Review Surrealism Beyond Borders | British Weekly

This new show at the Tate Modern, a wild, “stretching” display of breathtaking “width and diversity,” will make you reconsider everything you thought you knew about hyperism. real, Rachel Campbell-Johnston says in Time.

According to the art history narrative, the movement was dominated by colorful, predominantly male figures and flourished “primarily in 1920s Paris”. The truth is quite more complicated. Since its birth in the French capital after World War I, it has spread around the world and has become a veritable “global phenomenon” with its enduring appeal, aesthetic and catchy ideas. sources from everywhere from Haiti to New Zealand.

This exhibition trumpets traditional understandings of “fly and far” surrealism, bringing together about 150 works created by artists in “at least 50 different countries over a period of 80 years long”. It includes everything from painting and sculpture to film, photography and radio programming, mixing works by Dalí, Magritte and Picasso with works by long-forgotten artists in the real world. economy everywhere on the planet.

When it was first founded in Paris, “surrealism’s main ambition was to follow Freud’s advice and free the unconscious mind,” says Waldemar Januszczak in Sunday Times. And that has taken creativity to some dark places: at the Tate Modern you can see Dalí’s famous sculpture Lobster Phone (1938), in which the genitalia of crustaceans form the stethoscope of the telephone; and “sex dolls with ties and amputations” produced by German surrealist Hans Bellmer.

This macho posture and obsession with this heretic can survive; Surrealism engulfed what was the permission it granted “anyone and everyone” to imagine themselves as a profound artist, by simply pulling something sad. out of their souls. Tate Modern isn’t trying to prove “surrealism has become an international magnet for the untalented,” but that’s exactly what it does.

A point made many times by regulators is that, in the developing world, surrealism has become “the leading movement for revolutionary impulses and anti-colonial feelings”; however, the artists chosen to embody this message mostly choose to represent those emotions as a series of mutant blobs. Once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. There is some fine art on display here by classical surrealists; but it doesn’t rest with “record numbers of poor artwork”.

However, the show is still “full of discoveries,” Adrian Searle said in Guardians. We come across fascinating characters from every direction: from Haitian artist Hector Hyppolite, a “third generation Vodou monk” who used chicken feathers as a brush, to Ted Joans, a “blow-up artist.” jazz trumpeter, poet, painter and black power activist” once shared a flat with Charlie Parker. I was also struck by a 1939 painting by Filipino artist Hernando R. Ocampo that depicts the shadow of a cross falling across a town square while a woman’s head looks out in two directions at once. – a blend of “Catholic symbolism with the weirdness of surrealism”.

Other notable works include Harue Koga’s work: a collage of 1929 Sea involves “a Gloria Swanson in a swimsuit, a distant view of a submarine, a hot air balloon” and “tropical fishes”. But while the program is a “great work of academia,” it ultimately overestimates itself. Its reach was so wide that it became “indigestible like an exhibition”.

Tate Modern, London SE1 ( Until August 29 Review Surrealism Beyond Borders | British Weekly

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