Czech poet and photographer Jindřich Heisler (1914–1953) joined the Czech Surrealist Group in 1938, just as Nazi occupation of the country was driving the movement and Czech artists underground. Heisler published his first book of poetry a year later. In his brief and courageous career—he died suddenly at the age of thirty-eight—Heisler produced some of the most remarkable assemblage work of the Surrealist movement, including what is arguably the single most important photobook of the twentieth century, From the Strongholds of Sleep (1940–41).
This gorgeously illustrated volume—with eighty color images of Heisler’s assemblage pieces—introduces English-speaking audiences to his work, offering in-depth analysis of his postwar years in Paris in the company of André Breton, Benjamin Péret, the illustrator Toyen, and other major figures of the Surrealist movement.
Matthew S. Witkovsky is Richard and Ellen Sandor Chair and Curator in the Department of Photography at the Art Institute of Chicago. Jindřich Toman is a professor of Slavic linguistics and Czech culture at the University of Michigan, and a nephew of Jindřich Heisler.
The Art Institute of Chicago, 2012 8 3/8 x 10 1/4 in., 144 pages, 109 color/7 black-and-white illustrations Hardcover: $40 ($36 members)
1 day 14 hours ago The Art Institute of Chicago Congratulations to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture on their grand opening this weekend. The building, designed by architect David Adjaye, is a truly historic addition to the National Mall in Washington D.C. #APeoplesJourney #MakingHistory
1 day 17 hours ago The Art Institute of Chicago Time machines, superheroes, wild creatures, and more… JourneyMaker makes every visit to the museum an adventure.
Try this new digital interactive for families in the museum’s Ryan Learning Center, located in the Modern Wing, or print out a tour at home.
2 days 15 hours ago The Art Institute of Chicago Today marks the autumn equinox and the official end of summer. Celebrate the changing of the seasons with the latest in ARTicle’s Sound and Vision series, matching songs from around the world with our encyclopedic collection.