SURREAL! Imagining New Realities

5. May 2022 - 10. April 2023

100 works from the Klewan Collection by more than 50 artists and numerous writings highlight the tense relationship between Surrealism and psychoanalysis. Berggasse 19 in Vienna serves as a pivotal point of this relationship: for André Breton and Salvador Dalí, the origin of psychoanalysis represented a place of longing. Commonalities and differences between Surrealist and psychoanalytical views become visible in the exhibition as well as the manifold references of the artistic avant-garde to Freud's science of the unconscious - with works by Herbert Bayer, 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, among others.

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" explores the influences of psychoanalysis on surrealism, which made use of its theories on drives, dreams, displacements, and condensations in so many different ways, sometimes also by means of productive misunderstandings.

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

Click here to book your ticket!

The catalog accompanying the special exhibition is available in our museum shop at Berggasse 19 and online!

SURREAL! Imagining New Realities

Special exhibition at the Sigmund Freud Museum
Until April 10, 2023


Supported by

Amber Privatstiftung