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A comprehensive narrative biography of “Toyen. The First Lady of Surrealism” is out now

10/17/2023

The director and writer Andrea Sedláčková set out again in the footsteps of this unconventional artist: "The work on the preparation of the film, which took a year, was partly detective work, I tried to uncover many secrets. While writing the book, I embarked on further detailed research, which lasted for the next two years."

The foreword to the book published by the PROSTOR publishing house was written by Dr. Karel Srp, who also acted as an expert advisor. Our gallery financially supported the work, and the Havel couple also worked closely with the author.

The biography of this free-spirited painter and prominent personality of the inter-war artistic avant-garde, who herself spread many myths, uncovers previously unknown facts and captures the history of many paintings. Andrea Sedláčková went through dozens of archives, police records and unpublished diaries to discover the real Toyen. It depicts her love life and the events between Czech and French surrealists and left-wing intellectuals in a captivating way. Through the author, readers will meet Vítězslav Nezval, Karl Teig, Jindřich Heisler, André Breton, Benjamin Péret, Paul Eluard and, of course, Jindřich Štyrský. It also describes Prague and Paris galleries, cafes, cabarets and brothels as well as the atmosphere of the places where the painter and her companions stayed and created. At the same time, he introduces us to the history of many of Toyena's paintings. The text is accompanied by over two hundred reproductions and documentary black and white and color photographs.

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