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Lee Miller : Photography, Surrealism, and Beyond (Hardcover) (Patricia Allmer)

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This volume offers a major new critical engagement with the work of one of the most significant, and yet critically neglected, twentieth-century American photographers. Applying art-theoretical analyses and insights afforded by previously unseen and unread material in archives and private collections, Patricia Allmer undertakes a series of revisionary readings of many of Miller's works. These include detailed analyses of famous photographs like Portrait of Space and Severed Breast from Radical Mastectomy, lesser-known works like her photographic portraits of the cast and production team of the avant-garde opera Four Saints, together with well-known bodies of material like her war-correspondent work for Vogue and the photographs she made in 1944 and 1945 travelling across a Europe ravaged by war and totalitarianism. Affording new insights into Miller's complex relations to surrealist groups and to American avant-gardes, as well as into her experiences in Paris, Egypt and in London and Europe during World War II and her critically-neglected but significant post-War involvement in developing and contributing work to major exhibitions, organisations and projects, this book makes extensive use of art-theoretical and art-historical analyses to focus critical attention on the photographs themselves as works of art as well as historical documents. Allmer argues strongly for the importance of looking carefully at, and beyond, Miller's extraordinary life in order to comprehend the significance of her photography on its own terms. This book will be of particular interest to students and scholars of twentieth-century photography, modernism and surrealism.

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