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Surrealism and Us: Caribbean and African Diasporic Artists since 1940

Surrealism and Us: Caribbean and African Diasporic Artists since 1940

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This book brings together more than 50 works from the 1940s to the present that convey how Caribbean and African diasporic artists reclaimed a European avant-garde for their own purposes.

Since its inception, the Surrealist movement―and many other European art movements of the early 20th century―embraced and transformed African art, poetry and music traditions. Concurrently, artists in the Americas proposed subsets of Surrealism more closely tied to African diasporic culture. In Martinique, Aimé and Suzanne Césaire proposed a Caribbean Surrealism that challenged principles of order and reason and embraced African spiritualities. Meanwhile, artists in the United States such as Romare Bearden and Ted Joans engaged deeply with Surrealist ideas. These trends lasted far beyond those of their European counterparts. Indeed, the term “Afro-surrealism” was created by poet Amiri Baraka in 1974; today the movement still flourishes in tandem with Afrofuturism. The 
Surrealism and Us catalog is divided into three themes: “To Dare,” “Invisibility” and “Super/Reality”. 

Artists include: Firelei Báez, Agustin Cárdenas, Myrlande Constant, Rafael Ferrer, Ja’Tovia Gary, Hector Hyppolite, Ted Joans, Wifredo Lam, Simone Leigh, Kerry James Marshall.

208 pages

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