This collection of essays—the first major account of surrealism in Latin America that covers both literary and visual production—explores the role the movement played in the construction and recuperation of cultural identities and the ways artists and writers contested, embraced, and adapted surrealist ideas and practices.
Surrealism in Latin America provides new Latin American–centric scholarship, not only about surrealism’s impact on the region but also about the region’s impact on surrealism. It reconsiders the relation between art and anthropology, casts new light on the aesthetics of “primitivism,” and makes a strong case for Latin American artists and writers as the inheritors of a movement that effectively went underground after World War II. In so doing, it expands our understanding of important, fascinating figures who are less well known than their counterparts active in Europe and New York.
Deriving from a conference held at the Getty Research Institute, the book is rich in new materials drawn from the GRI’s diverse Mexican and South American surrealist collections, which include the archives of Vicente Huidobro, Enrique Gómez-Correa, César Moro, Enrique Lihn, and Emilio Westphalen.
This panoramic survey goes a step beyond other recent studies to consider surrealism’s ongoing legacies, proposing that the surrealist movement in Latin America, like the vivísimo muerto (the living dead)—cannot be relegated to the past.
Dawn Ades is a semi-retired professor at the University of Essex and has published widely on Dada, surrealism, and photography. Rita Eder is a researcher, professor, and head of the project Art Studies from Latin America (1996–2003). Graciela Speranza is a professor at the Universidad de Buenos Aires and the Universidad Torcuato Di Tella in Buenos Aires and coeditor of the journal Otra parte.
“[This book] focuses on both visual arts and literary production by a wide range of practitioners. . . . Recommended.”—Choice
“Provides new Latin American-centric scholarship, not only about surrealism’s impact on the region but also about the region’s impact on surrealism. It reconsiders the relation between art and anthropology, casts new light on the aesthetics of ‘primitivism,’ and makes a strong case for Latin American artists and writers as the inheritors of a movement that effectively went underground after World War II.”—Eyes In
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