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Salvador Dali's (1904-89) surrealist paintings such as "The
Persistence of Memory "and "The Metamorphosis of Narcissus" are
internationally beloved for their unforgettable images and
eccentric metaphors for the human condition. His lesser-known but
equally intriguing writings, on the other hand, are remarkably
coarse, describing human bodies and evocations of sexuality with a
bewildering mixture of crude realism and naive simplicity. "Dali
and Me" is an account by art historian and controversial author
Catherine Millet of a highly personal encounter with the artist's
celebrated paintings and self-reflective writings. One of the first
studies of the notoriously idiosyncratic artist's essays, this
revolutionary book reveals all the narcissism, anxiety, and visual
genius of the most famous--and infamous--of the surrealists.
This 2005 study traces the development of Surrealist theory of visual art and its reception, from the birth of Surrealism to its institutionalization in the mid-1930s. Situating Surrealist art theory in its theoretical and discursive contexts, Kim Grant demonstrates the complex interplay between Surrealism and contemporary art criticism. She examines the challenge to Surrealist art raised by the magazine Cahiers d'Art, which promoted a group of young painters dedicated to a liberated and poetic painting process that was in keeping with the formalist evolution of modern art. Grant also discusses the centrality of visual art in Surrealism as a material manifestation of poetry, the significance of poetry in French theories of modern art, and the difficulties faced by an avant-garde art movement at a time when contemporary audiences had come to expect revolutionary innovation.
Through an examination of surrealist photographs, objects, exhibitions, activities, and writings, the essays in "Twilight Visions", the beautifully illustrated companion volume to the exhibition of the same name, portray the French capital as a city in the process of metamorphosis-in a kind of twilight state. The Bureau of Surrealist Research, the major Surrealist exhibitions, and the photographs of Paris by Brassai, Andre Kertesz, Ilse Bing, Germaine Krull, and Man Ray, among others, all reflect the tumultuous social and cultural transformations occurring in Paris in the 1920s and 30s. Juxtaposing the strange with the familiar, they seek to break down repressive hierarchies. At the same time, they represent a desire to change the world through experimental activities. Introduced by Therese Lichtenstein, with essays by Therese Lichtenstein, Julia Kelly, Colin Jones, and Whitney Chadwick, this absorbing volume considers the social, aesthetic, and political stances of the Surrealists as they probed hidden aspects of the commonplace and blurred the boundaries between dreams and reality, subjectivity and objectivity. This title is co published by Frist Center for the Visual Arts.
In the Paris art world of the 1920s, Georges Bataille and his journal "DOCUMENTS" represented a dissident branch of surrealism. Bataille--poet, philosopher, writer, and self-styled "enemy within" surrealism--used "DOCUMENTS" to put art into violent confrontation with popular culture, ethnography, film, and archaeology. "Undercover Surrealism," taking the visual richness of "DOCUMENTS" as its starting point, recovers the explosive and vital intellectual context of works by Picasso, Dali, Miro, Giacometti, and others in 1920s Paris. Featuring 180 color images and translations of original texts from "DOCUMENTS" accompanied by essays and shorter descriptive texts, "Undercover Surrealism" recreates and recontextualizes Bataille's still unsettling approach to culture. Putting Picasso's "Three Dancers" back into its original context of sex, sacrifice, and violence, for example, then juxtaposing it with images of gang wars, tribal masks, voodoo ritual, Hollywood musicals, and jazz, makes the urgency and excitement of Bataille's radical ideas startlingly vivid to a twenty-first-century reader. "Copublished by Hayward Gallery Publishing, London"
Surrealist Art and Thought in the 1930s examines the intersection of Hegelian aesthetics, experimental art and poetry, Marxism and psychoanalysis in the theory and practice of the Surrealist movement. Locating Surrealist art and thought between modernist art and revolutionary politics, Steven Harris investigates the consequences of the Surrealists' efforts to synthesize these diverse concerns, through the invention, in 1931, of the object and in the recasting of their activities as a mode of revolutionary science. Providing a context for the cultural and political debates in France and the Soviet Union during the 1930s, he also analyzes the debate on proletarian literature, the Surrealists' reaction to the Popular Front, and their eventual defense of an experimental modern art following their break with the French Communist Party in 1935.
In a speech given in Prague in 1935, Andre Breton asked, 'Is there, properly speaking, a left-wing art capable of defending itself?'. But despite his conviction that surrealism did indeed offer such an art, Breton always struggled to make a theoretical connection between the surrealists' commitment to the cause of revolutionary socialism and the form that surrealist art and literature took. Obscure Objects of Desire explores ways in which such a connection might be drawn, addressing the possibility of surrealist works as political in themselves and drawing on ways in which they have been considered as such by Marxists such as Benjamin and Adorno and by recent cultural critics. Encompassing Breton's and Aragon's textual accounts of the object, as well as paintings and the various kinds of objet surrealiste produced from the end of the 1920s, Malt mobilises the concept of the fetish in order to consider such works as meeting points of surrealism's psychoanalytic and revolutionary preoccupations. Reading surrealist works of art and literature as political is by no means the same thing as knowing the surrealist movement to have been a politically motivated one. The revolutionary character of the surrealist work itself, in isolation from the polemical positions taken up by Breton and others on its behalf, is not always evident; indeed, the works themselves often seem to express a rather different set of concerns. As well as offering a new perspective on familiar works such as the paintings of Salvador Dali, and relatively neglected ones like Breton's poemes-objets, this book recuperates the gap between theory and practice as a productive space in which it is possible to recontextualize surrealist practice as an engagement with political questions on its own terms.
Art and writings by Surrealist painters and poets from a wide range of countries. In 1951 Robert Motherwell published a collection of writings called The Dada Painters and Poets: An Anthology. Conceived as a sequel to that volume, Surrealist Painters and Poets: An Anthology does for Surrealism what Motherwell's book did for Dadaism. The concept and contents were discussed with Robert Motherwell and met with his enthusiastic approval. The essays, manifestos, poems, and texts in this anthology offer a composite picture of the Surrealists-their convictions, styles, and spirit-from the movement's beginnings in France just after World War I to its second flowering in America after World War II. The book includes writers and artists from Belgium, Chile, Czechoslovakia, Cuba, Egypt, England, France, Germany, Guyana, Italy, Martinique, Mauritius, Mexico, Spain, Switzerland, Senegal, Uruguay, and the United States. Caws's main criterion for inclusion was that the works be the best and most representative of the different forms of Surrealism. Among others, the artists and writers include Andre Breton, Marcel Duchamp and Rrose Selavy, Max Ernst, Mina Loy, Francis Picabia, and Tristan Tzara.
`Sexual instinct, feeling of death, physical notion of the enigma of space....' - these, according to Salvador Dali, are the `great vital constants' that make up the vocabulary of the language of the unconscious - the language of the Surrealist painters. Dealing with the fundamentals of human existence, the Surrealists tried to create an art that is universal in its significance, speaking directly to the spectator's deepest instincts. Their painting developed in two directions: Ernst, Magritte and Dali reintroduced the powerful figurative imagery which had been largely missing since the revolution of Fauvism and Cubism; their art was also a revolt against the rationalism of abstract art. Miro, Masson and Matta, on the other hand, pursued the idea of automatism, painting out their inner impulses in spontaneous improvisation. In this survey of the Surrealist movement, the author presents a wide cross-section of its finest works, with an extended introduction and detailed commentaries on each of the 48 full-colour plates.
Probably the most complex artist within the Dada and Surrealist movements, Max Ernst (1891-1976) was certainly one of the most important modern European artists. He created techniques that went, in his own words, `beyond painting', reflecting his emphasis on art as a process of enquiry. His collages and canvases explored the fantastic world of the unconscious, creating a `psychological biography' that gave viewers new mental and artistic perspectives. A fascinating selection of his enigmatic and haunting images are reproduced here, analysed in detailed captions. For this edition of Ian Turpin's introduction to the life and work of Max Ernst, art historian Julian Stallabrass has written extensive commentaries on each colour plate, and selected numerous additional illustrations.
My Life was written in Moscow in 1921-1922, when Chagall was thirty-five years old. Although long out-of-print, it remains one of the most extraordinarily inventive and beautifully told of all autobiographies. The text is accompanied by twenty plates which Chagall prepared especially to illustrate his life story. Together, the words and pictures paint an incomparable portrait of one of the greatest painters of this century, and of the now vanished milieu which inspired him.
Duplessis provides a historical introduction to surrealism and examines its techniques and its use in poetry, painting, architecture, and theatre.
For the Berlin Dadaists, their identity as a collective-Club Dada, to members-was an integral part of their artistic practice. But the circumstances that brought together the likes of George Grosz, John Heartfield, Raoul Hausmann, and Johannes Baader-renamed Propaganda Marshall, Monteurdada, Dadasoph, and Oberdada within the organization-have remained largely unexamined until now. Drawing on extensive archival research, this book documents the group's beginnings in wartime Berlin and reveals how these relationships influenced its provocative acts, which were inextricably tied to the era's chaos and brutality. Studying how the Dadaists saw themselves as a new generation-in contrast to their pacifist forebears, the Expressionists-the book sheds light on key developments and events, such as the First International Dada Fair, held in Berlin in 1920. It also offers the first serious consideration of the group's role in constructing its own legacy, even as the works were deliberately rooted in the ephemeral.
Featuring new essays by established and emerging scholars, Intersections: Women artists/surrealism/modernism redefines conventional surrealist and modernist canons by focusing critical attention on women artists working in and with surrealism in the context of modernism. In doing so it redefines critical understanding of the complex relations between all three terms. The essays address work produced in a wide variety of international contexts and across several generations of surrealist production by women closely connected to the surrealist movement or more marginally influenced by it. Intersections explores work in a wide range of media, from painting and sculpture to film and fashion, by artists including Susan Hiller, Maya Deren, Birgit Jurgenssen, Aube Elleouet, Dorothea Tanning, Claude Cahun, Elsa Schiaparelli, Joyce Mansour, Leonor Fini, Mimi Parent, Lee Miller, Leonora Carrington, Ithell Colquhoun and Eileen Agar. -- .
Subversive, irreverent and fiercely anti-authoritarian, Dada made the radical suggestion that anything could be art and anyone an artist. Emerging in the middle of the First World War, Dada writers and artists attempted to dismantle traditional values, norms and codes of communication and thus to deconstruct contemporary culture. They pioneered experiments in interventionist collage, assemblage, performance and the inclusion of the industrially produced readymade. A decisive influence on the development of art during the twentieth century, most of the movements that followed have traced their roots to Dada. This volume presents a rich selection of the Dadas' experimental visual and literary works. Covering not only Western Europe and America but also Central and Eastern Europe, Japan and later Neo-Dada, eminent scholar and Director of the International Dada Archive Rudolf Kuenzli gives a lively, accessible and comprehensive assessment. Linking visual art, performance and literature, this is a fresh treatement of Dada as its artists and writers saw it. Survey Rudolf Kuenzli surveys Dada in its historical context and examines its significant impact and resonance in art and culture today. Works provides an extensive colour plate section with extended captions for every artwork, organized chronologically and geographically around major explosions of Dada activity. From its inception in Zurich we follow Dada to New York, Berlin, Hanover, Cologne, Paris, Central and Eastern Europe, and Japan, finally looking at Neo-Dada across the globe. It is a roll-call of the avant-garde: Hugo Ball at the Cabaret Voltaire and Hans Arp's Automatic Drawing; Marcel Duchamp's readymades and Man Ray's assemblages; Francis Picabia's paintings linking machine and human form; collage with political comment from Raoul Hausmann and Hannah Hoech; Kurt Schwitter's all-encompassing concept of Merz; Max Ernst; from the East, the graphics of Lajos Kassak and El Lissitzky; Okada Tatsuo's constructions and fireworks attached to the cover of Mavo magazine. A look at Neo-Dada includes Robert Rauschenberg's Erased de Kooning and the Happenings of Hi Red Center. Documents collects original Dada writings, researched at the International Dada Archive and sourced from around the world. Poetry, manifestos and statements are presented together with letters between Tristan Tzara and Marcel Duchamp; Beatrice Wood describes `The Richard Mutt Case' (the first exhibition of a urinal) to her readers of The Blind Man in 1917; and in more recent interviews artists such as Allan Kaprow and Arman relate their Dada inheritance.
What kind of artists put a moustache on the Mona Lisa? Enter a
urinal in an art competition? Declare their own independent
republic? Hijack a ship? Dadas!
"Let us agree," Federico Garcia Lorca wrote, "that one of man's
most beautiful postures is that of St. Sebastian."
The paintings of the Belgian Surrealist Rene Magritte (1898-1967) have exerted an extraordinary fascination, particularly since the enormous increase in awareness and popularity of his work during the 1960s. Magritte shows us a world of silence and isolation in which familiar objects are altered or juxtaposed in `impossible' combinations in order to create a sense of disorientation and the absurd. Many of his most memorable paintings date from his three prolific years 1927-30, when he lived near Paris and was in close touch with the writer Andre Breton and other French Surrealists. In his pre-war painting, stylistic concerns were of secondary importance to Magritte, whose main interest was in ideas or propositions about the world; for example, many of his paintings explore the relation between objects and words or between the image of an object and the object itself. He deliberately cultivated a cold, unemotive, `style-less' style. This quality renders the images of violence and macabre sexuality in some of his works all the more disturbing. His own `impressionist' and vache (ugly, crude) pictures of the 1940s have been rediscovered in the last few years by a younger generation of painters and critics keenly responsive to the later work of other masters of parody and allusion such as Picabia and de Chirico. Richard Calvocoressi's highly successful introduction to Magritte was first published in 1979 and revised and enlarged by the addition of notes to the colour plates and many black-and-white illustrations.
Margaret Cohen's encounter with Walter Benjamin, one of the 20th century's most influential cultural and literary critics, has produced a radically new reading of surrealist thought and practice. Benjamin and Andre Breton emerge in her account as important representatives of what Cohen calls "Gothic Marxism", whose fascination with the irrational aspects of social processes she highlights in discussions of Benjamin's "Passagen-Werk" and Breton's major prose texts from the 1920s and 1930s.;Cohen analyzes the links between Breton's surrealist fusion of psychoanalysis and Marxism, and Benjamin's post-Enlightenment challenge to Marxist theory. She also argues that Breton's surrealist Marxism plays a formative role in shaping post-World War II French intellectual life and is of continued relevance to the contemporary intellectual scene.
Bringing together many Surrealist texts that have never previously been available in English, this collection should be a useful guide for anyone who wishes to understand the Surrealist movement. Including a wealth of original works, it traces its development in the words of the surrealists themselves, offering a definitive expression of Surrealism as a collective movement. It shows the extent of Surrealist positions and interests and provides evidence for the fact that, having become a major cultural phenomenon of the 20th century, the issues it has raised remain central to current debates. Covering the period 1922-91, these key texts illuminate its philosophical, political and ethical positions, and locate surrealism in a broader social and cultural context. At a time of growing interest in Surrealism, the book also highlights the continued relevance of the surrealists to current issues in social theory, in particular concerning the role of the artist in contemporary society. Comprising statements from surrealist groups in Paris, Belgium, Romania, Sweden and Czechoslovakia, and signed by the major participants in the movement, it reveals the international dimension of surrealism and shows how it has maintained vitality in response to changing social and political exigencies. Chapters cover the historical orientation of Surrealism; its involvement with revolutionary politics; its ethical concerns and its defence of the "security of the spirit"; and its position on colonialism. In particular, the volume brings attention to the extent to which surrealism represented a "collective adventure" in which their shared interests brought together groups of individuals to explore themes in common.
In the same month that the single issue of the only official New York Dada magazine was published, April 1921, the Socie te Anonyme arranged a formal session to discuss the question "What is Dada?" This volume attempts to address that question through a series of engaging essays by such well-known New York Dada scholars as Martin Gaughan, Estera Milman, Ruth L. Bohan, Dickran Tashjian, Naomi Sawelson-Gorse, Michel Sanouillet, David Hopkins and Dafydd Jones.
"Eastern Dada Orbit" is composed of two distinct parts and describes two largely unexplored aspects of Dada. The first, "Dada in Central and Eastern Europe" (including the former Soviet Union), edited by Gerald Janecek, was a previously closed field that scholars have since discovered reveals the significant influence of Dada on the region. The second part of this volume, "Tada=Dada (Devotedly Dada) for the Stage: The Japanese Dada Movement 1920-1925," focuses upon the equally under researched area of Dada in Japan. Toshiharu Omuka traces the particular place of Dada within the dynamic development of Japanese modernism.
From Dada to the Automatists, and from Max Ernst to Andre Breton, Gerard Durozoi provides the most comprehensive and fascinating history of the Surrealist movement to date. Tracing the movement from its origins in the 1920s to its decline in the 1950s and 1960s, Durozoi tells the history of Surrealism through its activities, publications and reviews, demonstrating its close ties to some of the most explosive political, as well as creative, debates of the 20th century. Unlike other histories, which focus mainly on the pre-World War II years of the movement in Paris, Durozoi covers a wider chronological and geographic range, treating in detail the postwar years and Surrealism's colonization of Latin America, the United States, Japan, Czechoslovakia, Belgium, Italy and North Africa. Drawing on a staggering amount of documentary and visual evidence - including more than 1,000 illustrations, many of them in colour - he illuminates all the intellectual and artistic aspects of the movement, from literature and philosophy to painting, photography and film. All the Surrealist stars and their most important works are here - Aragon, Borges, Breton, Bunuel, Cocteau, Crevel, Dali, Desnos, Ernst, Man Ray, Soupault and many more - for all of whom Durozoi has provided brief biographical notes in addition to featuring them in the main text. For anyone who wants to know more about practically any aspect of Surrealism, from its vexed relations with communism to its exquisite corpses, Durozoi's "History of the Surrealist Movement" should be a valuable reference.
This issue of "Yale French Studies" on "Surrealism and Its
Others"examines the works and theories of writers, artists, and
thinkers who positioned themselves and their productions in
dialogue with Breton's surrealism. Although surrealism always
sought to distinguish itself from other movements and ideologies,
its members often celebrated their commonality with many "others"
outside of the official group with whom they shared their passions:
Marxists, visual artists, filmmakers, psychiatrists, and
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