Surrealism and Painting by Andre Breton / ISBN 9780878466283 / 448-page paperback, about 8 x 10.5 inches, from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston / black-and-white illustrations
(All the "discounted books" I'm selling are new/unread, but usually show some age and shelf wear. This one is basically new.)
Originally published in 1928 and augmented throughout the author's life, Surrealism and Painting is the single most important statement ever written on Surrealist art. While many pages have been devoted to visual Surrealism, this is the only book on the subject by the movement's founder and prime theorist. It contains André Breton's seminal treatise on the origins and foundations of artistic Surrealism, with his trenchant assessments of its precursors and practitioners, and his call for the plastic arts to "refer to a purely internal model," to excavate the "dark continent" of consciousness. Also included are essays--many of them classics in their own right--on Picasso, Duchamp, Kahlo, Dali, Ernst, Masson, Gorky, Picabia, Miro, Magritte, Kandinsky, Hantai and others, as well as pieces on Gallic art, outsider art and the folk arts of Haiti and Oceania. But above and beyond the subject matter, what makes this book so enduringly compelling is Breton's signature mixture of rigorous erudition and visceral passion, his sense of art as adventure, and his discoveries of many of Modernism's most prominent figures early in their careers. Long unavailable in English, Surrealism and Painting is not only a supremely exciting work of art criticism, but also one of the three or four indispensable references for any serious discussion of modern art.