Gendai Shogyo Bijutsu Zenshu / The Complete Commercial Artist, Vol. 6 (Ars series)
Hardcover 4to, pp. , 8, , 88, 46, . Two plates in full color, 88 pages of monochrome plates printed in various hues. Essay with halftone illustrations throughout text. In Good to Very Good condition, suffering a persistent tidemark to the lower edge. The marking is most prominent in the last 20 or so plates, but the actual images are fortunately spared direct discoloration. Externally Very Good with cloth rubbed along the edges and spine ends, metallic print tarnishing at the edges. The binding is unusual for the series, which was produced in 24 parts from 1928-1930 and issued in heavy card wraps.
This volume focuses on public signage and architectural elements designed for commercial purposes. Examples culled from the streets of France, Germany, Great Britain, Russia, China, and the United States, are reproduced in rich monochrome photographs. Historical examples from ancient sculpture through medieval calligraphy and Hans Holbein are discussed in the essay, with halftone illustrations in-text. A section is also devoted to examples from Japan which show the mainstream cultural aesthetic evolving from traditional style in light of urban development and modern commercial appetites.
Gendai Shogyo Bijutsu Zenshu, or the "Ars Series" established a foundation for modern Japanese aesthetics, creating an international glossary of visual vocabulary that was contextualized with critical and historical essays. The series was overseen by Hamada Masuji (1892-1938), the architect of the "Shogyo Bijutsu" or commercial art movement in Japan, establishing a professional space for modern design that was distinct from traditional artistry and craftsmanship. A much revered and written-about series, uncommon on the market.