After the Revue Blanche suspended publication in 1903, there remained no magazine entirely devoted to contemporary art. Temporarily, Soirées de Paris, on the initiative of Guillaume Apollinaire, attempted to fill this gap. However, Sairées de Paris was at first an exclusively literary magazine; it was organized as early as 1911, and the first issue appeared in February 1912. Its founders were Apollinaire, Billy, Dalize, Salmon and Tudesq. The novelist and critic André Billy was the editor. Apollinaire's first article, 'On the Subject in Modern Painting', frightened his comrades somewhat. It was a formal defence of the Cubist doctrine, and they feared that such adventures might jeopardize the magazine's success, which was promising. In fact, Soirées de Paris remained strictly literary until November 1913, when Apollinaire took over the editorship with Jean Cérusse (pseudonym of the painter Serge Jastrebzoff.). The magazine set up its offices in the apartment of Baroness Oettingen, Cérusse's sister. Meetings were organized there between men of letters and artists: Picasso, Léger, Kisling, Cendrars, Raynal, Zadkine, Picabia, Archipenko, Dalize, Modigliani, Max Jacob, Severini, Soffici, Chirico, his brother Savinio, who gave memorable piano recitals there, and others, all more or less contributors to the review. From then on Soirées de Paris devoted numerous pages to the plastic arts. One issue was entirely devoted to the Douanier Rousseau. Works by Matisse, Picasso, Léger, Vlaminck, Archipenko, Picabia, Marie Laurencin, Gleizes and others were regularly reproduced. Cubism, Futurism, Simultaneism were commented upon. During the two years that the magazine appeared, the general tone of the artistic part was polemical: attacks, retorts, challenging letters followed one another; even duels were provoked but without going farther than an exchange of seconds. With its success, in the spring of 1914 Soiréer de Paris contemplated publishing art books, which were to be inaugurated by an album of ideograms of Apollinaire, when the order for general mobilization was given, dispersing most of the contributors and thus, abruptly, putting an end to the publication of the magazine. The short life of Soirées de Paris did not prevent it from bringing about fruitful exchanges between writers and artists. Full freedom had been granted to the expression of the most diverse tendencies, upon the sole condition of their being disinterested, bold and new. This is why Soirées de Paris was soon echoed. Even during the war, those who had not been mobilized gathered together, and new magazines were born, animated by the same spirit: L'Élan of Ozenfant ( 1915), Nord-Sud of Reverdy ( 1917), SIC of Pierre Albert-Birot ( 1917). At the same time a similar effervescence could be witnessed outside France; first in New York, in 1915, in the magazine 291 with Marcel Duchamp and Picabia (vide Stieglitz); in Zürich in Dada with Tzara and Arp; in Leyden in De Stijl, a review of abstract art founded by Van Doesburg in 1917 (vide Stijl), all publications more or less directly inspired by the example of Soirées de Paris.

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