'Midnight in Paris: Surrealism at the Crossroads, 1929' opens at The Dalí
Paris is always a good idea but also a challenge when you have kids. Midnight in Paris: Surrealism at the Crossroads, 1929, the newest exhibition to open at The Dalí Museum, is an excellent (and much more convenient) way to experience the City of Light without leaving the Sunshine City. On view from Nov. 23, 2019 through April 5, 2020, this is the first and only time a show this surreal will be in North America.
As Salvador Dalí emerged as the prominent figure in the Surrealist movement in 1929, Paris played host to a critical and turbulent turning point in cultural history. Visitors in St. Petersburg now have a unique chance to step off the Metro and back in time to explore over 65 works from 23 artists of the era — including Jean Arp, André Breton, Luis Buñuel, Alexander Calder, Giorgio de Chirico, Salvador Dalí, Max Ernst, Alberto Giacometti, René Magritte, Joan Miró, Francis Picabia, Man Ray, Yves Tanguy and others — highlighting the energy and conflicts of the colleagues and friendly rivals.
As expected with a cultural revolution of this magnitude, the ambitions of the artists led to dissension; some explored the absurdity of everyday life while others forged a darker path to understanding reality. World War I had a significant impact on many of the artists, and they used their experiences during that time to create masterpieces that range from amusing to ominous. While the idea of looking through the eyes of the artists that made these works might seem daunting to some, Peter Tush, Curator of Education at The Dalí Museum, addresses those concerns:
“There’s really nothing that’s explicitly unpleasant or offensive, but there is a sense of violence and darkness about a lot of the pieces.”
For parents wanting to bring children along, this can feel intimidating. But the exhibit provides a wonderful opportunity for thoughtful discussion and questions while reinforcing the idea that art can be expressed in any way. “It’s a really different way to think about what art can be,” adds Tush.
He goes on to say, “This works really well with middle school and high school students. This idea that art matters; that there’s a real importance to this. It needs to be taken seriously, and there’s always controversy and arguments between people.”
Midnight in Paris: Surrealism at the Crossroads, 1929, organized by the Centre Pompidou, Paris, and The Dalí Museum and curated by Dr. William Jeffett and Didier Ottinger, features not only paintings and sculptures, including several rarely loaned Dalí works, but also showcases photographs of the artists and written works imperative to the movement.
Currently, there are no family tours or children’s activities related to Midnight in Paris on the Dalí calendar, but there is the possibility says Tush. Other museum activities for families include Little Surrealists Tours, DillyDally with Dalí, and Mini Melodies. The Student Surrealist Art Exhibit, Fashion Design at The Dalí, Junior Docent Art Camps, and Teen Voices offer additional educational opportunities for children and teens. Find more information at thedali.org.
Full image credits:
Salvador Dali (Figueras, 1904 – 1989) Dormeuse, cheval, lion invisibles (Invisible Sleeping Woman, Horse, Lion)  Oil on canvas Inv. AM 1993-26 Centre Pompidou, Paris, Musée national d’art moderne/Centre de creation industrielle Donated by the Association Bourdon Photo credit : © Philippe Migeat – Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI /Dist. RMN- GP ©Salvador Dali, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dali, (ARS), 2019
Joan Miró (Barcelona, 1893 – Palma di Mallorca, 1983) Peinture (Painting) 1930 Inv. AM 2853 P Centre Pompidou, Paris, Musée national d’art moderne/Centre de creation industrielle Donated by Mr. Pierre Loeb, 1949 © Successió Miró / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris 2019