Le Surrealisme et l’Objet – Centre Pompidou, Paris

11 January 2014 § Leave a comment

A weekend in Paris allowed me the opportunity to visit this breathtaking exhibition at the Centre Pompidou, as well as enjoy some excellent art, interesting sights and fine food counterposed by rude service, lousy cappuchinos and overpriced coffee and bread (or petit dejeuner as the French imaginatively call it).

Marcel Duchamp

Marcel Duchamp

There shouldn’t be a better place than Paris for an exhibition on Surrealism, the movement being founded here in 1924 having developed out the more international influences of Dada. The Pompidou Centre have proved that this is indeed the case, with this mightily impressive exhibition bringing together a remarkable collection of almost every conceivable iconic object or sculpture connected to the movement.

Hans Bellmer - Poupee

Hans Bellmer – Poupee

Alongside the roll call of iconic pieces like Hans Bellmer’s Poupee, Marcel Duchamp’s Bottlerack, Salvador Dali’s Lobster Telephone, Alberto Giacometti’s Suspended Ball are photographs from the likes of Man Ray, collections of works gathered plus a selection of more recent surrealist-influenced works by the likes of Mark Dion, Paul McCarthy, Ed Ruscha and Cindy Sherman exhibited under the title ‘Echoes of the Surrealist Object’.

Salvador Dali - Lobster telephone

Salvador Dali – Lobster telephone

The exhibition starts with ‘Ready-mades and Mannequins’, a section led by two great influences of the movement – Giorgio de Chirico and Marcel Duchamp who respectively brought the mannequin and object to the fore.

Alberto Giacometti - Suspended Ball

Alberto Giacometti – Suspended Ball

Subsequent rooms focus on ‘Objects with a Symbolic Function, Alberto Giacometti, Hans Bellmer’s Doll (an extraordinarily powerful object in real-life, and also larger than one imagines),  five rooms each dedicated to iconic exhibitions from the famous ‘Exposition Internationale de Surrealisme’ in 1933 to ‘Eros’ in 1959/60.

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Joan Miro

Joan Miro

Each room is well curated and nicely laid out with admirable logic, careful thought and atmospheric lighting.

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This opportunity to view so many of Surrealisms iconic objects together plus the insight in to the movement that can be gained from the experience well worth a trip to Paris on its own. Just take your own breakfast.

Meret Oppenheim

Meret Oppenheim

Le Surrealisme et l’Objet runs until the 3 March 2014 at the Pompidou Centre, Paris.

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