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Surrealism in Exile and the Beginning of the New York School

Overview

The French/European story of Surrealism has been written; the story of abstract expressionism has been told. But the connection between them, how one acted as a catalyst for the other, has been a long-missing chapter in the history of art. Martica Sawin finally provides it.

In this fascinating account of what was happening within Surrealism during the crucial years 1938-1947, Martica Sawin documents the cultural transfer that took place when the greater part of the prewar ...

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Overview

The French/European story of Surrealism has been written; the story of abstract expressionism has been told. But the connection between them, how one acted as a catalyst for the other, has been a long-missing chapter in the history of art. Martica Sawin finally provides it.

In this fascinating account of what was happening within Surrealism during the crucial years 1938-1947, Martica Sawin documents the cultural transfer that took place when the greater part of the prewar Surrealist group was transplanted to the Western Hemisphere. Eminently readable, clearly told, and biographically rich, Sawin's year-by-year narrative pieces together when and how the refugees arrived and their various points of contact with the future abstract expressionists.

In this fascinating, detailed account of what was happening within Surrealism between 1938 and 1947, Martica Sawin documents the cultural transfer that took place when the greater part of the prewar Surrealist group was transplanted to the Western hemisphere. Illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The advent of Nazism in Germany and the subsequent fall of France at the start of World War II began an exodus of the European intelligentsia to North America. The surrealists-including Andr Breton, Max Ernst, Andr Masson, Yves Tanguy, and many others-were a major component of this flight. A critic, independent curator, and an instructor at Parsons School of Design, Sawin weaves together the varied stories of the individual members of this increasingly loose group of artists. Of even greater value, she carefully documents their interaction with, and influence on, the young American artists-Jackson Pollock, Robert Motherwell, and others-who would form the core of Abstract Expressionism (the New York School). This excellent account of this neglected chapter in Surrealism's history is highly recommended for all academic libraries and larger public collections. [For a new biography of Breton, see Mark Polizzotti's Revolution of the Mind, p. 74.-Ed.]-Martin R. Kalfatovic, Smithsonian Inst. Libs., Washington, DC
Booknews
In this detailed account of what was happening within Surrealism during the years 1938-1947, the author documents the cultural transfer that took place when the greater part of the prewar Surrealist group was transplanted to the Western Hemisphere. She pieces together when and how the refugees arrived and their various points of contact with future abstract expressionists, as she explores the roots of the New York School--a vigorous hybrid that brought world attention to the new American art for the first time. Interwoven with the text are 250 photographs of people, places, and artworks. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262692014
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 5/9/1997
  • Pages: 496
  • Product dimensions: 8.47 (w) x 10.99 (h) x 1.11 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction
1 France, 1938: The Railroad Station of the Imagination and the Dream 2
2 France, 1939: "The Curtain Has Risen on a Forest Fire" 46
3 New York, 1939: The Prepared Ground 74
4 France, 1940-1941: The Marseilles Game 104
5 New York, 1941: In a Land without Myth 148
6 New York, 1942: Veils and Transparents 194
7 The Mexican Connection 248
8 New York, 1943: A New Momentum Begins 288
9 New York, 1944-1945: Young Cherry Trees Secured against Hares 344
10 Paris, 1945-1947: In the Time of Lean Cows 382
Epilogue 410
Notes 426
Selected Bibliography 442
Index 454
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