In Venice, unmissable, “Surrealism and Magic. Enchanted modernity “.

“The dressing of the bride” by Max Ernst, 1940. Peggy Guggenheim Collection Venice

“Gala” by Beatrice Brandini

A beautiful exhibition, created in collaboration between the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and the Barberini Museum (in Potsdam), highlights the interest of the surrealists in magic.

“The Magic Game of Flowers” by Dorothea Tanning, 1941. Private collection

In Venice, at Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, home to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, we can admire about sixty works from great museums such as the Center Pompidou, the Metropolitan Museum, the Guggenheim in New York, and international collections, which offer an interesting overview on Surrealism and the relationship that this current had with its authors; the artist was a bit of an alchemist, a visionary, who treated magic by absorbing his most philosophical and poetic facets and shades.

“The surrealist” by Victor Brauner, 1947. Peggy Guggenheim Collection Venice

The exhibition first of all highlights the precious heritage of surrealist works of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, works that the patron herself had already collected at the end of the 1930s, becoming close friends with Max Ernst and André Breton, founder of the movement and author of the his Manifesto.

“The pleasures of Dagoberto” by Leonora Carrington, 1945. Private collection

The project, curated by Grazina Subelyté, as already mentioned, aims to highlight the widespread interest in the irrational, the myth and the esoteric, an interest that pushed the artists of the surrealist avant-garde to consider magic as a form of poetic and philosophical expression, trying to emancipate one’s self and one’s interiority.

“The child’s brain” by Giorgio de Chirico, 1917. Modern Museum of Stockholm.

Dream and magic, unconscious and reasoning, are questions and torments of every human being, but which in the artists, thanks to their chameleonic personality, are highlighted exponentially, resulting in masterpieces such as those present in the Venice exhibition. In fact, the exhibition itinerary includes works by Salvator Dalí, Leonor Fini, René Magritte, Yves Tanguy, Roberto Matta, Giorgio de Chirico and many others.

A glimpse of Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, home of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection

The exhibition inaugurated on 9 April will end on 26 September 2022, leaving the baton at the Barberini Museum in Potsdam, near Berlin, until 29 January 2023.


Schiaparelli Haute Couture Collection SS 2022

Finally, as I have been doing since 2013, the year in which I published my first post, it is nice to see how art and fashion are more and more neighboring expressions, full of mutual influences and exchanges. The latest fashion shows have highlighted how some designers have shamelessly drawn on the codes of surrealism; we saw the interpretation of trompe l’oeil by Dolce & Gabbana, the “big lips” by Jonathan Anderson for Loewe, the time and music of Jeremy Scott for Moschino (such as the dress a tribute to Dalì and his The Anthropomorphic Cabinet) and so on.


JW Anderson for Loewe, SS 2022 collection

The prices of surrealist works also hit record figures. René Magritte’s work L’empire des lumiéres was sold for a value of 59.4 million pounds at Sotheby’s London, tripling the artist’s record.


Jeremy Scott for Moschino, SS 2022 Collection

It is no coincidence that surrealism manifested itself especially after the great crisis of ’29, there was a need, and that was to escape and enter a surreal world, in fact, characterized by metamorphosis, magic, enchantment, dreams. We are not that far from today’s needs. The pandemic has deprived us, for at least two years, of relationships, work, family, well-being and everything that until then seemed normal to us was no longer normal.It is no coincidence that fashion is talking about surrealism right now.


Evening dress designed by Elsa Schiaparelli in collaboration with Salvador Dalí, Philadelphia Museum of Art. Wallis Simpson in Vogue in 1937


“Surrealist” mood by Beatrice Brandini

Fashion, which has always been a mirror of society, sends us a message, dreaming seems to be the only escape.

Good life to everyone!



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