Gradiva's Mirror: Reflections on Women, Surrealism and Art History

Gradiva's Mirror: Reflections on Women, Surrealism and Art History

ISBN10: 1877675377
ISBN13: 978-1877675379
Author: -
Title: Gradiva's Mirror: Reflections on Women, Surrealism and Art History
Publisher: Midmarch Arts Pr; First Edition edition (February 2002)
Language: English
Size ePub: 1445 kb
Size PDF: 1682 kb
Rating: 3.6/5
Votes: 361
Pages: 302 pages
Subcategory: History & Criticism

Gradiva's Mirror: Reflections on Women, Surrealism and Art History



Gradiva's Mirror is a work of scholarly yet creative nonfiction that weaves autobiographical reflections into art historical analyses of paintings, sculptures, photographs, and texts created by eleven women associated with Surrealism. The women whose work is discussed are: Claude Cahun, Leonora Carrington, Gala Dali, Frida Kahlo, Valentine Hugo, Maria Izquierdo, Jacqueline Lamba, Simone Mareuil, Lee Miller, Alice Rahon and Remedios Varo. The title of the book comes from two central Surrealist icons: Gradiva, the mythic female figure created by German novelist Wilhelm Jensen, analyzed by Sigmund Freud, and adopted by André Breton as a pivotal symbol; and the mirror, employed by the Surrealists as an emblem of reflection and receptivity (rather than as a reference to human vanity.)

Gradiva’s Mirror is structured as a chronological "triptych." The three sections focus on the decades following: 1929, the year women began to have a significant presence in Parisian Surrealism; 1939, the year World War II was declared and many European artists fled to the Americas in order to avoid persecution by Hitler; and 1949, the year several Surrealist women who had settled in Mexico City began sustained periods of mature and independent work. Each section of the book begins with a description of the nature of Surrealism at that time and concludes with an imagined conversation between the author and the women featured in that section. The introduction to Gradiva’s Mirror is written by Gloria Orenstein, renowned ecofeminist and scholar, who has published extensively on the women of Surrealism.


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