Milan, Palazzo Reale
4 October 2022 - 26 February 2023

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Bookshop “surrealista”

The "surrealist" bookshop devoted to a Max Ernst

The exhibition bookshop, run by the publisher Electa, is enriched by an offer of Italian and international volumes on Max Ernst and his artistic production.
The artist’s intellectual ties are explored in depth through a selection of writings by Breton, Éluard and Apollinaire, together with his various relationships with women as muses or artists (Carrington, Tanning, Fini, Oppenheim, Guggenheim, to name a few), whose contribution to Surrealist aesthetics and to the success of the avant-gardes has recently attracted critical attention.
Considerable space is devoted to themes such as the dream, psychoanalysis, the unconscious, magic and the fantastical through a selection of the most interesting new books on Surrealism.

Female artistic creativity, Surrealist and otherwise, along with the role of women in 20th-century culture, is compellingly analyzed in contributions by, among many others, Tina Modotti, Silvia Federici, Françoise Gilot, Natalia Goncharova, Frida Kahlo, Virginia Woolf and Simone De Beauvoir


The merchandising project, conceived by Leonardo Sonnoli, features a whole range of products made especially for the exhibition: postcards; magnets; posters; notebooks evoking the masterpieces on display; a refined selection of paper accessories; shoppers; scarves, and decorated headsquares. The offer is completed by graphic interpretations of various icons in Max Ernst’s painting, which are incorporated in a game that mixes figures and letters of the alphabet with quotations taken from the Papillons surréalistes.

Along with the catalogue and guide to the exhibition, Electa is proposing two volumes, with completely new graphics, by Paola Dècina Lombardi: the excellent anthology La donna, la libertà, l’amore. Un’antologia del surrealismo and Surrealismo 1919-1969. Ribellione e Immaginazione, first published by Oscar Mondadori in 2008 and now unavailable.

Both volumes make an important contribution to furthering knowledge and encouraging reflection on the artistic and literary movement that marked the 20th century on an international level.

Buy them here:

The Abscondita offer

Max Ernst describes himself in a bizarre, surreal and ironic way in Note per una biografia – published in Écritures, Gallimard, in 1970 and now available in the Abscondita Carte d’Artisti series at the exhibition bookshop. 

The entire text is illustrated by images and line drawings that reprise figures and themes from Ernst’s oeuvre: legs, hands, animals, strange characters, hybrids and sexual innuendos, fulfilling an irrepressible need to tell his story and to emphasize the originality of his poetics.


On Abscondita’s “Surrealist bookshelf” you will also find: