Surreal encounters in Rotterdam

The successful and much acclaimed exhibition “Surreal Encounters – collecting the marvelous” will be opening in Rotterdam’s Boijmans van Beuningen Museum this month. This exhibition could previously be visited at the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh.

surreal-encountersBoijmans’ former curator Mrs Hammacher-van den Brande, started acquiring surrealists work and adding these to the museum’s collection. Works by artists like Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, Magritte and Dalí from the museum’s own collection will therefore also be shown. So what will be exhibited in Rotterdam may differ slightly from what could be admired in Edinburgh. The fascinating Edinburgh poster, a picture from the Edward James collection, may also be replaced by different advertising material. Nevertheless, the Rotterdam museum states at least 300 works of will be shown.

The Edinburgh exhibition took four key collections to illustrate how and why these were created. The four are the ones collected by Roland Penrose, Edward James, Gabrielle Keiller and the one collected by the Pietzsches.The Penrose and Keiller collection are part of the Scottish National Gallery modern art collection. The Pietsch collection is now part of the modern art collection of the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin.

The first two collectors did not consider themselves to be real collectors. Penrose claimed he acquired art accidentally. James considered himself to be a poet and collaborator who worked with other artists. Such artists included Dalí. Keiller was interested in collecting art, though ony later deciding to concentrate on Dada and Surrealist works of art. Of the four collections, the Pietzsch one is the most carefully collected.

Various English newspapers simply raved about this exhibition. “Spine-shivering”, “Outstanding”, “Impressive and fascinating”, “significant” and rated this exhibition from four stars upward! So it will be interesting to see how visitors to the Boijmans van Beuningen will react to what promises to be a mind-blowing exhibition. Though not all UK reviewers were certain the Surrealist anarchism was captured by the examples exhibited in Edinburgh.

The Rotterdam version of “Surreal Encounters” renamed “Mad about Surrealism”, opens at the Boijmans van Beuningen museum on 11th of February. “Mad about Surrealism” can be visited till the 28th of May 2017.

The Scotsman, Moira Jeffrey on “Surreal Encounters”: “Fails to capture the irreverence and anarchy
UK Telegraph on “Surreal Encounters”: “A spine-shivering look




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