DADA & Modernist Magazines


cover SIC SIC [the title stands both for Sons, Idées, Couleurs and also for the Latin 'thus'] was founded by Pierre Albert-Birot, and ran under his guidance, single-handed at first, between January 1916 and December 1919. One of the most elegant of early modernist reviews, it is also a perfect instance of the interconnection of the various avant-garde movements at this moment, functioning as a showcase for the Cubist poets (Guillaume Apollinaire, Max Jacob, André Salmon, Blaise Cendrars), nascent Dada and Surrealism (Louis Aragon, André Breton, Francis Picabia, Pierre Reverdy, Philippe Soupault, Tristan Tzara), and Italian Futurism (which SIC promoted more than any other French journal), as well as reflecting very clearly the contemporary German models of Der Sturm and Die Aktion in its use of original woodcuts (by Chana Orloff, Prampolini, Severini, Survage, and Albert-Birot). The example of Apollinaire was central for SIC, as testified by the triple issue published in his memory in 1919, as well as the rare hors-série number ('Manifestation SIC') issued on the première of Apollinaire's 'Les mamelles de Tirésias' in 1917 (two illustrations by Picasso and Matisse).

catalogue ars libri.

SIC n° 27 (March 1919) [collection Blue Mountain Project, Princeton University]


  • SIC [Sons, Idées, Couleurs, Formes (n° 1-24)]
    N° 1 (January 1916) - 4e année (December 1919) N° 53/54
    Dir. Pierre Albert-Birot
    Published by P. Albert-Birot, Paris
    Monthly (January 1916-June 1918), bi-monthly (October 1918-December 1919)
    28 × 22 cm
    Special issue devoted to the 'Manifestation SIC' (24 June 1917). N° 17 was destroyed by the military authorities.
  • main contributors
    Pierre Albert-Birot, Germaine Albert-Birot, Guillaume Apollinaire, Louis Aragon, Blaise Cendrars, André Breton, Paul Dermée, Max Jacob, Pierre Reverdy, Tristan Tzara. Illustrations by Pierre Albert-Birot, Guillaume Apollinaire, Balla, Bracque, Depero, Férat, Léger, Orloff, Prampolini, Severini, Survage, Ossip Zadkine.


  • [printed] Reprinted by Éditions de la Chronique des lettres françaises (Paris 1973).
  • [printed] Reprinted by Éditions Jean-Michel Place (Paris 1980 and 1993).

secondary literature

  • Simon Dell
    'After Apollinaire: SIC (1916-19), Nord-Sud (1917-18) and L'Esprit Nouveau (1920-5)', in The Oxford Critical and Cultural History of Modernist Magazines. Volume III: Europe 1880 - 1940 / edited by Peter Brooker, Sascha Bru, Andrew Thacker, and Christian Weikop (Oxford University Press : Oxford etc. 2013) 143-159. google-books
  • Debra Kelly
    'Pierre Albert-Birot, SIC, and the Avant-Garde: Collective Adventure and Voyage of Self-Discovery', chapter 2 in Debra Kelly, Pierre Albet-Birot: a poetics in movement, a poetics of movement (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press : Madison NJ 1997) 58-122.
  • Debra Kelly
    'Pierre Albert-Birot et SIC. La revue comme lieu de combat et lieu de memoire', in Barbara Meazzi and Jean-Pol Madou (eds.), Les oublieés des avant-gardes. Collection écriture et représentation, 3 (Université de Savoie : Chambéry 2006) 23-37.