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Installation Views

Le Sens Surréaliste

Press Release

“Completely against the tide, in a violent reaction against the impoverishment and sterility of thought processes that resulted from centuries of rationalism, we turned toward the marvelous and advocated it unconditionally.”


PALM BEACH—Spanning four decades and multiple countries of artistic production, Le Sens Surréaliste Presented by Nahmad brings together masterworks from one of the twentieth century's most groundbreaking and innovative creative movements: Surrealism. Including works from its influential participants such as Joan Miró, René Magritte, Max Ernst, Giorgio de Chirico, and Salvador Dalí, the exhibition will showcase some of the most experimental and radical endeavors of the Modern avant-garde.

Spearheaded by writer and theorist Andre Breton in the aftermath of the First World War, Surrealism sought to unlock the power of the subconscious to reveal what lay beneath the surface of everyday life. In search of what Breton called "an absolute reality, a surreality," some of its practitioners turned to automatic draughtsmanship to tap into intuition and instinct, while others imagined incongruous arrangements of recognizable objects to create uncanny, dreamlike imagery. All, however, viewed the movement not just as an aesthetic phenomenon, but also as a spiritual creed, a way of thinking and being in the absence of reason and social circumscription. For the Surrealists, spontaneity and Freudian methods of free association were conduits for self-exploration, and at the movement's core was a revolt against existing conventions of artistic practice.

If the Surrealist ethos lies as the intersection of the irrational and the meditative, the present exhibition seeks to examine both moda operandi and every impulse in between. From Spain we find the disparate representational registers of Joan Miró and the uncanny symbolism of Salvador Dali. Greece and Italy offer the metaphysical assemblages of Giorgio de Chirico, juxtaposed with the biomorphic dreamscapes of the French-born American Yves Tanguy. Technical innovations such as decalcomania and collage are contributed by Germany's Max Ernst, while the creative associations of Belgium's René Magritte are examples of naturalistic Surrealism at its best.

Featuring works from one of the world's most important collections of twentieth-century art, Le Sens Surréaliste Presented by Nahmad will be on view at Sotheby's Palm Beach from January 7-22, 2023.

Sotheby's Palm Beach
The Slat House at The Royal Poinciana Plaza
50 Cocoanut Row, Suite 101, Palm Beach, FL 33480

Tuesday - Saturday | 10am - 6pm
Sunday | 11am - 5pm

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