The 120 or so exhibits – paintings, graphic works, sculptures, photographs, films and documents – focus on 1929, an eventful year in the history of the surrealist movement. The display has been organised by the gallery in conjunction with the Pompidou Centre in Paris, and brings this compelling period of art history into the public eye through creations by Salvador Dalí, Max Ernst, Joan Miró, Yves Tanguy, René Magritte, Pablo Picasso, Francis Picabia, Alberto Giacometti, Jean Arp and others.

The exhibition presents the main trends, leading figures and pivotal artists of surrealism through 1929 in particular because it is considered as a year abounding in changes as well as personal and artistic conflicts. It was then that Catalan artist Salvador Dalí emerged on the Parisian art scene and soon played a key role in the surrealist group. And 1929 also saw the debut of "Un Chien Andalou" (Andalusian Dog), the first masterpiece of surrealist cinema (mostly remembered for the sliced eyeball), jointly made by Dalí and Spanish director Luis Buñuel, confirming that the unique perspective and new artistic approach advocated by the movement could be coupled with the most varied technical solutions.

"The Surrealist Movement From Dalí to Magritte, Crisis and Rebirth in 1929" provides a broad overview of the diversity of works produced at the time by this group. Surrealist photography is represented by the works of André Kertész and Brassai, while visitors can also become familiar with lesser known but nevertheless important artists such as Jacques-André Boiffard, Eli Lotard, and Jean Painlevé.

The exhibition documents surrealism and the events that led up to the emergence of the movement in seven large sections. The first one focuses on 1929 and the venue of the events: Paris. This year introduced major change in the history of surrealism: Salvador Dalí emerged, "Un Chien Andalou" came out and the first split between members of the group took place.

The second section is devoted to the events that preceded surrealism, placing special emphasis on Dadaism, since many surrealist artists, for example Francis Picabia and Man Ray, arrived from the radically non-conformist world of this "ism". The metaphysical painter Giorgio de Chirico, whom the surrealists initially regarded as their master, is also introduced in this part of the exhibition.

The third section is built around Max Ernst and Joan Miró, both seminal figures of surrealism distinguished by their new themes, innovative visual techniques, shockingly new ways of seeing and, not least, by their thought-provoking, lyrical and humorous titles.

The fourth section is primarily about Dalí, perhaps the best-known master of surrealism. After breaking into the Parisian art scene in spring 1929, by November he had already mounted a solo show of his pictures. His art is characterised by dreamlike images, lyricism and psychoanalytical allusions, and his influence can be observed even in the works of one of his contemporaries, Yves Tanguy.

The fifth chapter of the exhibition showcases the activity of the art group called the Grand Jeu (Great Game), which led the surrealists to a serious crisis in 1929. One of the unique masters of the group was Josef Šima, an artist of Czech origin.

The sixth section focuses on the works of René Magritte, the Belgian artist with an acute sensitivity for the dialectics of conflict and paradox, whose oeuvre is one of the most popular chapters in the history of surrealism and one still living on in modern pop culture.

The last, seventh section presents the artists of the periodical titled "Documents", gathered around Georges Bataille, who were opposed to André Breton's circle strongly leaning to the French communist party. These artists explored not so much the subconscious in their works but rather the experiences of everyday life. Their depictions of reality are often coarse, alarming and at times openly erotic.

The events of 1929 brought a turning point in the history of surrealism since despite the signs suggesting the movement's disintegration, they set in motion a process of rebirth. The overwhelming majority of the 120 or so paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, photographs, films, and documents displayed at the exhibition come from the collection of the Pompidou Centre in Paris, but works have also been loaned from the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid, the Hungarian Museum of Photography in Kecskemét and private collections.

The exhibition has a Hungarian and English catalogue. Its curator is Didier Ottinger, the deputy director of the Centre national d'art et de culture Georges-Pompidou, Musée national d'art moderne, an internationally recognised expert on surrealism; co-curators are Marie Sarré and Anna Zsófia Kovács, head of department at the Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest.


Loading Conversation

RELATED POSTS
The news that made headlines

The Brief History of the Week

Geschrieben von BT

Presenting in one concise package the week’s most important and fascinating national stories,…

ComiX Coffee in District V

Inmates running the asylum?

Geschrieben von Attila Leitner

Briton Ben Innes became the very definition of cool on Tuesday. In case you missed this, the…

Protests, no apologies as government-teachers dispute widens

Fight of the roundtables

Geschrieben von BT

The civil public education platform representing the teachers’ movement, which calls itself an…