Poème Objet [Poem-Object]
© ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2004

Reference URL

Poème Objet [Poem-Object] 1935

On Display Modern Two

Breton's personal contribution to surrealist art was his fusion of poetry and object in his 'Poème-Objet' constructions. Although not an artist himself, he was eager to explore any technique that required minimum artistic skill, such as the collages and assemblages. In 1924, Breton called for the creation of objects seen in dreams. He made about a dozen of his own assemblages in the 1930s and early 1940s, calling them 'Poème-Objets'. The text on the plaster egg in this work translates as 'I see / I imagine' and the poem beneath is deliberately cryptic.

Glossary Open

Assemblage

Works of art constructed from pre-existing materials as opposed to work that is drawn, painted or carved. A broad term, invented by French artist Jean Dubuffet in the 1950s, it includes collage, sculptural objects and installation art.

Collage

An image constructed from found materials, such as photographs, paper or fabric, glued to a surface, sometimes with additional painted or drawn elements. It is an art form particularly associated with Dada and Surrealism.

Surrealism

A literary and artistic movement founded by the poet André Breton in 1924. Many of the associated artists, such as Max Ernst and Jean Arp, had previously been involved with Dadaism. The movement sought to challenge conventions through the exploration of the subconscious mind, invoking the power of dreams and elements of chance. Cultural hierarchies were challenged by the combination of diverse elements in collages and sculptural assemblages. The movement is also notable for the collaborations between artists and writers evident in the Surrealists' many publications.

Assemblage, Collage, Surrealism

Details

  • Acc. No. GMA 3737
  • Medium Collage of objects (and inscribed poem) on card on wood
  • Size 16.30 x 20.70 cm
  • Credit Purchased 1993