Anxious Visions: Surrealist Art

Sidra Stich, Author, Tyler Stovall, With, James Clifford, With Abbeville Press $59.95 (295p) ISBN 978-1-55859-109-7
Filled with forebodings of fascism, surrealist artists between the two world wars explored the dynamics between life and death. Rejecting Western ideals of a single truth, universal order or progress, they ``upset the polarizing we/they mentality that WW I had promoted,'' writes Stich, a chief curator at the University Art Museum, UC-Berkeley. This amply illustrated exhibition catalogue places a wide range of surrealist works in a historical-intellectual context. Surrealism is seen here as a barometer that responded to many forces, such as the semi-liberated ``new woman'' of the 1920s, black literature and music in interwar Paris, the arts of Asia, Oceania and prehistoric cultures, the films of Chaplin, Eisenstein, Bunuel. Eroticized yet formless, the surrealist figure--Max Ernst's mechano-morphs, Man Ray's torsos, Dali's plagued personas--embodies a potency for transformation that animates these insightful essays. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1990
Release date: 10/01/1990
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