Tate Modern, London
Forget Dalí and Magritte. This sprawling survey captures the extraordinary scope of a global artistic explosion, from fantastical feminists to black power activists to Vodou painter priests
Subversive, liberating, violent, transgressive and revolutionary, surrealism was always more than a parade of melting watches and trains chuffing out of fireplaces. It was also more than a European phenomenon. For a movement that officially began in Paris in 1924, with the publication of the first Manifesto of Surrealism, its ideas travelled around the world remarkably quickly to Osaka and Bogotá, Mexico and Manila, to Cairo and to Greenwich Village.
Co-produced by Tate Modern and the Metropolitan Museum in New York, Surrealism Beyond Borders is filled with unlikely conjunctions and unsettling objects, Freudian dreamworlds, nightmares and fantasies. So surreal, so predictable. Where this exhibition – and its enormous catalogue – differs from previous surveys is in showing how expansive, sprawling and diverse a movement surrealism was, and how, emerging in the aftermath of the first world war, its influence continued through the century, in art produced in postwar Japan and Korea, in the black power movement and the protests at the 1968 Chicago Democratic Convention, and in the May 1968 protests and strikes in France.