Dawn Ades

Dawn Ades CBE, FBA

Dawn Ades is a Fellow of the British Academy, a former trustee of Tate, Professor of the History of Art at the Royal Academy and was awarded a CBE in 2013 for her services to art history. She has been responsible for some of the most important exhibitions in London and overseas over the past thirty years, including Dada and Surrealism Reviewed, Art in Latin America and Francis Bacon. Most recently she organised the highly successful exhibition to celebrate the centenary of Salvador Dalí at the Palazzo Grassi in Venice (2004) The Colour of my Dreams: The Surrealist Revolution in Art, at the Vancouver Art Gallery (2011), and was Associate Curator for Manifesta 9 (2012) . She has published standard works on photomontage, Dada, Surrealism, women artists and Mexican muralists. Dawn is now partially retired but continues to supervise PhD students.

L'Amour fou

Photography and Surrealism

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A collection of fabulous photographs by the foremost Surrealist artists.

Much has been written about Surrealist painting and sculpture, but most of the erotic, disorienting, and exquisite Surrealist photographs of Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, André Breton, Brassaï, Salvador Dalí, André Kertész, and Hans Bellmer have remained all but unknown — until now. Traditional criticism has viewed Surrealist photography as a pale imitation of authentic Surrealist work. The assumption has been that photography, a "realistic" medium, is fundamentally incompatible with a cause devoted to the wildly subjective, the world of dreams, and the unconscious. As a consequence, Surrealist photography, a major body of twentieth-century art, has remained largely unexplored.

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.

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