Forbidden Territories 100 Years of Surreal Landscapes

Eleanor Clayton, Patricia Allmer, Anna Reid, Tor Scott, Simon Wallis

Published to mark the centennial of surrealism, this book offers a new look at one of the most famous art movements with pioneering new research on its links with ecology and politics.

While surrealism's treatment of the body has been much researched, the role of landscape has rarely been examined. Published one hundred years after André Breton wrote the Surrealist Manifesto, Forbidden Territories reveals how surrealist ideas found their way into depictions of landscape as a metaphor for the unconscious, the relationship between surrealism and ecology, and landscape as a means to express political anxieties, gender constraints, and freedoms, ultimately reimagining our relationship with the world around us.

Some of the earliest surrealist artists used automatic and psychoanalytical approaches to explore the landscapes of the mind, drawing on childhood experiences to create magical, alluring, and uncanny environments. Recurring surreal terrains will be interrogated, from the desert and forest to the sea, the latter expanding on surrealist mythologization of the unconscious as a great ocean by examining links between bodies of water and psycho-surreal worlds in poetry, paintings, and photographs from the unique perspective of women surrealists. The development of surrealism in the 1920s and '30s coincided with that of ecology, and the unexamined interplay between surrealism and life science, including the mutual influence of Sigmund Freud, is also explored in this beautifully illustrated survey. Taking a long look at surrealism, Forbidden Territories includes works by Eileen Agar, Leonora Carrington, Ithell Colquhoun, Salvador Dalí, Max Ernst, Man Ray, Lee Miller, and Yves Tanguy from the 1920s through the 1940s, continuing with later surrealists such as Edith Rimmington, Desmond Morris, and Marion Adnams, and interventions by contemporary artists working within the legacy of Surrealism such as María Berrío, Helen Marten, and Wael Shawky.


Eleanor Clayton

Edited By

Eleanor Clayton is senior curator at the Hepworth Wakefield and the author of several books, including Barbara Hepworth: Art & Life.

Patricia Allmer

Contributions By

Patricia Allmer is a leading scholar of surrealism and teaches art history at the University of Edinburgh.

Anna Reid

Contributions By

Anna Reid is lecturer in art history at the University of Leeds.

Tor Scott

Contributions By

Tor Scott is curatorial assistant at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.

Simon Wallis

Foreword By

Simon Wallis is the director of the Hepworth Wakefield.