Design Museum to explore story of Surrealism in landmark exhibition

·2-min read

The story of the Surrealist movement and its impact on the world will be displayed in an “eye-opening” exhibition at The Design Museum.

The exhibition titled Objects of Desire: Surrealism and Design 1924 – Today will run from October 14 until February 19 and will explore how the Surrealist movement revolutionised art and design.

Nearly 350 objects will go on display, including work from Salvador Dali, Marcel Duchamp, Leonora Carrington and Man Ray alongside pieces by Dior, Bjork, Tim Walker and Sarah Lucas.

It is the first time The Design Museum has explored the relationship between fine art and design in a major exhibition.

Cigarette Tits
Sarah Lucas 1999 Cigarette Tits (Sarah Lucas/PA)

The display will cover almost 100 years and will be split into four sections focusing on Surrealism’s influence on everyday objects, interior design, fashion and the body and mind.

Dali’s Lobster Telephone and Ray’s The Gift will show how everyday objects were embraced by the movement, while Lucas’s Cigarette Tits pinpoints how the body can be used to expose stereotypes of female sexuality.

The exhibition will also highlight Surrealism’s influence on fashion as many Surrealist artists worked as photographers, including Dali who created cover art for fashion magazine Vogue.

Vintage magazines will be exhibited alongside Surrealist-inspired photography for modern day magazines, such as Walker’s 2013 photoshoot with actress Tilda Swinton for W magazine.

Tim Marlow, the Design Museum’s director, said: “From its very beginnings, Surrealism looked to design and everyday objects for inspiration, but few are aware of the movement’s decisive impact on design.

“This eye-opening exhibition will take visitors on a fascinating journey through 100 years of this radical relationship, and it will bring the story right up to the present day for the very first time.

“The exhibition is both a landmark in the history of Surrealism and design and part of a rich and ongoing story of London’s engagement with one of the great cultural movements of the last century.”

Curator Kathryn Johnson said: “If you think Surrealism fizzled out in the 1960s, think again. This exhibition will show that it is still alive and well and that it never really went away.

“The early Surrealists were survivors of the First World War and the 1918 influenza pandemic, and their art was in part a reaction to those horrors.

“Today, in the context of dizzying technological change, war and another global pandemic, Surrealism’s spirit feels more alive than ever in contemporary design.”

Objects of Desire: Surrealism and Design 1924 – Today will open at The Design Museum on October 14.

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