The History of Surrealism
Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2000 - 351 pagina's
"I believe," André Breton said, "in the future resolution of the states of dream and reality--in appearance so contradictory--in a sort of absolute reality, or surréalité." The Surrealist movement, born in the 1920s out of the ferment of Dada, committed to revolution against bourgeois rationalism, and inspired by Freudian exploration of the unconscious, has reverberated more widely and deeply than perhaps any other art movement in our century. Its automatism, biomorphic shapes, visionary mode, and manipulation of found objects mark the work of artists as different as Ernst, Miró, Magritte, and Dali.
Maurice Nadeau's History of Surrealism, first published in French in 1944 and in English in 1965, has become a classic. It is both lucid and authoritative--by far the best overall account of this complex movement. Nadeau traces the evolution of Surrealism, bringing to life its many internal debates about politics and art. He relates the movement to its intellectual and artistic environment. And he provides the statements and manifestos of Breton, Aragon, Tzara, and others.
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Despite the lameness of many of these projects, they demonstrated how hard it is
to eliminate the realm of art. It's like getting rid of witch grass: it grows back
everywhere. If nothing is art, then “the whole world is art," as Arp innocently
His answer deserves to be quoted by reason of its clarity: In the realm of facts, on
our part no ambiguity is possible: there is not one of us who does not desire the .
of power from the hands of the bourgeoisie to those of the proletariat.
Another advance into this realm was made by Dali with the “objects of symbolic
function.” He had started with a sculpture by Giacometti: L'heure des traces,
which may be roughly described as consisting of two solids: one in the shape of a
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