By Mary Ann Caws, Editor
Phaidon Press, $19.95, 208 pages

Webster’s Dictionary defines surrealism as a modern movement in art and literature, in which an attempt is made to portray or interpret the workings of the unconscious mind as manifested in dreams: it is characterized by an irrational, fantastic arrangement of material.

In this anthology of art Surrealism, edited by Mary Ann Caws, exposes just that. Caws arranges this compilation into sections that are divisible and exchangeable within themselves. Various, notorious artists from 1915 to 1950’s are depicted with each of their biographies housed in the back.

More than your average coffee table book, it begins with an art history lesson, a backdrop preview of what is coming in the pages ahead. No apologies or excuses for surrealism art is made, only a vested tribute of appreciation to the inner workings of surrealism art. The pictures, both black and white and full color, are often disturbing, confusing but always interpretable and strangely familiar. Sources are acclaimed wonderfully throughout the book. Overall, Surrealism is a good large paperback volume to add to your library collection on art…just keep it away from the kids.

Reviewed by M Chris Johnson