Highlights from Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

March 22nd – July 30th, 2023

180 works – including paintings, sculptures, drawings, documents, and artifacts, all from the collection of one of the leading museums in the Netherlands – and their dialogue with some masterpieces from the Permanent Collection.
The exhibition is curated by art historian Els Hoek, a curator of the museum, with the collaboration of Alessandro Nigro, professor of History of Art and Art Criticism at the University of Florence, who was assigned the specific task of focusing on the complex, yet refined relationship between Surrealism and non-Western cultures.

This reminds us once again that the venue of a Museum of Cultures such as Mudec lends itself perfectly, as a genius loci, to the development of the artistic dialogues between different cultures. And this exhibition is, indeed, the outcome of a research project regarding a very stimulating artistic ‘syncretism’ that characterized the 1920s and 1930s, in Europe but also elsewhere.

Besides this focus, the exhibition explores the fundamental themes of Surrealist research: dreams and reality, the psyche, love and desire, a new type of beauty. Through the works of lesser-known Surrealists, publications, and historical documents, the exhibition provides visitors with a 360-degree view of the Surrealist universe.

Instead of adopting a single, overarching style, Surrealist artists pursued a new kind of beauty, of the kind encountered in their dreams and subconscious, a beauty found ‘by chance.’

Through the wide selection of masterpieces included in the exhibition the visitor learns about the main pillars of the Surrealists and the reasons behind the creation of the movement: using found objects, automatic techniques or game-like rules, the artists attempted to get rid of the rational, hoping to create a poetic shock that would change the world.

The six sections introduce visitors to the world of Surrealism, its vision and the multifacetedness of Surrealist manifestations in a wide variety of artistic fields: paintings, works on paper, publications and objects, sculptures… the Surrealist attitude pervades the rooms, one by one, in a 360-degree journey.

Each section is introduced by a key sculpture, which speaks to the visitor by evoking the theme of the section, and by a quotation reminding the audience that surrealism was first and foremost also a philosophical manifesto, a stream of poetic thinking, a glimpse and enchantment on an – other – reality.

Mon – Fri 9:00 – 18:00

22.03.2023 – 30.07.2023
Monday 2.30pm – 7.30pm
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday 9.30am – 7.30pm
Thursday, Saturday 9.30am – 10.30pm


Mudec – Museo delle Culture
via Tortona 56, Milano

Press Kit

Fill in the FORM or Login with the credentials in your possession to download high resolution images