Moï Ver’s book Paris is iconic in the history of photobooks.
During 1927 Moï Ver (born Moses Vorobeichic, changed later to Moshé Raviv-Vorobeichic) studied at the German Bauhaus in Dessau, under such luminaries as Moholy-Nagy, Josef Albers, Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky. Following his time at Dessau Moï Ver had a remarkably productive period. Paris 80 photographies de Moï Ver was published by Éditions Jeanne Walter and Ein Ghetto im Osten – Wilna / The Ghetto lane in Wilna was published by Swiss publishing house Orell Füssli, both in 1931.
His visionary style of imagery and avant-garde layouts have inspired many photographers and art directors since. Paris 80 photographies de Moï Ver contains collages and double exposures which are not known to exist as actual photographic prints. It is as if the photographer purposefully chose the book as the ultimate form of photographic expression. Arguably Paris established the photobook as an independent medium and art form.
His choice for the cover design of this book echoes that of E.O. Hoppé’s book Deutsche Arbeit published the previous year, yet Moï Ver takes it one step further.
The Deutsche Arbeit jacket spine uses Futura, issued a few years earlier in 1927. Paris also employs the face throughout its interior, such as the introduction and postscript. The Futura style selection and alignment on the title page is typical of German modernist typography of the time. You can find similar layouts from Ver’s contemporaries, Otto Neurath, Walter Dexel, and Kurt Schwitters.
Contributed by Giles Booth
Contributed by Florian Hardwig
Contributed by Stephen Coles