These six Masson celluloid etchings were made for the small book Ainsi de suite (And So On) by the poet, painter, illustrator, engraver, typographer, printer and art publisher Pierre-André Benoit (1921–93). Benoit was one of the many poet-publishers that Masson was friends with, and the collaboration for this collection of erotic poems followed similar productions by Benoit’s publishing operation, PAB, small collections of poems and artwork with contributions by artists including Jean Dubuffet, Picabia and Pierre Alechinsky.
Though he was a passable poet and artist, Benoit’s lasting legacy us as a collector of rare and precious books, many of them signed limited editions, and of original artworks. He left his collection of works of art to his home town, Alès in southern France, which installed it in the Pierre-André-Benoit Museum and Library, and his literary collections to the Biblioteque Nationale de France.
Masson’s engravings for Ainsi de suite show him exploring in his trademark sinuous style the theme of naked bodies, especially genitalia, which had started in earnest with Con d’Irène and Histoire de l’oeil.
Ainsi de suite was privately published in a limited numbered edition of just 36 copies.
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.