Arizona Arts

Aug 24, 2024 – Feb 01, 2025 • In Main Gallery

A Century of Surrealism

An exhibition marking 100 years of a movement that spurned convention and sparked the imagination.


Yves Tanguy, Le Temps Égaux (Time Without Change) [detail], 1951, Oil on canvas mounted to Masonite, Gift of Edward Joseph Gallagher, Jr.


In October 1924, French poet André Breton published the first Surrealist Manifesto and marked the birth of a movement.

Breton — considered a founder of Surrealism — defined it as “pure psychic automatism,” transcending reason to delve into the unconscious mind. In the context of visual art, it is associated with impossible images and juxtapositions, revealing personal thoughts, dreams, and intricacies of the artist’s subconscious.

Though the movement originated in Europe, it had a profound influence on American art, with the first major exhibition of Surrealism held in 1936 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Reception was mixed, with some admiring the strange and fantastical imagery and others disturbed by the revolt against conformity.

The artworks included in this UAMA exhibition showcase influences and participants in the movement from the mid 1920s to 1980, emphasizing the diffusion of Surrealist ideas and techniques in the American consciousness.

This exhibition curated by Violet Rose Arma, Curatorial Assistant, is supported by the Jack and Vivian Hanson Endowment with Spanish translations provided by Jaime Fatás-Cabeza.



Clay Edgar Spohn | Dorothea Tanning | Federico Castellón | Gertrude Abercrombie | Joan Miró | Joseph Cornell | Joseph Marsh Sheridan | Kay Sage | Leonora Carrington | Leticia Tarrago | Max Ernst | Salvador Dalí | Sargent Claude Johnson | Seymour Rosofsky | Yves Tanguy