Toyen - The Dreaming Rebel

National Gallery Prague


Toyen: The Dreaming Rebel, edited by Anna Pravdová, Annie Le Brun, and Annabelle Görgen-Lammers / ISBN 9788070357743 / 9 x 12 inches / English edition, 336 pages, 572 reproductions 

Highly recommended!


The catalogue introduces the work of the world famous yet recently rediscovered Czech painter Toyen who had lived in France since 1947.

The artist’s work is presented in the wider context of her activities (Devětsil Group, Surrealist Group in Czechoslovakia, Paris Surrealist Group), structured chronologically in five sections, each named after the crucial work of the given period: Coral Islands, Magnet Woman, Hide Yourself, War!, All the Elements, and The New World of Love. Each section begins with a detailed biography that illustrates to what extent Toyen’s multifarious work is interconnected with her life stages. In addition to chronological contextual studies, the texts deal with crucial themes of her creation such as, for example, politics, spectacle, alchemy, analogy, and books.

The catalogue authors bring varied and enriching approaches, whether they are poets, contemporary witnesses, or researchers from different disciplines, not just art historians. The book is complemented with hitherto unpublished documents and correspondence. The large number of illustrations includes an array of photographs of Toyen that are being published for the first time.

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