In this provocative and stimulating book, David Hopkins addresses the homosocial structures in Dada and Surrealist art with an eye to their relevance to current artistic and theoretical debate. Bestriding the book is the pivotal figure of the artist Marcel Duchamp, who was at the center of various groups of artistic and literary figures—predominantly male—in Europe and America. And at the heart of the investigation are Duchamp’s relationships with these men, the various interactions of those within the groups, and the impact of this type of male camaraderie on the artworks they produced.
Hopkins looks at specific moments in the careers of Duchamp and some of his associates—Francis Picabia, Man Ray, Max Ernst and André Breton—and discusses in detail the reception of Duchamp’s ideas in the post-war period. He goes on to trace the influence of the homosocial nature of Surrealism and Dada on the art world from the 1950s to the work of contemporary male and female artists.