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Amour Fou: Photography and Surrealism [Hardcover]

Rosalind E. Krauss , Jane Livingston , Dawn Ades
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Oct 1985
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, Andre Breton, Brassai, Salvador Dali, Andre Kertesz and Hans Bellmer have remained all but unknown - until now. Traditional criticism has viewed Surrealist photography as a pale imitiation of authentic Surrealist work. The assumption has been that photography, a "realistic" medium, is fundamentally incomptatible with a cause devoted to the wildly subjective, the world of dreams and the unconscious. As a consequence, Surrealist photography, a major body of 20-century art, has remained largely unexplored. This text studies the crucial role photography played 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 ackowledged as an important part of the Surrealist oeuvre.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 244 pages
  • Publisher: Abbeville Press Inc.,U.S. (1 Oct 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0896595765
  • ISBN-13: 978-0896595767
  • Product Dimensions: 31.2 x 24 x 2.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 557,265 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading 27 May 2011
This was an inspirational text and collection of images for me at art college many years ago, a must read if you have any interest in surrealism or art photography. After having it on almost permanent loan from the university library I finally bought my own copy in hardback recently and it's a treasured possession.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Renaissance Men and Women 29 Sep 2010
By Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles TOP 100 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
A photographic bible released in 1986. This book was my first on photography and this nurtured an interest. It has all the greats collated together, Bellmer, Man Ray, Brassai, Ubac, Boiffard, Lotar, Blossfeldt, Breton, Dali, Ernst, Malet, Magritte all captured in noir et blanche.

They are accompanied by essays requiring some effort and art knowledge. These are not entry points into the surreal world so if you are initiate skip these until you become immersed and then you can gain information and create your own critique. The collection of imagery is immense in the development of the early photographic imagination.

All the very early 1900's pioneers in film and photography were all proto surreal experimenters way before it was eventually named, untamed and eventually exported.

The images are a starting point of exploration. Latterly as Dali showed in the New York exposition when he built his Dreams of Venus, surrealism made an alliance with advertising. The imagery began incorporated wholesale in billnboard imagery and Man Ray became an in house photographer for elegant ladies.

These early attempts document the strangeness of the everyday world rather an attempt to create stage sets. They look at the dappling effect of light, the luminescence of shadows, a gust of wind, stacked horses legs left outside an abbatoir, the power of the curvature of the female body, solarisation, the torso, street scenes, the cut up and distorted double exposures.

It was an area of what if? Lying in bewtween the wars an era of the bachanal unfolded, as chemical and alcohol obliteration left the negative effects of the war behind. Meanwhile the Germans simmered in their rage. France meanwhile climbed into lysergic lands without ingesting the tab. The result was a cultural renaissance.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book on Surrealism and Photography 30 May 2013
By W - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I remember writing my thesis with this book next to me all the time. It was by far the best writing on Surrealism and Photography. Rosalind Krauss has given the most compelling and exciting essay on the role of photography and artist's thinking of mechanics of pictures, dreams and bodies in the realm of visual art.
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