Originally published on Art UK and BBC Arts.

In 1929 the founder of Surrealism, André Breton, wrote: 'the problem of woman is the most marvellous and disturbing problem in all the world.'

Breton's quote encapsulated the male surrealist fixation with the mysteries of the female psyche, but also the notion of woman as 'other', to be seen largely as an object of desire. Though we may be quick to associate Surrealism with illustrious male artists – the likes of Salvador Dalí, André Breton, Man Ray, René Magritte and Pablo Picasso – women were always at the heart of the movement, as embodiments of erotic femininity, but also as successful artists and innovators in their own right. Women significantly shaped the surrealist and avant-garde mentality, though they were often relegated to subjects and muses by their male peers and art history at large...

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