Vitra Design Museum
28.09.2019 – 19.01.2020
Surrealism was one of the most influential art movements of the twentieth century. Everyday objects played a central role in its dreamlike imagery: they were alienated, ironized, or combined to create curious hybrids. This led to the creation of numerous key works of modern art, from Marcel Duchamp’s »Bicycle Wheel« (1913) to Salvador Dalí’s »Lobster Telephone« (1936). In reverse, Surrealism also exerced a decisive influence on the evolution of design. On 28 September 2019 the Vitra Design Museum opens a major exhibition that offers a comprehensive look at the dialogue between Surrealism and design. For the first time, it will unveil the extent to which Surrealism has influenced design of the past 100 years – from furniture and interiors to graphic design, fashion, and photography.
Our sofa "Bocca" was chosen as the key-visual of the exhibition.
To this day Surrealism is providing designers with manifold inspirations, whether motifs drawn from its fantastic imagery, its subversive approach, or its interest in the human psyche.
The exhibition »Objects of Desire« juxtaposes Surrealist artworks and design objects to reveal fascinating parallels and cross-references. Among the high-profile loans from the field of fine art are the paintings »The Red Model« (1947 or 1948) by René Magritte, Salvador Dalí’s »Giant Flying Mocha Cup with an Inexplicable Five Metre Appendage« (1944/45), and »Forest, Birds and Sun« (1927) by Max Ernst as well as such Readymades as Marcel Duchamp’s »Bottle Dryer« (1914) or »Gift« (1921) by Man Ray. The representatives of design range from works of the 1930s – such as Meret Oppenheim’s table »Traccia« (1939) – to the contemporary, including fashion designs by Iris van Herpen, objects by Front, Konstantin Grcic, or Odd Matter as well as critical design projects that question new technologies or gender roles in subversive ways. These works demonstrate that design is not just about function and technology but also about objects’ hidden realities, about our inherently secret dreams, obsessions, and myths – that is, the sur-real.