If a 1930s artist had made a list of all the most outrageous, guaranteed to be offensive, tut-provoking sexual scenarios imaginable, and then committed them to paper, then a portfolio like Interdit (Forbidden) would have been the result. And here it is, expertly produced by a talented artist in a series of colourful, well-composed, expertly produced woodcuts, worthy of sitting alongside mid-period Picasso for style and execution.
Unfortunately we have no idea who produced this remarkable series of prints, exploring every aspect of transgressive desire from pederasty to bestiality and crucifixion fellatio. The title page of this limited edition of 195 copies says ‘Cette édition est réservée aux amis de l’auteur’ (This edition is reserved for friends of the artist), so a French audience is implied, but the prints have an Eastern European, possibly Hungarian, feel to them – if we had to guess, we would suggest Imre Szántó, whose work uses bold print and colour blocks in a similar way; you can see his work here.
If anyone has more information about this powerful portfolio, we would love to hear from you.
We are very grateful to Hans-Jürgen Döpp for these images; Hans-Jürgen, the compiler of many books on erotic art, curates the Venusberg online gallery and bookshop which you can find here.