When the Manifesto of Surrealism was published by the French writer André Breton in October 1924, it sparked a literary and artistic movement that soon became the internationally leading avant-garde.
At the core of Surrealism lay an exploration of the world of dreams, the unconscious, and the irrational. The artists immersed themselves in the world of magic. Harking back to traditional occult symbolism, the Surrealists cultivated the self-image of a magician, seer, and alchemist.
The exhibition Surrealism and Magic is the first major loan exhibition to examine the Surrealists’ interest in magic, myth, and occultism. It spans the period of the “metaphysical paintings” by Giorgio de Chirico from around 1915 to Max Ernst’s iconic painting Attirement of the Bride (1940) and the occultism-focused compositions in the late work of Leonora Carrington and Remedios Varo.
The exhibition assembles around ninety works by more than twenty artists, including masterpieces by Victor Brauner, Paul Delvaux, Leonor Fini, Wifredo Lam, René Magritte, André Masson, Roberto Matta, Kurt Seligmann, Yves Tanguy, and Dorothea Tanning.
The more than thirty international lenders include the Art Institute of Chicago, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Galleria Nazionale in Rome, the Museo nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid, the Musées royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique in Brussels, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.
The exhibition is organized by the Museum Barberini, Potsdam, and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice.