"Surrealism, Art, and Modern Science" by Gavin Parkinson

Surrealism, Art, and Modern Science Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Epistemology Gavin Parkinson

Publication date:
24 Jun 2008
Yale University Press
256 pages: 254 x 190mm
60 b-w + 20 color illus.


During the same period that Surrealism originated and flourished between the wars, great advances were being made in the field of physics. This book offers the first full history, analysis and interpretation of Surrealism's engagement with the theory of relativity and quantum mechanics, and its reception of the philosophical consequences of those two major turning points in our understanding of the physical world.

After surveying the revolution in physics in the early twentieth century and the discoveries of Planck, Bohr, Einstein, Schrodinger, and others, Gavin Parkinson explores the diverse uses of physics by individuals in and around the Surrealist group in Paris. In so doing, he offers exciting new readings of the art and writings of such key figures of the Surrealist milieu as André Breton, Georges Bataille, Salvador Dalí, Roger Caillois, Max Ernst, and Tristan Tzara.

Gavin Parkinson is a lecturer in the history of art, University of Oxford

'Parkinson is particularly thorough in setting out how these complex scientific ideas were poularised, and how such contemporary accounts fed into surrealist art works.' Paul Carey-Kent, Art World

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