Surrealism has changed the way we view the world. The exhibition Surreal Worlds shows the strong influence that surrealism has had on art and visual culture, up until today. Originating in France around 1920, ten years later surrealism had firmly established itself in the Netherlands and then mainly in Utrecht, thanks to a small group of artists of which J.H. Moesman was a key figure.
The surrealists sought to shake off the shackles of Catholic moralism and opposed all forms of bourgeois culture, especially sexual taboos. They were convinced that man is not a rational being, but is driven by deeper instincts. These they addressed by emphasizing the importance of the dream world and by introducing free association techniques. Although their work was often viewed as dangerous, surrealism has proven a vital movement that continues to play an important role in contemporary art and visual culture.
Dutch surrealism influenced by international artists
The theme of the exhibition is art and visual culture in the Netherlands, with a strong emphasis on surrealism from 1930 to the present. The Centraal Museum’s collection of 1930 Utrecht surrealists forms the basis, and is extensively augmented with loan pieces from various private and museum collections. The exhibition traces a line connecting the past to the present, not just with respect to art (with artists such as Maria Roosen, Roland Sohier, and Aernout Mik), but also to film, advertising and video.
Present-day art is multidisciplinary and highly surrealistic. The world is full of surreal images, more than ever before, as an inseparable part of our daily lives.
Current use of images in advertising, fashion, film and video is frequently inspired by the surrealist repertoire. Modern technologies and digital techniques have made it much easier to capture the unreal and a sense of alienation. The current world of images illustrates just how unusual, odd and frightening normal reality actually is. In fact, reality is not normal at all.
Visitors can experience surrealism with interactive installations Brain Trip by Rhinofly, Discontinuum by Tijmen Zonnevijlle and The upper room byTheo SChohuwerwou and Paul Klemann. Or try typically surrealisic techniques like 'Ecriture Automatiue' and Cadavre Exquis.
Artists shown in the exhibition
Artists on display in this exhibition: J.H. Moesman, Kor Postma, Fedde Weidema, Gerrit van 't Net, Willem van Leusden, Louis Wijmans, Kristians Tonny, Pyke Koch, Willem Wagenaar, Frans Boers, Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, Max Ernst, Joan Miró, Hans Bellmer, Emiel van Moerkerken, Louis Lehmann, Getrude Pape, Theo van Baaren, Chris van Geel, Cees Buddingh, Eugène Brands, Karel Appel, Constant, Alain Teister, Armando, Wim de Haan, William Kuik, Piet Ouborg, Jan Elburg, René Daniëls, Paul Klemann, Roland Sohier, Robbie Cornelissen, Aernout Mik, Pipilotti Rist, Frank Halmans, Frans Franciscus, Hein Dingemans, Frank Van den Broeck, Elspeth Diederix, Marijke van Warmerdam, Paul de Reus, Maria Roosen, Kinke Kooi, Voebe de Gruyter, Philip Akkerman, Theo Schouwerwou, K. Schippers, Barbarber, Tijmen Zonnevijlle, Pieke Bergmans, Rhinofly, Philip Mechanicus