Tashjian, Dickran A boatload of madmen: Surrealism and the American avant-garde, 1920-1950
Thames and Hudson 1995 0500974160 / 9780500974162 1st Edition Hardcover Near Fine/Near Fine
A highly collectible first edition, protected in a new brodart wrapper French poet Andre Breton, founder of surrealism, envisioned it as a way of life, an upheaval of the unconscious that would foment a cultural revolution intimately linked to leftist politics. But with the resettling in New York City of Breton, Max Ernst, Marcel Duchamp and other emigre artists and writers, surrealism in the 1930s and '40s veered off in unpredictable directions. Painter/photographer Man Ray adapted surrealist techniques in ads for cologne and swimwear, while flamboyant Salvador Dali conceived of surrealism as a tool to tap the fundamental human experiences from which art springs. Art history professor Tashjian (UC Irvine) brilliantly reassesses the impact of surrealism on an emerging American avant-garde and on American culture in this intensive study. He focuses on three American artists?Jackson Pollock, Joseph Cornell and self-styled "Armenian in exile" Arshile Gorky?who transformed surrealist esthetics in their separate quests for artistic identity. Tashjian also charts the dilution of surrealism in American advertising, fashion and the mass media. Illustrated.