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A Boatload of Madmen: Surrealism and the American Avant-Garde, 1920 1950

Dickran Tashjian

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ISBN 10: 0500236879 / ISBN 13: 9780500236871
Published by Thames & Hudson (1995), New York, 1995
Condition: Near Fine Hardcover
From Eureka Books, ABAA (Eureka, CA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

424 pages. Many black-and-white illustrations. First edition (first printing). Near fine in a near fine dust jacket. Corners bumped. Signed by the author. Bookseller Inventory # 116141

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Bibliographic Details

Title: A Boatload of Madmen: Surrealism and the ...

Publisher: Thames & Hudson (1995), New York

Publication Date: 1995

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Near Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine

Signed: Signed By Author

Edition: First Edition.

About this title


The American art community had its first glimpse of Surrealism in 1932. Its revolutionary art galvanised an emerging avant-garde. New galleries opened to exhibit the works of Surrealist artists, and new magazines sprang up to publish a startling crop of Surrealist poetry, criticism and attacks on mainstream culture and politics. Only four years later, a major exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art catapulted Surrealism into the cultural limelight and the attentions of high-fashion magazines like "Harper's Bazaar" and "Vogue". Soon the art of Man Ray was selling cologne and swimwear; and the manic Salvador Dali was designing windows for Bonwitt's and a pavilion at the 1939 New York World's Fair. Even Andre Breton and his circle, exiled in Manhattan during World War II, were unable to assert control over this new kind of Surrealism. In this cultural history, Professor Dickran Tashjian tells the story of Surrealism's remarkable sea change, from a fiercely leftist, strongly literary, avant-garde movement into an apolitical almost exclusively visual style. Exploring both high and low cultural perspectives, he shows how the American avant-garde selectively reshaped European Surrealism to meet its own agendas, and how it was in turn reinterpreted, de-politicized and commercially exploited by mainstream American culture and the fashion and advertising industries. Dickran Tashjian teaches in the Programme in Comparative Culture at the University of California, Irvine, and is the author of several books, including "Joseph Cornell: Gifts of Desire".

About the Author:

Dickran Tashjian is Professor of Art History in the School of Fine Arts at the University of California, Irvine. His other books include Skyscraper Primitives and Joseph Cornell: Gifts of Desire.

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