The Star Alphabet of E.L.T. Mesens
Dada & Surrealism in Brussels, Paris & London
Published by AsaMER.
Foreword and text by Phillip Van den Bossche. Text by Christiane Geurts-Krauss, Virginie Devillez, Nele Bernheim, Xavier Canonne, Michel Remy, Simon Delobel, Erich Weiss, Peter J.H. Pauwels.
At once artist, composer, poet, editor, photographer, curator, gallerist and collector, Edouard Léon Théodore Mesens (1903–1971) was a formidably prolific and visible presence in European Dada and Surrealism. A close friend to Tristan Tzara, Theo van Doesburg and Erik Satie, Mesens orchestrated René Magritte’s international breakthrough and introduced the Surrealist movement to the United Kingdom, thus forging links between the Belgian, British and French branches of the movement. His collages and artworks, with their vacated spaces and odd geometries, recall the early work of de Chirico or the Dada collages of Raoul Hausmann. This superbly produced volume is the first substantial monograph on Mesens, who has long been a cult figure and object of intrigue (thanks in part to George Melly’s account of his ménage-a-trois with Mesens and his wife, in his autobiographical writings). Mesens’ art and life provide a crucial piece of the Surrealist puzzle.