I’ve been meaning to go and see the Surrealism exhibition at GoMA but it wasn’t until my friend mentioned catching up that we decided to spend a day checking it out since it’s in its last week. Please excuse the low res photos, I only had my phone with me ^^;.
I will admit going into this that I knew little about the history, artists and philosophy of Surrealism. What I discovered was that the movement came about in response to Dadaism which focused on intentional irrationality and the rejection of the standards of art. Surrealism took a different direction, focusing more on the creativity that spurred from the unconscious mind. The movement originally started off as a literary one before spreading to painting, sculpture and film.
The main founder André Breton wrote the Surrealist Manifesto which defined Surrealism as
“Psychic automatism in its pure state, by which one proposes to express — verbally, by means of the written word, or in any other manner — the actual functioning of thought. Dictated by the thought, in the absence of any control exercised by reason, exempt from any aesthetic or moral concern.”
Breton was considered the leader of the Surrealist movement and from what I’ve read had an uncanny ability of meeting artists and getting them to join the movement. It had a sort of cult vibe going on. Other artists that kept popping up throughout the exhibition included Salvador Dali, Max Ernst, Dora Marr, Rene Magritte, Man Ray, Andre Masson, Joan Miro, Pablo Picasso and Yves Tanguy.
Below are some of some of my favourite artworks from the exhibition.
Half way through the exhibition there was an ‘interactive area’ that focused on the literary and magazine publications involved with the surrealist movement. There were touch screens that allowed you to peruse the Minotaure publications which were pretty interesting. Shame it was all written in French though.
It didn’t seem that long but it took us nearly 3 hrs to go through the entire exhibition! So yes, it’s a pretty massive collection and I think I had information overload from all the reading of the history, philosophy and art explanations ^^;. Definitely worth checking out if you can get down there by Sunday before it closes. It’s on at GoMA and runs till the 2nd October 2011.