In the first major exhibition of its kind, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen reveals the bizarre and shocking world of Surrealism in all its extravagant variety. No art movement has had a greater impact on our culture than Surrealism, launched in 1924 by André Breton. The exhibition ‘Surreal Things: Surrealism and Design’ designed by Walter Van Beirendonck and Dirk Van Saene shows how from the 1920s this movement infiltrated fashion, theatre design, architecture and the interior. World-famous paintings by Giorgio de Chirico, Salvador Dalí, René Magritte and Max Ernst are combined with some of the most eccentric objects of the twentieth century.
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen houses a formidable collection of Surrealist art works. These masterpieces are shown alongside several hundred art works and objects from museums and private collections all over the world.
In the 1920s Surrealism unleashed a veritable visual and intellectual revolution. Based on Sigmund Freud’s ideas about the interpretation of dreams and Karl Marx’s social critique, the movement had a profound impact that continues to be felt today.
‘Surreal Things’ encompasses objects ranging from furniture, paintings, sculptures, fashion and jewellery to architectural models,ceramics, textiles, posters, photographs and films: from Man Ray’s flatiron with nails and Yves Tanguy’s painted earrings for Peggy Guggenheim to Meret Oppenheim’s table with bird’s legs and a dramatic skeleton dress by ElsaSchiaparelli.
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen has invited Antwerp’s iconic fashion designers Walter Van Beirendonck and Dirk Van Saene to design the exhibition. They have fused more than three hundred extraordinary objects – never before seen together – into a contemporary Surrealist experience. The duo has developed a concept inspired by the window dummy’s role as a Surrealist fetish.
The exhibition has been realised in partnership with the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. ‘Surreal Things’ has been made possible with the support of the Netherlands Culture Fund (HGIS) and the Mondriaan Foundation.