Art: The Psychic Roots of the Surreal

The surrealists, the most determinedly shocking of the early modern artists, wanted to abolish tradition. They prided themselves on being revolution aries with no past, no precedents beyond the immortal, irrational desires of the human psyche. But one of the rules-of-thumb of art experience is that very little is wholly new. Witness, for example, the current exhibition at the New York Cultural Center entitled "Painters of the Mind's Eye: Belgian Symbolists and Surrealists." It offers, as well as 51 major works by Paul Delvaux and the late Rene Magritte, a tour of such...

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