PUB: Caterina Caputo, Collezionismo e mercato. La London Gallery e la diffusione dell’arte surrealista, Florence: Pontecorboli, 2018.

Research on the art market related to the avant-garde remains still largely unexplored today. The author of the present book aims to contribute to this field through a study of collecting, art market strategies, and networks that fostered and sustained Surrealism in the interwar and post-war periods in Britain. The volume focuses on the London Gallery, the only Surrealist gallery to be active in England since the end of the 1930s. It was managed by two Surrealist artists who were also collectors: the Belgian E.L.T. Mesens and the British Roland Penrose. The London Gallery opened in 1938, two years after the significant International Surrealist Exhibition held at the New Burlington Galleries in London, an exhibition followed by the foundation of the Surrealist British group.

In the book, the author analyses the gallery’s cultural and commercial strategies and sheds new light on British Surrealism starting from the period when the group was created in 1936, thanks to the programmatic internationalization of the movement promoted by the French leader André Breton, until 1950, when the London Gallery closed for good. In the unstable historical context of the 1930s and 1940s, the London Gallery not only deeply helped to promote Surrealism’s ideology in Britain, but also supported its elitist art market.

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