This book was originally published in 1999, and is the first comprehensive study of the British surrealist movement and its achievements. Lavishly illustrated, the book provides a year-by-year narrative of the development of surrealism among artists, writers, critics and theorists in Britain.
Surrealism was imported into Britain from France by pioneering little magazines. The 1936 International Surrealist Exhibition in London, put together by Herbert Read and Roland Penrose, marked the first attempt to introduce the concept to a wider public. Relations with the Soviet Union, the Spanish Civil War and World War Two fractured the nascent movement as writers and artists worked out their individual responses and struggled to earn a living in wartime. The book follows the story right through to the present day.
Michael Remy draws on 20 years of studying British surrealism to provide this authoritative and biographically rich account, a major contribution to the understanding of the achievements of the artists and writers involved and their allegiance to this key twentieth-century movement.
1. Exits and Entrances. 2. The Entry of the Mediums: The establishment of surrealism in Britain 1932-6. 3. Communicating Vessels: Formation and growth 1936-7. 4. Spirit Levels, Level Spirits: The years of definition 1938-40. 5. The Eye of the Hurricane: The war years 1940-45. 6. Watchman, What of the Night?: The Free Unions years 1945-51.