Against all Reason. Surrealism Paris - Prague
By e-flux
posted: 11-06-09
Max Ernst The Equivocal Woman, 1923 (Detail)
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With over 300 works, this large-scale exhibition takes a fresh look at Surrealism as an international art movement involving major contributions from eastern Central Europe. The organisers, the City of Ludwigshafen and BASF SE, are not only showcasing major works at the Wilhelm-Hack-Museum by Surrealist artists such as Salvador Dalí, René Magritte, Max Ernst, André Masson and Meret Oppenheim, but also numerous works by artists such as Giorgio de Chirico, Hans Bellmer, Leonor Fini and Victor Brauner. Interesting new discoveries are waiting to be made by the visitor, in particular the works of Jindřich Heisler, František Hudeček, Mikuláš Medek, Jindřich Štyrský, Karel Teige and Toyen. The Kunstverein Ludwigshafen has focused exclusively on the medium of photography, featuring works by Man Ray, Brassaï, Jindřich Štyrský and Emila Medková, among others.

With Czech Surrealism placed centre stage for the first time in a major exhibition of this kind, and by encompassing works as late as 1969, one provides a unique viewpoint on the Surrealist movement. "Against all Reason" presents artworks from two major centres of Surrealism - Paris and Prague - and especially highlights the cross-genre connections between West and East. Thus for instance short animations by Jan Švankmajer, the celebrated Czech film maker, will be shown. Another highlight at the Wilhelm-Hack-Museum is Salvador Dalí's imposing 9x14 metre stage curtain "Bacchanal", exhibited for the first time in Europe.

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