SURREAL! Imagining New Realities

From May 5 to October 16, 2022, the special exhibition "SURREAL! Imagining New Realities" at the Sigmund Freud Museum explores the tense relationship between psychoanalysis and surrealism. Approximately 100 works from the fields of painting, photography, and literature illustrate the references of the artistic avant-garde to the science of the unconscious using various thematic perspectives and including works by (among others) Hans Bellmer, Victor Brauner, Salvador Dalí, Giorgio de Chirico, Max Ernst, Conroy Maddox, André Masson, Meret Oppenheim, Pablo Picasso, Alberto Savinio, Toyen (Marie Čermínová), and Dorothea Tanning.

The comprehensive and multi-layered examination of Surrealism at the birthplace of psychoanalysis is made possible by the generous loan of art collector and former gallery owner Helmut Klewan and supplemented by selected exhibits from other lenders.

Surrealism and Psychoanalysis

“I believe in the future resolution of these two states, dream and reality, which are seemingly so contradictory, into a kind of absolute reality, a surreality“ - this is André Breton's famous confession, which he put down in his "Manifeste du Surréalisme" in 1924. Breton calls for the expansion of the reason-based approach to human life's realities to include the unconscious as well as a rapturous, libidinal, and dreamlike experience. In fact, Freud's insights into the functions of the "psychic apparatus" gained importance in the works of the Surrealists from the mid-1920s onward - especially those forces that elude psychic control and censorship.

"SURREAL! Imagining New Realities" describes the interrelations between the art form founded by Breton and psychoanalysis, which, with all its shifts, condensations, and productive misunderstandings, so significantly determined the development of the Surrealist movement.

The exhibition is curated by Monika Pessler and Daniela Finzi (Sigmund Freud Museum)

SURREAL! Imagining New Realities

Special exhibition at the Sigmund Freud Museum
May 5 to October 16, 2022


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