British Surrealism in Context: A Collector’s Eye


ISBN: 9780901981820
Artist(s): Various
Author(s): Silvano Levy and Tanja Pirsig-Marshall
Format: Paperback
Edition: -
Publisher: Jeremy Mills Publishing
Publisher Location: Huddersfield
Total Pages: 224
Illustrations: Illustrated throughout in colour

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British Surrealism in Context: A Collector’s Eye showcases the largest collection of British surrealist work in the country. Its 224 pages are extravagantly illustrated throughout with colour photographs of items from the collection, and offer rich and varied commentary on its content and context.

It contains essays by Michel Remy, the acknowledged expert on British surrealism; Jon Wood, on sculpture; Silvano Levy, on Toni del Renzio; and a fascinating essay by the collection’s owner, Dr Jeffrey Sherwin, revealing many of the anecdotes involving the artists that he has met and illuminating the process and culture of collecting.

These articles are supported by a dense selection of photographs capturing the astonishing breadth and scope of Sherwin’s collection. The book traces the collection from its first surrealist work, John Banting’s painting Adoration of the Magi (1929), in which the Virgin Mary is depicted as a cardboard cut-out and the Magi resemble athletes exercising with an instructor. This formed part of the famous Bruno Hat Hoax that year which appeared in newspapers, and for which Evelyn Waugh wrote a spoof catalogue that, for the first time, is reproduced as it was presented. Sherwin’s celebrated coverage of the female British surrealists receives particular attention. The images of the famous head by Eileen Agar, The Angel of Mercy (1934), and a haunting possible self-portrait of Leonora Carrington, when she was receiving treatment in 1941 for a nervous breakdown in Santander Mental Asylum, along with a contemporary photograph of Carrington sitting beside her psychiatrist, Dr Louis Morales, are noteworthy examples.


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