Dalí and the Surrealists at Te Papa

This is your once-in-a-lifetime chance to see masterpieces from Rotterdam’s Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Wellington

Salvador Dali A Dali Atomicus 09633u


12 Jun – 31 Oct 2021


Te Papa

55 Cable Street

See a world-famous art collection including works by artists Salvador Dalí, Max Ernst, Leonora Carrington, René Magritte and Marcel Duchamp at this New Zealand exclusive exhibition. 

Surrealist Art: Masterpieces from Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen | He Toi Pohewa: He Toi Marupō o Muhiama o Boijmans Van Beuningen features 180 fascinating pieces spanning from the 1920s to the 1960s and includes work by all of the major Surrealist artists.

Ren Magritte The house of glass 2
Salvador dali divano labbra di mae west 1938
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen Director Sjarel Ex
Salvador Dali 1939

The most prominent artist in the exhibition is Salvador Dalí, whose works include exquisitely fine paintings and printmaking, playful sculptures and design, and unsettling film.

Visitors to the exhibition at Te Papa will be able to see iconic surrealist works such as Dalí’s Mae West Lips Sofa (1938) –  a playfully subversive couch shaped as a lush pair of red lips –  and René Magritte’s La maison de verre (1939); an uncanny masterpiece in which a man’s face looks out at us from the back of his head.

The collection is coming from Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, which is currently undergoing large-scale renovation work. Te Papa is the only venue in Asia Pacific to be showing the exhibition which will be the largest Surrealist exhibition ever to be shown in New Zealand.

Surrealist Art: Masterpieces from Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen | He Toi Pohewa: He Toi Marupō o Muhiama o Boijmans Van Beuningen will open at Te Papa on 12 June 2021 and run through until 31 October 2021.

Surrealist art has created many of the most defining images of the last 100 years. The exhibition will highlight the hugely creative, influential and revolutionary nature of these artists and their work

Courtney Johnson, Te Papa Chief Executive

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen’s collection of Surrealist art

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen is an eclectic and distinctive museum that has stood in the heart of Rotterdam for the past 170 years. It has one of the world’s largest collections of Surrealist art with more than 125 paintings and sculptures plus a collection of rare books and publications.

Several iconic works from this collection were originally owned by the eccentric British collector Edward James, who for several years was a patron of Dalí as well as Magritte. He is portrayed in the famous painting ‘La reproduction interdite’, which will be on show in Dalí and the Surrealists.

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Interesting fact

Te Papa in Wellington is the only venue in the Asia-Pacific region to host Surrealist Art | He Toi Marupō

Salvador Dali Couple with their heads in the clouds oil on panel 1936. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen Rotterdam. Photo Studio Tromp. Salvador Dali Fundacio Gala Salvador Dali VEGAP. Copyright Agency 2020

What is Surrealism?

Launched by manifesto in Paris in 1924, Surrealism quickly took the world by storm. It spread across all fields of artistic production, and the influence of Surrealist ideas was felt around the globe. Artists, writers, designers and filmmakers adopted radical new techniques, subjects, materials and styles, in their attempt to create a new kind of reality grounded in dreams, the irrational and the subconscious. Through their work, Surrealist artists aimed to shock, disrupt and delight. Their ideas have shaped much of the art of the 20th and early 21st centuries.

Tickets go on sale Friday 9 April 

Register your interest

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