Jane Livingston

Jane Livingston

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.

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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