Surreal // Mad about Surrealism

Salvador Dali // Mae West Lips Sofa, 1938

Last week I was invited by KPN to join the pre-opening of the exhibition Mad about Surrealism at Museum Boijmans van Beuningen. An exhibition with masterpieces from four private collections. Artworks from Dalí, Ernst, Magritte, Miró gathered, impressive! The majority of the works have never or rarely been exhibited and will disappear again behind closed doors at the end of May 2017. A must go exhibition.

The subconscious //

As with many artworks, it’s not only a matter of beauty or liking an artwork or not. It’s about the wonderment and marvel. It’s about the interaction of the artist and the viewer. I was especially affected by the creative processes and the techniques of the surrealists. More than I was affected by the artworks themselves. Techniques like ‘collage’, ‘cadaver exquis’ or ‘automatic writing’. All techniques depending on spontaneity and expressing the subconscious. It gave me a feeling of freedom and happiness. Play! A feeling of letting go thoughts and control… Many of the surrealist artists see their work as a process of expression. The work itself is the result of this manifestation.

4 Stories //

The exhibition has a two layers. Of course there are the artworks, their context, theme’s. The stories on the artist and the techniques. The second layer makes the exhibition even more unique and exciting. The works are all collected by private collectors. It’s their stories, motives and life’s that give this exhibition an extra dimension. You get to know the collectors a little and I was amazed by the casualty by which some collections simply ‘evolved’. Penrose even called himself a ‘collector by default’. Next to that it’s impressive to experience the passion and dedication of Ulla & Heiner Pietzsch; they carefully handpicked their extensive collection.

The exhibition at Museum Boijmans van Beuningen can be seen from 11 February to 28 May 2017. This internationally travelling exhibition was developed in close collaboration with two renowned international art museums: the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh and the Hamburger Kunsthalle.

Buy the catalogue! It’s marvelous too.

The Style Office // Boijmans van Beuningen

Rene Magritte – L’avenir des statues, 1937

The Style Office // Boijmans van Beuningen

Salvador Dali – Couple aux têtes pleines de nuages, 1936

The Style Office // Boijmans van Beuningen

Max Ernst – Portrait of Valentine, circa 1932

The Style Office // Boijmans van Beuningen

Salvador Dali – Lobster Telephone, 1936

The Style Office // Boijmans van Beuningen

Mae West Lips – Image @Boijmans van Beuningen

The Style Office // Boijmans van Beuningen

Salvador Dali – Mae West Lips, 1938

Farleys House – Surrealist collection

Surrealism // 

Surrealism is a cultural movement that began in the early 1920s, and is known for its visual artworks and writings. Surrealism developed out of the Dada activities and was a reaction to rationality. It can be seen in the context of the post World War I society. Artists painted unnerving, illogical scenes with photographic precision, created strange creatures from everyday objects and developed painting techniques that allowed the unconscious to express itself. Leader André Breton was explicit in his assertion that Surrealism was, above all, a revolutionary movement.


More info // Museum Boijmans van Beuningen & KPN

Tekst // Rosan Gompers

Pictures // Rosan Gompers & via Boijmans van Beuningen

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