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Exhibition

Surrealism Beyond Borders

October 11, 2021–January 30, 2022
Previously on view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 899
Free with Museum admission

A telephone receiver that morphs into a lobster. A miniature train that rushes from a fireplace.

These are just a few of the familiar images associated with Surrealism, a revolutionary idea sparked in Paris around 1924 that asserted the unconscious and dreams over the familiar and every day. While Surrealism could generate often poetic and even humorous works, it was also taken up as a far more serious weapon in the struggle for political, social, and personal freedom, and by many more artists around the world.

Nearly from its inception, Surrealism has had an international scope, but knowledge of the movement has been formed primarily through a Western European focus. This exhibition reconsiders the true “movement” of Surrealism across boundaries of geography and chronology—and within networks that span Eastern Europe to the Caribbean, Asia to North Africa, and Australia to Latin America. Including almost eight decades of work produced across 45 countries, Surrealism Beyond Borders offers a fresh appraisal of these collective concerns and exchanges—as well as historical, national, and local distinctions—that will recast appreciation of this most revolutionary and globe-spanning movement.

#SurrealismBeyond

To access the booklet of all in-gallery labels, click here.


The exhibition is made possible by the Barrie A. and Deedee Wigmore Foundation.

Additional support is provided by the Placido Arango Fund, the Gail and Parker Gilbert Fund, Alice Cary Brown and W.L. Lyons Brown, the John Pritzker Family Fund, and The International Council of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

It is organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Tate Modern.

The catalogue is made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Doris Duke Fund for Publications.

Exhibition Objects

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Armoire surréaliste (Surrealist Wardrobe), Marcel Jean  French, Oil on wood panel
Marcel Jean (French, La Charité-sur-Loire 1900–1993 Louveciennes)
1941
S.M.S. No. 2, April 1968, Letter Edged in Black Press Inc.  American
Published by Letter Edged in Black Press Inc.
April 1968
Visa sans planète (Visa without a Planet), Abdel Kader El-Janabi  Iraqi, Pencil, ink, and cut-and-pasted photographs and papers on a printed passport with box by Ann Ethuin
Abdel Kader El-Janabi (Iraqi, born Baghdad, 1944)
1983-90
Le cadavre exquis no. 11 (Exquisite Corpse No. 11), Marko Ristić  Serbian, Colored pencil and pencil on paper
Multiple artists/makers
1930
Exquisite corpse (Frida), Frida Kahlo  Mexican, Pencil on paper
Frida Kahlo (Mexican, Coyoacán, Mexico City 1907–1954 Coyoacán, Mexico City)
Lucienne Bloch (Geneva 1909–1999 Gualala, California)
ca. 1932
Exquisite corpse (Diego), Frida Kahlo  Mexican, Pencil on paper
Frida Kahlo (Mexican, Coyoacán, Mexico City 1907–1954 Coyoacán, Mexico City)
Lucienne Bloch (Geneva 1909–1999 Gualala, California)
ca. 1932
Cadavre exquis (Exquisite Corpse), André Breton  French, Colored pencil on paper
André Breton (French, Tinchebray 1896–1966 Paris)
Valentine Hugo (French, Boulogne-sur-Mer 1887–1968 Paris)
1932
The Seven Sons of Lautréamont (and his Dutiful Beautiful Daughter), Ted Joans  American, Ink on paper with poem
Multiple artists/makers
1970-1979
“Beginselverduistering” (Darkened Principles), spread from De Schone Zakdoek (The Clean Kerchief) 1, no. 1 (April 1941), Theo van Baaren  Dutch, Black paper and ink on paper
Theo van Baaren (Dutch, Utrecht, Netherlands 1912–1987 Groningen, Netherlands)
Gertrude Pape (Dutch, Leeuwarden, Netherlands 1907–1988 Groningen, Netherlands)
1941
Cover of De Schone Zakdoek (The Clean Kerchief) 1, no. 6 (September 1941), Theo van Baaren  Dutch, Cigarette packets on paper
Theo van Baaren (Dutch, Utrecht, Netherlands 1912–1987 Groningen, Netherlands)
Gertrude Pape (Dutch, Leeuwarden, Netherlands 1907–1988 Groningen, Netherlands)
1941

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Marquee: Mayo, Coups de bâtons (Baton Blows), 1937. Oil on canvas. Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf. © 2021 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris. Photo: bpk Bildagentur / Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf / Achim Kukulies / Art Resource, NY