Hal Foster: Compulsive Beauty

Foster Compulsive Beauty

Compulsive Beauty

MIT Press, 1993

Surrealism has long been seen as its founder, Andre Breton, wanted it to be seen: as a movement of love and liberation. In Compulsive Beauty, Foster reads surrealism from its other, darker side: as an art given over to the uncanny, to the compulsion to repeat and the drive toward death.

Compulsive Beauty not only offers a deconstructive reading of surrealism, long neglected by Anglo-American art history, it also participates in a postmodern reconsideration of modernism, the dominant accounts of which have obscured its involvements in desire and trauma, capitalist shock and technological development.

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