Surrealism at the Harn: A Centennial Celebration
The Harn Museum showcases the world of Salvador Dalí and other Surrealist visionaries in a centennial celebration of the movement.
Commencing in Paris in 1924 and still having a lasting impact on art, Surrealism at the Harn: A Centennial Celebration commemorates the movement’s 100th anniversary. The exhibition features pieces from the Modern and Contemporary collections of Harn that illustrate the global expression of surrealist sensibilities in the 21st century as well as the rise of surrealism in the 20th century, including Spain’s canonical Surrealist Salvador Dalí.
The revolutionary goal of the surrealist movement, which arose in the years following World War I, was to free the imagination and use it to change the world. The exhibition showcases the diverse ways and approaches employed by Surrealists to attain this emancipation. Several Surrealist painters, for instance, experimented with automatism, a freehand sketching and painting method meant to elude conscious control and decision-making. Another approach was utilizing the illogical combination of disparate components to generate surreal visuals that alter the ordinary world. Apart from showcasing these methods, the exhibition delves into intriguing Surrealist themes, including hybrid bodies, uncanny objects, and strange beauty.
Surrealism at the Harn features around forty pieces by thirty artists. These include the classic Surrealists —including the previously mentioned Spanish Salvador Dalí— such as Max Ernst and René Magritte, as well as the artists of the late 20th and early 21st centuries like Jerry Uelsmann and Celeste Roberge who brought the Surrealist spirit into the modern era. While the geographical diversity of Surrealism is reflected in the works of Skunder Boghossian, Roberto Matta, Wifredo Lam, and Rufino Tamayo, the extent to which women expanded the breadth of Surrealist investigation is exemplified by the works of Gertrude Abercrombie and Lee Krasner.
The Harn’s Surrealism programs will include the symposium Surrealism, Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow (March 22–23, 2024), featuring renowned experts and gallery presentations by graduate student curators.