‘The Exotic in Surrealism’ is the first major show to explore the Surrealists’ relationship with non-Western cultures and to provide an unparalleled insight into the aesthetic worlds of the Surrealists and their passion for the exotic.
Conceived in the spirit of and around the famous historical Surrealist exhibitions of the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s with their combination of Western and non-Western arts, this exhibition does not concentrate on the formal affinities but focuses on the Surrealists’ fascination with non-Western arts as a mysterious resource to subvert and redefine not only the European notion of art but also the European worldview in general.
The exhibition will introduce the formation of the Surrealist movement in Paris in the context of the declining fascination for the style nègre and will then further reveal the extraordinary sculptural traditions of Oceania that captured the Surrealists’ exotic imagination, in order to finally show their passion for Amerindian, Inuit, pre-Columbian, Mexican and Caribbean arts and culture which they encountered while in exile in Canada, the USA, Mexico, Haiti and Martinique.
This exhibition topic is the second in a thematically related trilogy of exhibitions (started with ‘Gauguin Polynesia’ and ‘Inventing a New Language’) about the influence of tribal cultures on great artistic positions and movements, beginning in the first decade of the 20th century. Each one of these exhibitions may be displayed independently.
The exhibition will be available to travel internationally as of 2017 or later.
Curator: Suzanne Greub
Catalogue Editor: Suzanne Greub
Contributing Authors: tbd