Surrealism and the Exotic is the story of the obsessive relationship between surrealist and non-western culture. Describing the travels across Africa, Oceania, Mexico and the Caribbean made by wealthy aesthetes, it combines an insight into the mentality of early twentieth century collectors with an overview of the artistic heritage at stake in these adventures. Featuring more than 70 photographs of artefacts, exhibitions and expeditions-in-progress, it brings to life the climate of hedonism enjoyed by Breton, Ernst, Durkheim, and Mauss, It is an unparalleled introduction to the Surrealist movement and to French thought and culture in the 1920s and 1930s.
Louise Tythacott is a curator at Liverpool Museum. She was formerly a guide at Brighton Pavilion and a postgraduate researcher at Hong Kong University
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'Surrealism and the Exotic is a carefully researched, well-written, and often entertaining book that explores the central paradox of the Surrealists ... ' – The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute