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No other art movement in history has contained two artists as different as Magritte and Miro. This is because Surrealism was not in origin an art movement, but a philosophical strategy. It was a way of life - a rebellion against the establishment that had given the world the hideous slaughter of the First World War. Instead of trying to analyse the work of the Surrealists, bestselling author and Surrealist artist Desmond Morris concentrates on them as people - as remarkable individuals. What were their personalities, their predilections, their character strengths and flaws? Did they enjoy a social life or were they loners? Were they bold eccentrics or timid recluses? Drawing on the author's personal knowledge of the Surrealists, this book captures their life histories, idiosyncrasies and often-complex love lives, vividly illustrated with images of the artists and their works. The arts of Surrealism were both spectacular and international, shaped by the darkest, most irrational workings of the unconscious. Shocking, witty and always entertaining, Morris' tales illuminate the striking variation in approaches to the Surrealist philosophy, both in the artist's work and in their lives.

 

Details

ISBN: 9780500021361
Audience: General
Format: Hardback
Number of Pages: 272
Publication Date: 3 May 2018
Publisher: Thames & Hudson Ltd
Publication City, Country: London, United Kingdom
Dimensions (cm): 24(H) x 16.5(L)
Weight (gm): 750

 

Reviews

'Morris's eye for detail is a delight. He writes with a pleasingly conversational tone and a dry humour and affection that undercuts the more preposterous behaviour described here ... Juicy little nuggets litter the book' - The Times
'Concise, factual, witty and entertaining' - Art Book Review
'Fascinating' - Mature Times
'An exceptionally lively, crisply written, independent-minded survey of one of the most bizarre groups of misfits who ever lived' - Mail on Sunday
'Gossipy, waspish, biased, score-settling and very entertaining' - Literary Review
'Informative and intriguing' - The Lady
'If you have a taste for zany characters, outlandish conduct and the partner-swapping of post-WW1 mavericks who stuck their fingers up at the establishment, then you will not experience a second's boredom ... this book is a carnival of wackiness' - Big Issue
'Uproariously funny ... [Morris's] anecdotes are all told with a dry but good-natured humour ... these figures make for highly entertaining company' - Spectator
'Vastly entertaining ... Morris has all the scrupulousness of a scientist but he also has the eye of a novelist' - Financial Times
'Vastly entertaining' - The Oldie
'Peppered with personal anecdotes and colourful detail, this is a lighthearted and entertaining read' - Vanity Fair
'Very moreish' - The Herald, Book of the Year

 

Author Biography

Desmond Morris is one of the last surviving Surrealists. His first solo exhibition was held in 1948 and in 1950 he shared his first London show with Joan Miro. He has since completed over 2,500 Surrealist paintings, and eight books have been published about his work. He has also written several books, one of which - The Naked Ape - ranks among the top 100 bestsellers of all time, with over 12 million copies sold. His title The Lives of the Surrealists was published in 2018 by Thames & Hudson
The Lives of the Surrealists
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