The exhibition Le Surrealizme At L’objet (Surrealism and the Object) closed last month at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, France. Over the years, the Centre Pompidou devoted several event entirely to Surrealism — “Surrealist Revolution” (2002), “The Subversion of Images” (2009), Salvador Dali and now “Surrealism and the Object”.
To the extent that made some critics wonder — skeptics that they are — if the surrealist vein is not permanently exhausted by over-exposure. Isn’t the “surreal source” dried up by dint of being so often exhibited at so many venues all over the world? Can the art lovers be lured again and again into the galleries to take yet another look at the creations of Breton’s band and its adepts?
The answer, apparently, is resounding yes. The exhibition had a tantalizing premise…
The idea of the Le Surrealizme At L’objet is to show the integral interaction, interconnection and interpretation of dream and sense, object in its real and physical form with the “sur” of its subconscious representation. In essence, it aims to show the inherent tension and the driving contradiction at the heart of heart of the movement.
Surrealism is rooted in the dream, the subconscious, the secret impulses, intimate, erotic, and then seems to deny reality. Indeed, surrealism favors a world “inside” at the expense of the sensibilities of the real world, as the founding manifesto, launched by André Breton, proclaims.
A hundred or so sculptures and around 40 photographs were brought together, including pieces by Miró, Arp, Dali, Calder, Ernst and more, to substantiate the exhibition’s attempts to follow the inroads surrealist movement.
The artwork selection includes the “repercussions of the movement’s ideas that still echo in the art of today” — the works by Cindy Sherman, Ed Rusha and Paul McCarthy. The bias towards ‘installations’ of the more contemporary work is notable, since installations are “direct descendants” of the surrealist celebration of the object.
Retrospective Bust of a Woman Salvador Dalí (Spanish, 1904–1989) 1933. Painted porcelain, bread, corn, feathers, paint on paper, beads, ink stand, sand, and two pens.
René Magritte. This is a piece of cheese. 1936.
Arnaud Labelle-Rojoux, “A Hands with the Devil” 2013.
Giorgio de Chirico. Le Surrealisme at l’objet au Centre Pompidou
Hans Bellmer, ‘La Poupée’, 1933-1936 / Dist. RMN-GP Photo : Philippe Migeat, Centre Pompidou © Adagp, Paris 2013
Salvador Dali, “Lobster Telephone,” 1938.