Unlike Impressionism or Cubism, Surrealism was never a style; instead it was a way of thinking that found expressionism in painting, literature, photography, film, architecture and fashion. Surrealism means 'beyond realism'. The Surrealists sought to go beyond the world of 'visible reality' and instead investigate dreams, the unconscious, the irrational, the absurd and the fantastic.
This display focuses on works by Dalí, Ernst, Magritte and many other Surrealist artists. There are also African and Oceanic sculptures on display alongside a cabinet of curiosities.
Image: René Magritte, Le Drapeau noir [The Black Flag], 1937
© ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2016.
Surreal Encounters: An Introduction to Surrealism
This film introduces the beginnings of the Dada and Surrealist movements, telling the story of their development in both Europe and Britain. Surrealists referenced include Joan Miró, André Breton, Roland Penrose, René Magritte and Salvador Dalí.
The film was produced to coincide with the exhibition 'Surreal Encounters: Collecting the Marvellous' which brought together some of the finest Surrealist works of art from four legendary collections, those of Roland Penrose, Edward James, Gabrielle Keiller and Ulla and Heiner Pietzsch.