The Curatorial Avant-Garde: Surrealism and Exhibition Practice in France, 1925–1941

Paperback | April 7, 2014

byAdam Jolles

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All too often, the historical avant-garde is taken to be incommensurate with and antithetical to the world inhabited by the museum. In The Curatorial Avant-Garde, by contrast, Adam Jolles demonstrates the surrealists’ radical transformation of the ways in which spectators encountered works of art between the wars. From their introduction in Paris in 1925, surrealist exhibitions dissolved the conventional boundaries between visual media, language, and the space of public display. This intrusion—by a group of amateur curators, with neither formal training nor professional experience in museums or galleries—ultimately altered the way in which surrealists made, displayed, and promoted their own art. Through interdisciplinary analyses of particular exhibitions and works of art in relation to the manner in which they were displayed, Jolles addresses this public face of surrealism. He directs attention to the venues, the contemporary debates those venues engendered, and the critical discourses in which they participated. In so doing, he shines new light on the movement’s artistic and intellectual development, revealing both the political stakes attached to surrealism within the historical context of interwar Europe and the movement’s instrumental role in the trajectory of modernism.

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All too often, the historical avant-garde is taken to be incommensurate with and antithetical to the world inhabited by the museum. In The Curatorial Avant-Garde, by contrast, Adam Jolles demonstrates the surrealists’ radical transformation of the ways in which spectators encountered works of art between the wars. From their introducti...

Adam Jolles is Associate Professor of Art History at Florida State University.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 9 × 9 × 0.68 inPublished:April 7, 2014Publisher:Penn State University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0271059397

ISBN - 13:9780271059396

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Contents

List of Illustrations

Acknowledgments

Introduction: The Curatorial Avant-Garde

1 Breaking the Silence

2 Denouncing de Chirico

3 Colonists by Vocation

4 The Tactile Turn

5 The Artist as Dealer

Conclusion: Looking Back on Adorno

Notes

Selected Bibliography

Index

Editorial Reviews

“There are many valuable insights to be gained from Jolles’s richly researched study. The book also displays impressive production values, with a knowing nod towards ‘The New Typography’ and several archive images that are brightly rejuvenated through digital scanning.”

—Robert Radford, Burlington Magazine