[Surrealism] Mesens, E. L. T. (1903–1971) [Ernst, Max. (1891–1976)] [Breton, André. (1896–1966)]

"Max Ernst" – Inscribed by Mesens to Breton

Brussels: Éditions de la connaissance S.A.. 4 July–30 August 1953. First. Exhibition catalogue for a 1953 exposition of Ernst's work organized by the Belgian Surrealist, who has signed and dedicated the present copy to his fellow Surrealist writer and poet Breton: (Translated from the French) "To André Breton, / this catalogue (*) / which, I hope, will bring him pleasure, / Affectionately,/ E.L.T. Mesens/ London, 30 July 1953. // (*) I hope that it takes you back to St Circq la Popie : - To read in the shade of an old tree."  Softcover.  8vo.  32 pp.  Catalogue includes a chronological presentation with black and white images of works along with commentary and provenance.  In fine condition.

A longtime supporter and promoter of Ernst's work, Mesens staged an exhibition of Ernst's Natural History series in 1926 while working for Geert van Bruaene (1891–1964) as the director of the Galerie la Vierge Poupine in Brussels.  It was Ernst's first solo show in Belgium (Caterina Caputo, "E. L. T. Mesens: Art Collector and Dealer," Getty Research Journal, no. 12 (2020): 127–50).

Born in Belgium, Mesens "started his artistic career as a musician influenced by Erik Satie and an author of dadaist poems. He was a publisher of the books Œesophage and Marie, both with his lifetime friend and soulmate René Magritte. His activity as one of the leaders of the surrealist movement in Belgium was eased by the fact that he was an owner of a gallery, where he organised the first surrealist exhibition in Belgium in 1934 . As its organiser, he also went to co-organise the London International Surrealist Exhibition which made him settle down in London. There he became the director of the London Gallery (which he ran during the late 30s and after the war with Roland Penrose) and the chief editor of the London Bulletin (1938–1940) - which was one of the most important bulletins among the English-language Surrealist periodicals." (Petr Král, Marble tastes best when cold, p. 113.) (18864)

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