In-depth and beautifully illustrated book which accompanied the exhibition Surreal Encounters: Collecting the Marvellous at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh 2016, organised in conjunction with the Hamburger Kunsthalle and Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam
Illustrated are works from the collections of Roland Penrose, Edward James, Gabrielle Keiller and Ulla and Heiner Pietzsch provides an exceptional overview of Surrealism, bringing together important works by artists including Salvador Dalí, Max Ernst, René Magritte and Joan Miró.
The essays, written by leading scholars such as Dawn Ades and Elizabeth Cowling, provide an insight into the way that four key collections of surrealist art were formed and the motivations behind their creation. It is not surprising that the ways in which surrealist art has been collected display many of the idiosyncratic passions of Surrealism itself. The four collections shown in this book — those formed by Roland Penrose (1900–84), Edward James (1907–84), Gabrielle Keiller (1908–95) and Ulla and Heiner Pietzsch (who have been collecting Surrealism since the 1970s) — have different origins, trajectories, and historical contexts and come out of different creative urges.
When these four collections are brought together, they create a many-faceted glimpse of the ‘marvellous’, which André Breton, the chief theorist of the movement, defined in his first surrealist manifesto of 1924 as follows: ‘The marvellous is always beautiful, anything marvellous is beautiful, in fact only the marvellous is beautiful.’