As much as I love the surrealist movement for dragging my subconscious mind out of its deep slumber, I can't help but feel perturbed that it is an art movement commonly identified with men. Women were often represented in surrealist art as objects of beauty, but a good number of them stepped outside of the frame and made important creative contributions. To illustrate women's involvement in the surrealist movement, Ilene Susan Fort, Tere Arcq, and Terri Geis teamed up to put together In Wonderland: The Surrealist Adventures of Women Artists in Mexico and the United States (Prestel). This nice and heavy book (which includes more than 200 works of art) features the kickass work of Mexican and U.S.-based women artists and shows how women used surrealism as a way to explore their subconscious and express their perspectives on issues such as gender and female sexuality-- ultimately making surrealism a movement of their own. Pick up a copy for yourself or your favorite art lover at Amazon ($60).
Muriel Streeter, The Chess Queens (1944)
Photo © Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art/Art Resource, NY
Gertrude Abercrombie, Self-Portrait of My Sister (1941)
© Gertrude Abercrombie Trust; Photo © The Art Institute of Chicago
Images courtesy of Prestel Publishing.