The International Surrealist Exhibition

The divisions we may hold between night and day – waking world and that of the dream, reality and the other thing, do not hold. They are penetrable, they are porous, translucent, transparent; in a word they are not there.
–Paul Nash, ‘Dreams’, undated typescript, Tate Archive

Nash’s work had been aligned with surrealism since the early 1930s through his dream-like interiors and landscapes, and his interest in found objects. He was closely involved with the organisation of the International Surrealist Exhibition held at the Burlington Galleries in London in June 1936. All the leading continental European surrealist artists participated including André Breton, Salvador Dalí, Max Ernst, Alberto Giacometti, Man Ray, Joan Miró, Yves Tanguy and other prominent artists such as Giorgio de Chirico, Paul Klee and Pablo Picasso who were then associated with the movement. The exhibition also showed the work of an emerging surrealist group in England including Eileen Agar, John Banting, Edward Burra, Merlyn Evans, David Gascoyne, Humphrey Jennings, Henry Moore and Julian Trevelyan. Nash was a member of the hanging committee for the exhibition and the range of works he exhibited, including paintings, photo-collages and found objects, reflected the increasing impact of surrealist ideas and methods on his work. The exhibition had extensive press coverage and attracted around 23,000 visitors. This exposure reinforced public perceptions of Nash as a surrealist artist and showed his work in an international context.