Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Surrealism

Some 2024 Surrealism Exhibitions (from the New York Times)

Exhibitions around the world are celebrating the art movement’s centennial and asking whether our crazy dreams can still set us free.

Museum directors, curators and art historians around the world will attempt to answer such questions this year, and Surrealism exhibitions will be everywhere, all at once. From Paris to Fort Worth, from Munich to Gainesville, Fla., and all the way to Shanghai, art institutions are mounting shows that explore the movement.

Some 2024 Surrealism Exhibitions

Imagine! 100 Years of International Surrealism” 
Through July 21 at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts Belgium, in Brussels; fine-arts-museum.be.

Histoire de ne pas rire. Surrealism in Belgium” 
Through June 16 at Bozar, in Brussels; bozar.be.

Fantastic Visions: 100 Years of Surrealism From the National Galleries of Scotland” 
Through Aug. 31 at the Museum of Art Pudong, in Shanghai; museumofartpd.org.cn.

Surrealist: Lee Miller” 
Through April 14 at the Heide Museum, in Melbourne, Australia; heide.com.au.

But Live Here? No Thanks: Surrealism + Anti-Fascism” 
Oct. 15 through March 2, 2025, at the Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, in Munich; lenbachhaus.de.

Surrealism at the Harn” 
Through June 2 at the Harn Museum of Art, in Gainesville, Fla.; harn.ufl.edu.

Surrealism From Caribbean and African Diasporic Artists”
 March 10 through July 28 at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth; themodern.org.

Surrealism 100: Prague, Tartu and Other Stories”
 April 4 through Sept. 8 at the Eesti Rahva Muuseum, in Tartu, Estonia; tartu2024.ee.

Surrealism: Worlds in Dialogue” 
Aug. 31, 2024, through Jan. 5, 2025, at the Kunsthalle Vogelmann, in Heilbronn, Germany; museen.heilbronn.de.

Surrealism So Far”
 Sept. 4 through Jan. 13, 2025, at the Pompidou Center, in Paris; centrepompidou.fr.

Forbidden Territories: 100 Years of Surreal Landscapes” 
Nov. 23 through April 27, 2025, at the Hepworth Wakefield, in Wakefield, England; hepworthwakefield.org.


Salvador Dalí Was Here


The Spring of 2024 is widely considered to be the 100th Anniversary of the Surrealist Movement, usually referring back to poet and artist André Breton who published his “Manifesto of Surrealism” in 1924. A recent New York Times article identified 11 exhibitions around the world that are either open now or are opening soon, telling the story of surrealism in various chapters from its antecedents among old masters to its beginnings in the 1920s, its full flowering in the 1930s, and its ongoing reflections and new work being done today.
In several recent shows, Julie O’Connor has presented her 2020 fine art digital archival photo (sublimated onto aluminum) Salvador Dalí Was Here. When she showed it recently at the Silvermine Guild of Artists in New Canaan, CT, she noted in her Artist Statement:
“This photo was taken in Paris, France on 2/16/2020, my last trip overseas before the COVID pandemic set in fully. My husband and I had just come back from a Jan Van Eyck exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts in Ghent, Belgium. After a long day, we entered the lobby of the Hotel Meurice. Dalí spent a month at the Meurice every year for 30+ years, and Picasso’s wedding banquet was held in the room known as the Salon Pompadour. Le Meurice circa 1835 and afterwards, called itself the “hotel of artists and thinkers.” This truly is the case, as famous guests included not only Dalí and Picasso, but Piotr Tchaikovsky, Rudyard Kipling, Placido Domingo, and Yul Brynner, just to name a few. The evening I took this photo was the right after the first person in Paris died from COVID, and the lobby was evacuated. I felt compelled to take this photo, inspired by the artists that stayed at this hotel and the lack of human presence. The clock on the wall evokes Dali’s Persistence of Memory, and the combination of the oddly placed work on the ceiling and the traditional crystal candelabra on the table give the photograph a surreal, disjointed feeling.”
Now, in the Spring of 2024, the photo takes on another layer of meaning as museums and galleries all over the world commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the beginnings of the Surrealist Movement, of which Salvador Dali is one of the most notable (and memorable) exponents.