Tate Modern
24 February 2022 – 29 August 2022

Presented in the Eyal Ofer Galleries. Supported by the AKO Foundation, with additional support from the Surrealism Beyond Borders Exhibition Supporters Circle, Tate Americas Foundation, Tate International Council, Tate Patrons and Tate Members. Research supported by Hyundai Tate Research Centre: Transnational in partnership with Hyundai Motor

Leonora Carrington Self-portrait c.1937–38

Leonora Carrington Self-portrait c.1937–38. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Pierre and Maria-Gaetana Matisse Collection, 2002 © 2021 Estate of Leonora Carrington / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Image © Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Surrealism was always international. This ground-breaking exhibition opening at Tate Modern in Spring 2022 reveals the broad scope of this radical movement, moving beyond the confines of a single time or place. Based on extensive research undertaken by Tate and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, it spans 80 years and 50 countries to show how Surrealism inspired and united artists around the globe, from centres as diverse as Buenos Aires, Cairo, Lisbon, Mexico City, Prague, Seoul and Tokyo. Expanding our understanding of Surrealism as never before, Tate Modern will show how this dynamic movement took root in many places at different times, offering artists the freedom to challenge authority and imagine a new world.

A revolutionary idea sparked in Paris around 1924, Surrealism prioritised the unconscious and dreams over the familiar and everyday. While it has often generated poetic and even humorous works – from Salvador Dalí’s Lobster Telephone to René Magritte’s train rushing from a fireplace – it has also been used by artists around the world as a serious weapon in the struggle for political, social, and personal freedom. Featuring over 150 works ranging from painting and photography to sculpture and film, many of which have never been shown in the UK, this exhibition explores the collective interests shared by artists across regions to highlight their interrelated networks. It also considers the conditions under which they worked and how this in turn impacted Surrealism, including the pursuit of independence from colonialism and displacement caused by international conflict. Among the rarely seen works are photographs by Cecilia Porras and Enrique Grau, which defied the conservative social conventions of 1950s Colombia, as well as paintings by exiled Spanish artist Eugenio Granell, whose radical political commitments made him a target for censorship and persecution.

Familiar Surrealist themes such as the exploration of the uncanny and unconscious desires are repositioned from a fresh perspective. Visitors will see iconic paintings such as Max Ernst’s Two Children are Threatened by a Nightingale 1924 alongside lesser known but significant works including Antonio Berni’s Landru in the Hotel, Paris 1932, which appeared in the artist’s first exhibition of Surrealist works in Argentina, and Toshiko Okanoue’s Yobi-goe (The Call) 1954, addressing the daily experience of post-war Japan. Photographs by Hans Bellmer focusing on the female body are contrasted with Ithell Colquhoun’s Scylla 1938 – a double image exploring female desire – and works by both French Surrealist Claude Cahun and Sri-Lankan-based artist Lionel Wendt, whose radical photographs present queer desire outside of a Western context.

The exhibition also considers locations around the world where artists have converged and exchanged ideas of Surrealism. From Paris at the Bureau of Surrealist Research; to Cairo, with the Art et Liberté group; across the Caribbean, where the movement was initiated by writers; in Mexico City, where it was shaped by the creative bonds of women artists; and Chicago, where Surrealism was used as a tool for radical politics. Special loans including the photographs of Limb Eung-Sik and Jung Haechang from Korea and a film by Len Lye from New Zealand, will offer further insight into the adaption of Surrealism across the globe. For the first time in the UK, Ted Joans’ incredible 36-foot drawing, Long Distance 1976-2005 will go on display, featuring 132 contributors from around the world. Accompanying Joans on his travels, this cadavre exquis (exquisite corpse) drawing took nearly 30 years to complete and united artists located as far apart as Lagos and Toronto.

Surrealism Beyond Borders is organised by Tate Modern and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. It is co-curated by Matthew Gale, Senior Curator at Large at Tate Modern, and Stephanie D’Alessandro, Leonard A. Lauder Curator of Modern Art and Senior Research Coordinator in Modern and Contemporary Art at The Met; with assistance at Tate Modern from Carine Harmand, Assistant Curator, International Art; and at The Met from Lauren Rosati, Assistant Curator, Leonard A. Lauder Research Center for Modern Art, and Sean O’Hanlan, Research Associate in Department of Modern and Contemporary Art.

List of Artists

Eileen Agar (1899-1991), Pierre Alechinsky (b.1927), Manuel Álvarez Bravo (1902-2002), Jean Arp (1886-66), Yuksel Arslan (1933-2017), Enrico Baj (1924-2003), Juan Batlle Planas (1911-66), Hans Bellmer (1902-75), Antonio Berni (1905-81), Lucienne Bloch (1909-99), Vane Bor [Stevan Živadinović] (1908-93), Brassaï (1899-1994), Victor Brauner (1903-66), André Breton (1896-1966), Jorge Cáceres (1923-49), Claude Cahun (1894-1954), Jorge Camacho (1934-2011), Agustin Cárdenas (1927-2001), Leonora Carrington (1917-2011), Alvaro Cepeda Samudio (1926-72), Heriberto Cogollo (b.1945), Ithell Colquhoun (1906-88), William Copley (1919-96), Horacio Coppola (1906-2012), Joseph Cornell (1903-72), Albert Cossery (1913-2008), Artur Cruzeiro Seixas (1920-2020), Salvador Dali (1904-89), Jean-Jacques Dauben (b.1952), Fernando de Azevedo (1923-2002), Giorgio de Chirico (1888-1978), Jean Degottex (1918-88), Frances del Valle (1933-2021), Maya Deren (1917-61), Robert Desnos (1900-45), Tarsila do Amaral (1886-1973), Oscar Domínguez (1906-57), Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968), Jeannete Ducrocq Tanguy (1896-1977), Inji Efflatoun (1924-89), Kamel El Telmisany (1915-72), Nusch Eluard (1906-46), Paul Eluard (1895-1952), Andreas Embirikos (1901-75), Max Ernst (1891-1976), Anne Ethuin (1921-2008), Limb Eung-Sik (1912-2001), Rafael Ferrer (b.1933), Leonor Fini (1908-96), José-Augusto França (d. 2021), Wilhelm Freddie (1909-95), Gabriel García Márquez (1927-2014), Gunther Gerzso (1915-2000), Alberto Giacometti (1901-66), Kaveh Golestan (1950-2003), Arshile Gorky (1904-48), Eugenio F. Granell (1912-2001), Enrique Grau (1920-2004), Jung Haechang (1907-68), Jindřich Heisler (1914-53), Georges Henein (1914-73), Kati Horna (1912-2000), Valentine Hugo (1887-1968), Hector Hyppolite (1894-1948), María Izquierdo (1902-55), Marcel Jean (1900-93), Ted Joans (1928-2003), Asger Jorn (1914-73), Abdul Kader El-Janabi (b.1944), Frida Kahlo (1901-54), Fouad Kamel (1919-73), Gerome Kamrowski (1914-2004), Ida Kar (1908-74), Rita Kernn-Larsen (1904-98), Frederick Kiesler (1890-1965), Noboru Kitawaki (1901-51), Konrad Klapheck (b.1935), William Klein (b.1928), Harue Koga (1895-1933), Yayoi Kusama (b.1929), Wifredo Lam (1902-82), Fernando Lemos (1926-2019), Ghérasim Luca (1913-94), Helen Lundeberg (1908-99), Len Lye (1901-80), Dora Maar (1907-97), René Magritte (1898-1967), Luis Maisonet Crespo (1925-2019), Man Ray (1890-1976), Joyce Mansour (1928-86), Dušan Marek (1926-93), André Masson (1896-1987), Dušan Matić (1898-1980), Roberto Matta (1911-2002), Mayo [Antoine Malliarakis] (1906-90), Carlos Mérida (1891-1984), Lee Miller (1907-77), Joan Miró (1893-1983), Max Morise (1900–73), César Moro (1903-56), Pierre Naville (1904–93), Malangatana Ngwenya (1936-2011), Amy Nimr (1898-1962), Hernando R. Ocampo (1911-78), Richard Oelze (1900-80), Taro Okamoto (1911-96), Toshiko Okanoue (b.1928), Gordon Onslow-Ford (1912-2003), Wolfgang Paalen (1905-59), Grace Pailthorpe (1883-1971), Gertrude Pape (1907-88), Mimi Parent (1924-2005), Paul Păun (1915-94), António Pedro (1909-66), Roland Penrose (1900-84), Benjamin Péret (1899-1959), Maurice Perron (1924-99), Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Cecilia Porras (1920-71), Jacques Prévert (1900–77), Samir Rafi (1926-2004), Alice Rahon (1904-87), Vilém Reichmann (1908-91), Judit Reigl (1923-2020), Marko Ristić (1902-84), Ševa Ristić (1906-95), Franklin Rosemont (1943-2009), Erna Rosenstein (1913-2004), Marcel-Laurent Salinas (1913-2010), Kurt Seligmann (1900-62), Archie Shepp (b.1937), Shimozato Yoshio (1907-81), Jindřich Štyrský (1899-1942), Françoise Sullivan (b.1923), Eva Sulzer (1902-90), Dédé Sunbeam (dates unknown), Jan Svankmajer (b.1934), Yves Tanguy (1900-55), Dorothea Tanning (1910-2012), Ikeda Tatsuo (1928-2020), Hervé Télémaque (b.1937), André Thirion (1907-2001), Toyen [Marie Cermínová] (1902-80), Raoul Ubac (1910-85), Lajos Vajda (1908-41), Theo van Baaren (1912-87), Remedios Varo (1908-63), Marcelino Vespeira (1925-2002), Luis Vicens (1904-83), Aleksandar Vučo (1897-1985), Lula Vučo (1899-1985), Nikola Vučo (1902-93), Lionel Wendl (1900-44), Kikuji Yamashita (1919-86), Byon Yeongwon (1921-88), Ramses Younan (1913-66), Cossette Zeno (b.1930), Ladislav Zívr (1909-80), Unica Zürn (1916-70). 

About the AKO Foundation

The AKO Foundation was founded by Nicolai Tangen, the founder of AKO Capital, in 2013. The primary focus of the AKO Foundation is the making of grants to projects which improve education, promote the arts or mitigate climate problems.

About Hyundai Tate Research Centre: Transnational

Over the past two decades Tate’s collection, displays and programmes have expanded beyond Europe and North America to be more open, inclusive, and reflective of its audiences. Hyundai Tate Research Centre: Transnational enables a next decisive step on this journey by placing the exchange of ideas between art and artists from around the world at the very core of Tate. The Centre is transforming how Tate grows and shares knowledge about multiple art histories with individuals and organisations around the world. Its vision is to offer new perspectives on global art histories. Hyundai Motor’s support for the Centre began in January 2019 and will continue to June 2025, in addition to their support of Tate Modern’s annual Hyundai Commission which began in 2015. During this time the Centre will host several research events including annual symposia, seminars and workshops at Tate and beyond. For more information visit tate.org.uk/transnational.

About Hyundai Motor Company

Established in 1967, Hyundai Motor Company is present in over 200 countries with more than 120,000 employees dedicated to tackling real-world mobility challenges around the globe. Based on the brand vision ‘Progress for Humanity,' Hyundai Motor is accelerating its transformation into a Smart Mobility Solutions Provider. The company invests in advanced technologies such as robotics and Urban Air Mobility (UAM) to bring about revolutionary mobility solutions, while pursuing open innovation to introduce future mobility services. In pursuit of sustainable future for the world, Hyundai will continue its efforts to introduce zero emission vehicles equipped with industry-leading hydrogen fuel cell and EV technologies.

More information about Hyundai Motor can be found at:
http://worldwide.hyundai.com, http://artlab.hyundai.com or follow @hyundai.artlab

For press information contact rachael.young@tate.org.uk or joanna.sandler@tate.org.uk
High resolution press images can be downloaded from Tate’s Dropbox.