Helena Lewis

Helena Lewis is best known for her book Dada Turns Red: The Politics of Surrealism, in which she goes into a thorough analysis of the history of Surrealism's attempt to align itself with the then newly-minted Soviet Union. The book explores Surrealism's debates and bad blood with the Clarte movement, at that time the leading communist-inspired art movement, Breton's meetings and disagreements with the Soviets about the nature of proletarian art and the so-called bourgeois nature of Surrealist art, internal arguments with the Surrealists, including "L;Affaire Aragon." She also devotes some space to the political direction of contemporary Surrealism and those movements who were influenced by Surrealism, including the Negritude movement in Haiti, the Situationists, and the Chicago Surrealists.
Towards the end of the book, on page 173, she makes an excellent case for Surrealism, writing that:
"The Surrealists, in their collective and anonymous art forms, succeeded in creating an anti-elitist art that acquired a new social meaning. Their belief that talent is irrelevant and that everyone has creative potential in his unconscious, could be a perfect vehicle for a truly revolutionary art. That the official art of a Party dedicated to revolution should be merely an adaptation of a nineteenth century bourgeois aesthetic is an irony that has become increasingly apparent."
There are some references to Lewis reviewing other books on Surrealism, but Dada Turns Redappears to be her first and only full length book.
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