'SURREALISM BEYOND BORDERS' @ TATE
24 FEBRUARY - 29 AUGUST 2022
Untitled (1967), Malangatana Ngwenya
Malangatana (as he is known) drew his themes and visual language from experiences in Mozambique during the movement for independence from Portugal. Here, figure representing people in the fight for independence overlap, seemingly merging into one another.
Lobster Telephone (1938), Salvador Dalí
Similarly to dreams, Dalí's work often features objects that you wouldn't expect to see together. They often have an element of surprise.
Los blasones màgicos del vuelo tropical - The Magical Blazons of Tropical Flight (1947), Eugenio Granell
This is one of Granell's paintings made in Guatemala. In his unique Surrealist style, the work fuses mythological imagery from Indigenous Central American cultures with references to the region's tropical birds and plat life.
With a lot of strange, dream-like paintings throughout the exhibition, surrealism breaks the restrictions of time and space. It is not physical - it focuses on dreams and the unconscious.
Chiki, ton pays - Chiki, Your Country (1944), Leonora Carrington
This painting narrates an experience of exile: a fantastical vehicle carries a pregnant woman and a man to a place of bountiful nature. Carrington depicts herself alongside the Hungarian photographer Emerico 'Chiki' Weisz, who became her husband. Below, the ground opens onto an underworld inhabited by women who float amid animals and esoteric symbols, suggesting a magical world of women and nature.
These abstract pieces also represent freedom, depicting breaking free of the plane of reality with a little wildness.
Guerrero y esfinge - Warrior and Sphinx (1957), Frances del Valle
Del Valle was a prominent member of El Mirador Azul (The Blue Lookout). Her compositions combined science fiction, Taíno folklore, and feminist symbolism. She described herself and the collective as 'lizards in a place where people found them repellant.'
Celebes (1921), Max Ernst
The round central shape in this painting derives from a photograph of a Sudanese corn-bin, which Ernst transformed into a sinister mechanical monster. He often re-used found images, adjusting them in order to create new realities.
Les Trois Danseuses - The Three Dancers (1925), Pablo Picasso
The Surrealists greatly admired The Three Dancers. To make the work, Picasso started with a realistic representation of ballet dancers rehearsing.
Distorted figures and humanoid shapes, almost biomorphic appeared in a lot of the artworks on display. Surrealism was a movement that had the willingness to challenge the 'norms' and to view the unexpected and uncanny.
Sans titre - Untitled (1939), Ramses Younan
Here, Younan presents the body of Nut, the giddess of the sky, broken and twisted. In Surrealism he saw a vehicle of liberation, particularly from British colonialism and the restrictions of contemporary Egyptian society.
London SE18 5NR