Exposition Internationale du Surréalisme, 1938


invitation / announcement
Paris, France
Galerie Beaux-Arts


Paris: Galerie Beaux-Arts, 1938 (01), 10,9×13,9 cm. Exhibition invitation card. Printed only recto. Another important piece of surrealism related ephemera. The invitation for the first, and only one in a way, International Surrealist exhibition in Paris. At 22:00 on 17th of January, André Breton gave the opening signal followed by a variety of extravagant actions and installations. List of involved artists includes: Eileen Agar, Hans Arp, John Banting, Hans Bellmer, Wilhelm Bjerke-Petersen, Victor Brauner, André Breton, Serge Brignoni, Bernard Brunius, Edward Burra, Harry Carlsson, Leonora Carrington, Giorgio De Chirico, Ann Clark, Joseph Cornell, Salvador Dalí, Norman P. Dawson, Paul Delvaux, Óscar Domínguez, Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, Espinoza, Wilhelm Freddie, Alberto Giacometti, Stanley William Hayter, Maurice Henry, George Hugnet, Marcel Jean, Humphrey Jennings, Rita Kernn-Larsen, René Magritte, André Masson, Matta Echaurren (Roberto Matta), E.L.T Mesens, Joan Miró, Henry Moore, Stellan Mörner, Paul Nash, Nina Negri, Richard Oelze, Okamoto, Erik Olson, Meret Oppenheim, Wolfgang Paalen, Roland Penrose, Benjamin Péret, Olivier Picard, Pablo Picasso, Man Ray, Remedios Varo, Kurt Seligmann, Max Servais, Jindřich Štyrský, Yves Tanguy, Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Esaias Thorén, Elsa Thoresen, Toyen, Raoul Ubac, Gérard Vulliamy. Recto features photograph of Frankenstein’s authentic descendant, the automaton “Enigmarelle,” built by an American engineer in Ireland, and which at half past midnight will cross the Surrealist Exhibition room in false flesh and bones.

Copies held in collections: André Breton Collection | The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), Accession number NX456.5.S8 E9 1938

Two years after the International Surrealist Exhibition in London’s New Burlington Galleries, and curator Alfred Barr’s group exhibition Fantastic Art, Dada and Surrealism at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, André Breton and Paul Éluard opened the doors to the Exposition Internationale du Surréalisme. The vernissage took place on January 17, 1938, at around 10 p.m., in Georges Wildenstein’s Galerie Beaux-Arts on Rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré, Paris.[…] The invitation card for the opening highlighted a few artistic contributions, for example: Salvador Dalí’s Taxi Pluvieux; L’acte Manqué, a dance performance by Hélène Vanels; and Ciel de Roussettes, an installation by Marcel Duchamp.
The catalog’s introductory text, written by art critic Raymond Cogniat, noted that the exhibition would break with established exhibition convention. According to Cogniat, it was not enough to hang paintings side-by-side on a wall; rather, visitors should be invited to become part of and explore a previously hidden, never-before perceived world. With a specially designed lighting concept by Man Ray, water and plant installations by Wolfgang Paalen, the placement of an electric brazier in the middle of the room, and an acoustic background featuring the steps and laughter of soldiers, the organizers created a surrealistic framework for the presentation of individual art contributions. Galerie Beaux-Arts extremely popular. […] (ADA invitations)

condition: Minor scuffing verso else Near Fine. Exceptional copy of this scarce card.