Permanent Collection of Rare Publications on Art

The Nicosia Municipal Arts Centre associated with the Pierides Museum of Contemporary Art hosts the Pierides Foundation collection of very rare art publications: CAHIERS D’ ART (1926 - 1960), VERVE (1937 - 1960), MINOTAURE (1933 - 1938) and LA BETE NOIRE (1935 - 1936). The Cyprus Electricity Authority (EAC) undertook the permanent sponsorship for the exhibition of this Collection as a part of its celebration for its 50 years of existence.

During the war but also during the years that followed Paris was the metropolis of the arts. Two accomplished Greek islanders Stratis Eleftheriades also known as Teriade (1897 - 1983) from Mytilini and Christian Zervos (1889 - 1970) from Kefallonia – Egypt literally monopolized the art life in Paris with their vast presence and contribution in the field of art publications.

Being both personal friends of the elite of the scholars of their times as well as collaborators to the most significant painters and sculptors such as Picasso, Miro, Chagall, Braque, Bonnard, Laurens, Beaudin, Giacometti, Le Corbusier, Rouault, Villion, Matisse, Leger and Gris they left a monumental publishing work, innovative for their times and of such a great quality that it stands out even when compared to contemporary publishing means.

The Cahiers D’ Art, Zervos’s art books were published from 1926 up to 1960. Teriade was the artistic director of these publications from 1926 - 1931.

The full range of these publications is now very rare and many are the national libraries throughout the world that have unsuccessfully searched for them.

The Cahiers D’ Art were comprised of 162 issues, some double, in 97 different publications in total.

Teriade published the VERVE famous series of art magazines. From 1937 up to 1960 art publications concerning architecture, ethnology, archeology and philosophy of significant and diachronic value were made. In total 38 issues of VERVE were made with the help and care of significant painters. These too are very rare.

Even rarer is the MINOTAURE series of magazines published by Teriade and the Swiss publisher Albert Skira in 12 issues (11 publications) between the year 1933 and 1938. They are characterized by their innovative beliefs and stands that laid out the stepping stone in art during the second half of the last century.

With the assistance of Maurice Raynal Teriade published between 1935 – 1936 eight publications of the artistic newspaper LA BETE NOIRE (The Black Beast) the surrealists ‘official’ means of expression. These are also of great collectible value since they are out of print.

To honour Teriade’s work the French Government and big European and American Museums presented at times in special exhibitions these rare and significant publications. A few years later a part of these publications that belonged to the Teriade Museum in Mytilini, was stolen from the Goulandri-Horn Foundation were it was being displayed.

To complete his work, Teriade assigned to certain significant artists the creation, formation, illustration and the overall care of the publication of poetry and painting books in a small number of copies. He called them the ‘grands livres de painteurs’ (the big painters’ books). Today they are considered as collectible items and are sold from time to time in international auctions in exceptionally high prices.

The mere fact that this vast and unique publishing work was produced and implemented by two significant Greek scholars urged the Pierides Foundation and Mr. Demetris Z. Pierides personally to acquire it and bring it to Cyprus.

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