The State Hermitage Museum is delighted to present Dada and Surrealism from Collections of The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, organized by the State Hermitage Museum on the occasion of its 250 anniversary in collaboration with the Israel Museum and generously supported by the Hermitage Foundation Israel and the M.T. Abraham Foundation. Dada and Surrealism rank among the most significant movements of our time. They challenged tradition, introducing materials and visual strategies that would change the vocabulary of art and creating an enduring legacy that has transformed art history.
The connection between Surrealism and the Israel Museum began as a “chance encounter” more than fifty years ago, and it has since evolved into a deep and lasting relationship. Thanks in great part to generous gifts from donors and artists alike, the Museum has been able to form a spectacular holding of Dada and Surrealist material, comprising everything from paintings, ready-mades, and photographs, to works in the wide variety of new and innovative mediums employed by these groundbreaking movements. This repository also includes an extensive library and documentary materials that make the collection an important international research resource. The Vera and Arturo Schwarz Collection of Dada and Surrealist Art in the Israel Museum includes unparalleled holdings of individual artists, among them Duchamp and Man Ray, as well as an ensemble of other artists of remarkable breadth, reflecting a life committed to the Surrealist spirit. Dada and Surrealism explores the key preoccupations of these movements: “marvelous” juxtapositions, automatism and its evolution, biomorphism and metamorphosis, dreamscapes, and desire. Reflecting the conviction that Dada and Surrealism were universal spiritual and ideological movements, the exhibition also integrates later works inspired by these movements’ principles.
The readymade challenged handmade artifacts and the notion of self-expression. Exhibiting mundane items – a comb, bottle rack, or coat hanger – with almost no intervention, Dada artists questioned the transformation of an object when placed in a museum or gallery. The idea behind the artwork now constituted the real act of creation, anticipating late twentieth century conceptual art. The Dadaists deliberately minimized the value of the original work of art and the artist’s effort and skill. Duchamp’s radical operations began before the war and independently of Dada. André Breton described his readymades as precursors of the Surrealist object. These objects were perceived as visual equivalents of the powerful poetic metaphors used in Surrealist core texts: “beautiful as the chance encounter on a dissecting table of a sewing machine and an umbrella.”
Collages and objects inspired later artists, such as Joseph Cornell, and have become mainstream activities in contemporary art, feeding into installation and site-specific works, as well as commercial media.The exhibition is curated by Dr. Adina Kamien-Kazhdan, Department of Modern Art, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, and Mikhail Dedinkin, Deputy Head of the Western European Art Department, The State Hermitage Museum. The exhibition is accompanied by fully illustrated catalogue (The State Hermitage Museum Publishing House, 2014) with introductions by Dr. Piotrovsky, General Director of The State Hermitage Museum; Dr. James S. Snyder, Director of The Israel Museum; Amir G. Kabiri, President of the Hermitage Foundation Israel and the M.T. Abraham Foundation, as well as essays by Dr. Adina Kamien-Kazhdan, Prof. Dawn Ades, and Prof. Werner Spies.
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The international exhibition of spring 2014 at the Museum of Finnish Architecture, White City – Modernistic Tel Aviv, arranged in...read more
Born in 1834 as Hilaire-Germain-Edgar de Gas, the artist (Edgar Degas) began sculpting in wax circa 1860. He modeled a...read more
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The “White City-Bauhaus Architecture in Tel Aviv” exhibition at the State Hermitage Museum is part of “Tel Aviv days in...read more