If you've ever looked at a sandbox and thought that's art, if you've ever been moved to tears by a kitchen appliance, or if you've ever imagined a telephone and a crustacean would make a choice pair-- you may be a surrealist.
A new exhibition entitled "Dada and Surrealist Objects" has once again brought our attention to the eccentric artistic genre, which eschews logic in favor of nonsense and intuition. Including the likes of Marcel Duchamp, who invented the readymade sculpture in 1913, artists of the genre broke with established conventions, and dimensions, of sculpture to redefine what the medium could be.
Originally a reaction against the horrors of World War I, the artistic mentality has certainly evolved over the past century. Now the pioneers of surrealism adorn the most mainstream of museum walls. However, there's no denying the professional iconoclasts' utterly absurd roots. Creating everything from sandboxes to remixed adaptations of classical nudes, the artists were equal parts poets and pranksters, who revolutionized the world of art.
Behold, six dada and surrealist masters you should know.
1. Joseph Cornell
Joseph Cornell, Untitled (Sand Box), 1940, box construction – painted wood, glass, pink sand, pearls, shell and metal spring , 10.6 by 13.2 by 2.5 cm, Private Collection, © The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
2. Salvador Dalí
Salvador Dalí, Vénus de Milo aux Tiroirs (Venus de Milo with Drawers), 1936/1964, painted bronze and mink pompoms, height: 97.5 cm, Private Collection, © Salvador Dalí, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí, Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York 2013
3. Marcel Duchamp
Marcel Duchamp, A bruit secret. With hidden noise, 1916/1964, readymade with ball of twine and hidden object added by Alexina Duchamp pressed between 2 brass plates, 10.8 by 13 by 13 cm, Private Collection, © Succession Marcel Duchamp / ADAGP, Paris / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York 2013
4. Alberto Giacometti
Alberto Giacometti, Le Vide-poches, 1930-1931, painted plaster, 17.1 by 29.5 by 19.9 cm, Private Collection, © 2013 Alberto Giacometti Estate/Licensed by VAGA and ARS, New York, NY
5. Man Ray
Man Ray, Non-Euclidian object (Found Object), 1932, aluminum, steel, and plastic tubing on wooden base, 49 by 17.8 by 17.8 cm, Private Collection, © 2013 Man Ray Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY / ADAGP, Paris
6. Kurt Seligmann
Kurt Seligmann, Deux têtes (Two Heads), 1931, painted wood construction, height: 52.7 cm, Private Collection, © 2013 Orange County Citizens Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
"Dada and Surrealist Objects" will run from October 24 until December 14, 2013 at Blain Di Donna.