No other art movement in history has contained two artists as different as Magritte and Miro. This is because Surrealism was not in origin an art movement, but a philosophical strategy. It was a way of life - a rebellion against the establishment that had given the world the hideous slaughter of the First World War. Instead of trying to analyse the work of the Surrealists, bestselling author and Surrealist artist Desmond Morris concentrates on them as people - as remarkable individuals. What were their personalities, their predilections, their character strengths and flaws? Did they enjoy a social life or were they loners? Were they bold eccentrics or timid recluses?
Drawing on the author's personal knowledge of the Surrealists, this book captures their life histories, idiosyncrasies and often-complex love lives, vividly illustrated with images of the artists and their works. The arts of Surrealism were both spectacular and international, shaped by the darkest, most irrational workings of the unconscious. Shocking, witty and always entertaining, Morris' tales illuminate the striking variation in approaches to the Surrealist philosophy, both in the artist's work and in their lives.
Desmond Morris is one of the last surviving Surrealists. His first solo exhibition was held in 1948 and in 1950 he shared his first London show with Joan Miro. He has since completed over 2,500 Surrealist paintings, and eight books have been published about his work. He has also written several books, one of which - The Naked Ape - ranks among the top 100 bestsellers of all time, with over 12 million copies sold.
Foreword * Introduction * Eileen Agar * Jean (Hans) Arp * Francis Bacon * Hans Bellmer * Victor Brauner * Andre Breton * Alexander Calder * Leonora Carrington * Giorgio de Chirico * Salvador Dali * Paul Delvaux * Marcel Duchamp * Max Ernst * Leonor Fini * Wilhelm Freddie * Alberto Giacometti * Arshile Gorky * Wifredo Lam * Conroy Maddox * Rene Magritte * Andre Masson * Roberto Matta * Edouard Mesens * Joan Miro * Meret Oppenheim * Wolfgang Paalen * Roland Penrose * Pablo Picasso * Man Ray * Yves Tanguy * Dorothea Tanning * Major Surrealist Group Exhibitions