L' Amour fou is the first book to study the crucial role photography did in fact play in the Surrealist movement. It shows how photographers enlisted into the service of "subjective" Surrealism their medium's very claim to "objective" reality. Of greatest interest, of course, is the book's abundant reproductions of the fantastic and distorted photographic creations that must be acknowledged as an important part of the Surrealist oeuvre.
Author Biography: Rosalind Krauss, Meyer Schapiro Professor of Modern Art and Theory at Columbia University, is a widely published author of books and articles on art subjects. Since 1976 she has edited October, a journal of aesthetics. Jane Livingston, former associate director and chief curator of The Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., has written major books and exhibition catalogues on art and photography. Dawn Ades, Professor of Art History and Theory Essex University, Colchester, England, has written several art books, including Abbeville's The 20th-Century Poster.
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Andre Breton's surrealist manifestos of the 1920s and '30s, along with his novel concept of "l'amour fou," ascribed to his revolutionary Parisian art movement "the intensely illogical reality of a dream." British and American art educators Krauss, Livingston and Ades in this rich picture book examine the very extensive role of photography (an unlikely medium on the face of it) in the surrealist movement. Shown here are photographs by Man Ray, Brassai, Tabard, Ubac, Boiffard and others whose choice of subject and/or photolab manipulations leave in no doubt their surrealist competence and intent. Illogical juxtapositions, twisted imagery (e.g., Hans Bellemer's "Doll" sequence), light-and-shadow cutouts, and coldly unerotic dissections of the female form boldly assert surrealism's quest for an ultimate truthits own "psycho-atmospheric-anamorphic" knowledge. A scholarly tour de force, this is the catalogue of a traveling exhibition. December 27