The Dulwich Picture Gallery will present major exhibition exploring  the origins of surrealist art in Britain.

L’Infante Egaree, 1944 by Marion Adnams. Photo: Manchester Art Gallery/Bridgeman Images.

On display from the 26th February 2020, the Dulwich Picture Gallery will examine the origins of surrealist art in Britain. Almost a century on since the birth of surrealism in the 1920s, this display will highlight British Surrealism as an important part of art history.

This exhibition will bring together the work of more than thirty artists including  Eileen Agar, John Armstrong, Francis Bacon, Edward Burra, Leonora Carrington, Henry Moore, Paul Nash and Graham Sutherland. The display will feature  70 works including paintings, sculptures, etchings and prints from 1783 to 1952.

Themes such as war, dreams, the unconscious, the uncanny, radical politics, violence, sex and desire will be highlighted and explored, with highlights including Burra’s nightmarish Dancing Skeletons (1934) and Armstrong’s Heaviness of Sleep (1938) depicting a landscape that is both arid and fertile.

The exhibition is curated by Dr David Boyd Haycock, a freelance writer, curator and lecturer specialising in British art of the twentieth century. Talking about the display he said: “Over the past decade, the significance of modern British art has been increasingly recognised by curators, collectors and the public at large. Surrealism, meanwhile, was probably the most exciting, transgressive and bizarre art movement of the twentieth century. Its impact on a wide range of British artists was enormous, and almost a century after its first official appearance it is an appropriate moment to expose new audiences to its roots in British culture and its significant influence.”

British Surrealism 1783- 1952 will be on display at the Dulwich Picture Gallery from the 26th February until the 17th May 2020.


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