New Surrealism - The Uncanny in Contemporary Painting - Robert Zeller

Monacelli Studio

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New Surrealism: The Uncanny in Contemporary Painting by Robert Zeller / ISBN 9781580935692 / 336-page hardback, 9.25 x 11.25 inches, published in 2023 by Monacelli Studio

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New Surrealism: The Uncanny in Contemporary Painting by Robert Zeller offers a sweeping exposition of both historical Surrealism and its legacy in the world of contemporary art. It demonstrates the many ways in which the most significant art movement of the last century continues to be relevant today, featuring an international selection of contemporary artists whose compositions and studio practice reveal its influence.

There are many modalities of historical Surrealism that still maintain contemporary currency: presenting the familiar as unfamiliar and uncanny, the juxtaposition of seemingly unrelated imagery, the use of absurdity to critique political or social issues, and the use of erotic imagery in an irrational, non-linear context. Not all the artists brought together in this book self-identify as Surrealist, per se, but each uses some variation of Surrealism in a personal manner.

The book begins with a study of the origins, leadership, participating artists, and major milestones of historical Surrealism. Zeller chronicles the movement starting at the end of World War I and the birth of Dada. The most important players and events emerge throughout the timeline of events—including World War II, and such notable artists as Max Ernst, Marcel Duchamp, Leonora Carrington, and many others—up until the death of its leader Andre Breton in 1966.

Zeller then explores how elements of New Surrealism are being put into practice in the contemporary art world. Section Two offers a survey of 29 contemporary artists who engage in New Surrealism's seemingly unlimited variations of the movement's original themes, including Rosa Loy, Glenn Brown, and Arghavan Khosravi. Section Three features 14 artists, including important contemporary artists such as Inka Essenhigh, Ginny Casey and Anna Weyant, who speak to Surrealism's influence on their studio practice, detailing in their own words how they create a composition from start to finish.

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