Breton attended medical school, where he developed a particular interest in mental illness. The couple relocated to rue Fontaine No. He was an atheist. Anxious to combine the themes of personal transformation found in the works of Arthur Rimbaud with the politics of Karl Marx , Breton joined the French Communist Party in , from which he was expelled in Nadja , a novel about his encounter with an imaginative woman who later became mentally ill, was published in

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In New York, Breton and his colleagues curated Surrealist exhibitions that introduced ideas of automatism and intuitive art making to the first Abstract Expressionists. He worked in various creative media, focusing on collage and printmaking as well as authoring several books.

Breton innovated ways in which text and image could be united through chance association to create new, poetic word-image combinations. His ideas about accessing the unconscious and using symbols for self-expression served as a fundamental conceptual building block for New York artists in the s.

Accomplishments Breton was a major member of the Dada group and the founder of Surrealism. He was dedicated to avant-garde art-making and was known for his ability to unite disparate artists through printed matter and curatorial pursuits.

Breton drafted the Surrealist Manifesto in , declaring Surrealism as "pure psychic automatism," deeply affecting the methodology and origins of future movements, such as Abstract Expressionism. This notion re-gained potency during and after World War II, when the early Abstract Expressionist artists were creating works to demonstrate their outrage at the atrocities happening in Europe. He excelled in school and developed literary interests quite early.

Huysmans, Stephane Mallarme, and the German Romantic writers, all of whom informed his early thoughts on Avant-Gardism. By , Breton had a cultivated knowledge of Contemporary art and begun to study Anarchism as a political movement.


Communicating Vessels

Originally published in in France, Les Vases communicants is an effort to show how the discoveries and techniques of surrealism could lead to recovery from despondency. This English translation makes available "the theories upon which the whole edifice of surrealism, as Breton conceived it, is based. His involvement with political thought and action led him to write about the relations between nations and individuals in a mode that moves from the quotidian to the lyrical. His dreams triggered a curious correspondence with Freud, available only in this book. As Caws writes, "The whole history of surrealism is here, in these pages.


%André Breton



André Breton


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