When Salvador Dalí & Luis Buñuel’s film Un chien Andalou premiered in the City of Light, Paris was an avant-garde hothouse rife with artistic conflict and friendly rivalry. Midnight in Paris: Surrealism at the Crossroads, 1929 immerses visitors in this particularly rich and vital creative era by examining the works, friendships and clashes of Jean Arp, André Breton, Luis Buñuel, Alexander Calder, Giorgio de Chirico, Salvador Dalí, Max Ernst, Alberto Giacometti, René Magritte, Joan Miró, Francis Picabia, Man Ray, Yves Tanguy and others.
“Midnight in Paris” touches on Surrealism’s highs and lows, its darkness, poetry, beauty and banalities, reminding viewers—at the heart of the Dalí Museum, no less—that the movement is much, much more than melting watches. -The Wall Street Journal, February 27, 2020
Through a host of 20th-century works from the renowned Centre Pompidou in Paris, Midnight in Paris, 1929 brings to life the personal relationships and the intellectual passions that threatened to tear apart the newly formed artistic movement called Surrealism. Just as this art form began to penetrate Western culture, from literature to fashion to advertising, disagreements erupted among its famous practitioners. Are dreams or spontaneous emotions more central to image-making? Should painting take precedence, or are more technical approaches and media more effective tools? Perhaps most importantly, how can Surrealism embody the concerns and values of a new class of activist artists shaped by the profound destruction of the first World War?
“As the preeminent movement of its era, Surrealism reached an innovative turning point in 1929, a crisis of consciousness that has had a sweeping impact on visual art ever since,” said Dr. Hank Hine, Executive Director of The Dalí Museum. “The Dalí Museum, with its outstanding legacy, collection and international partnerships, looks forward to affording our visitors this rare window into one of the most critical epochs in cultural history.”
Organized by the Centre Pompidou, Paris, and The Dalí Museum, Midnight in Paris, 1929, in its first and only appearance in North America, is curated by Dr. William Jeffett, Chief Curator of Special Exhibitions at The Dalí Museum, and Didier Ottinger, Deputy Director of the Musée national d’art moderne at the Centre Pompidou. The Dalí Museum’s unique installation was adapted from a selection of works organized by Dr. Ottinger and previously exhibited at the Palazzo Blu in Pisa and the Hungarian National Gallery in Budapest.
The exhibition is designed for visitors to stroll through the streets of Paris, with a focus on the paintings, photographs, sculptures and personalities of iconic Surrealist artists. The exhibition will also feature archival film and documents from the movement, as well as several rarely loaned Salvador Dalí works, including one of his earliest double-image paintings.
The exhibition was organized by the Centre Pompidou, Paris and The Dali.