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Mixed MessagesAmerican Correspondences in Visual and Verbal Practices$
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Catherine Gander and Sarah Garland

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781784991500

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781784991500.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 21 September 2021

Cartooning the marvelous: word and image in Chicago Surrealism

Cartooning the marvelous: word and image in Chicago Surrealism

(p.67) 4 Cartooning the marvelous: word and image in Chicago Surrealism
Mixed Messages

Joanna Pawlik

Manchester University Press

The Chicago group of Surrealists has been overlooked in accounts of Surrealism’s legacy in America, which have tended to delimit the movement’s impact to the visual arts alone and neglect Surrealism’s appeal to radicals and activists outside of cultural institutions. This essay argues that the Chicago group’s interpretation of word-image combinations drawn from American popular and vernacular culture constitutes a challenge to Eurocentric understandings of avant-gardism. It imbues Surrealism with a distinctive currency and profile in postwar America, one that brings it closer to grass roots activism as well as casting the movement’s significance in terms of the reception rather than production of cultural artefacts. Exploring the role of comics in Chicago Surrealism, as Pawlik demonstrates, sheds new light on the role of image-text relations in mediating the passage of European avant-gardism to America, as well as occasioning new interpretative possibilities of the dynamics between art and politics, and high and low culture in twentieth century America.

Keywords:   Chicago Surrealists, Poetic hieroglyph, Comics, Avant gardism

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