Date of Publication:
Oct. 1942 (no. 1); Mar. 1943 (no. 2); Feb. 1944 (no. 3)
Place(s) of Publication:
Office of VVV Room 3308, 10 East 40th Street, New York, N.Y
Frequency of Publication:
Annually (not necessarily intentionally, however, as the second issue was a merging of what would have been the second and third issues)
Published Independently by David Hare
no. 1: 28.6 × 21.9 cm. 72 pages, colored ed. (Oct. 1942)
no. 2-3 (double issue): 28.6 × 21.9 cm. 143 pages, colored ed. (Mar. 1943)
no. 4: 28.6 × 21.9 cm. 87 pages, colored ed. (Feb. 1944)
André Breton (Editorial Advisor)
Marcel Duchamp (Editorial Advisor)
Max Ernst (Editorial Advisor)
Libraries/Databases with Complete Original Issues:
New York Public Library; Duke University’s Perkins Library; University of Virginia Library; National Gallery of Art Library; Library of Congress; Maryland Institute College of Art’s Decker Library; Johns Hopkins University’s Milton S. Eisenhower Library; Indiana University Library; Cleveland Museum of Art; Philadelphia Museum of Art; University of Michigan Library; Museum of Modern Art; Cornell University Library
Published from 1942 through 1944, VVV offered surrealist and expressionistic views of Western culture to Americans, specifically New York City youths seeking international perspectives and art. Surrealism, and VVV in particular, sought to redefine American avant-garde through irrational thought processes that required tapping into a deeper level of consciousness, often invoking revolutionary approaches and techniques to art and literature by challenging traditional forms. Each issue of VVV published photographs, sculptures, poetry, and prose; however, VVV’s avant garde presentation of these materials was highly experimental and radical.
Each issue’s cover art featured the magazine’s VVV logo along with colorful art. The first issue featured a drawing by Max Ernst; the second, an illustration by Marcel Duchamp; and the final, a design by Matta. The magazine was filled with lavish illustrations and poetry with cross-cultural influences. Readers might turn from a page written completely in French to English, only to switch back to French a few pages later. The final issue included many fold-out pages of varying size, adding to the creativity and depth of thought (Hoffman 24).
VVV, in all of its colorful, creative, and transformative beauty, worked to unite and bring together new artists and direct them towards a bountiful array of new thought. Expanding beyond art into the realms of sociology, anthropology, and psychology, VVV deepened the scope of intellectual thought through transformative exploration of the mind and forms of expression; pushing intellectualists and artists, alike, to attempt revolutionary new approaches to every day applications like architecture, writing, and art. In this way, VVV, along with other abstract expressionist little magazines like View – a magazine that VVV commonly referenced and co-dominated the surrealist scene – authored a public critique of standard Western culture.
VVV’s intent was simple–to fill the streets of New York (youths, internationals, and abstract expressionists alike) with surrealism. The following is an “editorial credo,” as Lucy R. Lippard would refer to it, that was included at the beginning of each of the magazine’s three published issues (Lippard 212). VVV’s manifesto’s abstract form mimics the content, tone, and revolutionary material included in the magazine.
That is, V + V + V. We say . . . –– . . . –– . . . ––
that is, not only
V as a vow—and energy—to return to a habitable and conceivable world,
Victory over the forces of regression and of death unloosed at present on
The earth, but also V beyond this first Victory, for this world can no more,
And ought no more, be the same, V over that which tends to perpetuate the
Enslavement of man by man,
And beyond this
VV of that double Victory, V again over all that is opposed to the emancipation
Of the spirit, of which the first indispensable condition is the liberation
VVV towards the emancipation of the spirit, through these necessary stages: it
Is only in this that our activity can recognize its end
One knows that to
V which signifies the View around us, the eye turned towards the external
World, the conscious surface,
Some of us have not ceased to oppose
VV the View inside us, the eye turned toward the interior world and the depths
Of the unconscious,
VVV towards a synthesis in a third term, of these two Views, the first V with
Its axis on the EGO and the reality principle, the second VV on the SELF
And the pleasure principle—the resolution of their contradiction tending
Only to the continual, systematic enlargement of the field of consciousness
Towards a total view,
Which translates all the reactions of the eternal upon the actual, of the
Psychic upon the physical, and takes account of the myth in process of
Formation beneath the VEIL of happenings. (VVV 1:1)
David Hare (Mar. 10, 1917 – Dec. 21, 1992)
Editor: 1942 – 1944
David Hare, an American artist who was born in New York in 1917, was mainly known for his magnificent sculptures, though he was also a prominent painter and photographer. As he himself concluded, “I was good with my hands, but I chose art, too, for the independence of it” (Kimmelman). Hare attended the Fountain Valley School, a high school that his mother helped to found, before moving to Roxbury, Connecticut and working as a photographer. After working as a color photographer for some years, Hare was introduced to some of the world’s leading avant grade artists – Max Ernst, Andre Breton, and, renowned dadaist, Marcel Duchamp – with whom he would eventually begin publishing the revolutionary VVV magazine in New York. As its editor he would also frequently submit pieces of his own. After the magazine’s final issue was published in 1944, Hare continued submitting pieces to various magazines and museums around New York, including an exhibit in the Guggenheim that featured a decade-long collection of his work in 1977. Hare became a member of the early New York School Abstract Expressionists and helped to found The Subjects for Artist School in 1948. Hare continued teaching, painting, and sculpturing into the 1970’s and 80’s before moving to Victor, Idaho in 1985. Hare died in Jackson Hole, Wyoming on December 21, 1992.
“Tu Te Precises”
“Prolegomena to a Third Manifesto of Surrealism or Else”
“Passage a Niveau”
“Mot a Mante”
“Situation Du Surréalisme Entre les Deux Guerres”
“La Dame Ovale”
“Le Jour Est Un Attentat”
“Les Etats Généraux”
“Portrait of a Gypsy Rose Lee”
“First Memorable Conversation With the Chimera”
“La Chanteuse Des Poissons”
Robert Allerton Parker
“The Door Swung Inward”
“Les Quatre Saisons”
Brooker, Peter, and Andrew Thacker. “Europe in America: Remapping Broken Cultural Lines: View (1940-7) and VVV (1942-4).” The Oxford Critical and Cultural History of Modernist Magazines. Vol. 2. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2012. Print.
Hadler, Mona. “David Hare, Surrealism, and the Comics.” The Space Between 2.1 (2011): 93-108. Web.
Hofman, Irene. “Documents of Dada and Surrealism: Dada and Surrealist Journals in the Mary Reynolds Collection.” Ryerson and Burnham Libraries, The Art Institute of Chicago. Chicago, IL. 2001. Print.
Kimmelman, Michael. “David Hare, Sculptor and Photographer, Dies at 75.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 24 Dec. 1992. Web. 06 Oct. 2015.
Lippard, Lucy R., ed. Surrealists on Art. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1970. Print.
Parkinson, Gavin. “Surrealism and Quantum Mechanics: Dispersal and Fragmentation in Art, Life, and Physics.” Science in Context, 17, pp 557-577. 2004. Print.
VVV. New York, N.Y: 1:1, 1942. Print.
VVV. New York, N.Y: 1:2-3, 1943. Print.
VVV. New York, N.Y: 1:4, 1944. Print.
“VVV” compiled by Nathan Thomas Argueta (Class of ’16, Davidson College)