Dada and Surrealism: Rethinking Reason

January 28, 2011 - May 9, 2011
Kemper Art Museum, Teaching Gallery

The devastation wrought by World War I led to virulent critiques of reason, progress, and a kind of nationalism that had used technology to mostly destructive ends. International Dada movements during the War, and Surrealism in the postwar period, were central to these critiques. For this Teaching Gallery exhibition, over a dozen Dada and Surrealist artworks from the collections of the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum and Olin Library’s Department of Special Collections will be on view. Artists represented include Man Ray, Max Ernst, Salvador Dalí, Joan Miró, and Pablo Picasso. The selected works illustrate the range of strategies used to explore the irrational, fantastic, and absurd in the twentieth century, innovations that revolutionized artistic practices in Europe and the US.

This Teaching Gallery exhibition is organized by Stamos Metzidakis, professor of French and comparative literature, and John Klein, associate professor of art history, in conjunction with their course “Dada and Surrealism: Rethinking Reason,” offered by Washington University’s Comparative Literature program and the Department of Art History & Archaeology in spring 2011.

Exhibition Flyer

Read more about the exhibition's works and themes in the related flyer.

Image Credit

Salvador Dalí, Ace of Diamonds, from the Playing Card Suite, 1971.  Lithograph, 25 7/8 x 19 7/8".  Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis.  Gift of Reese Palley and Marilyn Arnold Palley, 1991.