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Art Diary

Surrealism in Belgium

16 February 2024

Although André Breton is generally regarded as the father of the Surrealist movement, Bozar seeks to remind the world that the Belgian Surrealists were not simply following in the footsteps of their French contemporaries (21 Feb–16 June). This exhibition, marking 100 years of Surrealism in Belgium, takes its title ‘Histoire de ne pas rire’ (a story with no laughs’) from the work of poet Paul Nougé, whose Surrealist pamphlets were produced at the same time as Breton’s famous manifesto of 1924. Featuring the work of notable artists such as René Magritte, Rachel Baes and Marcel Mariën, the exhibition will also look at the movement’s international reach and socio-political context, as well as include a selection of work by artists creating today. It will be of a surreal scale itself, drawing together more than 360 objects from more than 50 museums and private collections. It doesn’t end at the doors of Bozar, either: the exhibition is paired with IMAGINE! at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, for those wanting to delve deeper into the world of Surrealism. Find out more from Bozar’s website.

Preview below | View Apollo’s Art Diary here

La Jongleuse (1929–30), Paul Nougé. Archives and Museum of Literature, Brussels

Norine (1920–29), E.L.T. Mesens. Amsab-Institute of Social History, Ghent

Le double secret (1927), René Magritte. Centre Pompidou, Paris