paintings. [source: Anne Moeglin-Delcroix, 'beyond language', in herman de vries. les livres & les publications (saint-yrieix-la-perche 2005) 29]
photo/scan:
rights & reproduction: herman de vries
published references
catalogue raisonné herman de vries. les livres et les publications: catalogue raisonné (centre des livres d'artistes : Saint-Yrieix-la-Perche 2005) image repr. on p. 96, catalogue number 2.
monograph Cees de Boer, herman de vries. overal stroomt mijn oog (Uitgeverij De Kunst/Waanders : Zwolle 2014) image repr. on page 90, 89-90.