Dream and Nightmare
Surrealism experimented with different formulas within portraiture in an attempt to bring to light those impulses and desires within the human being that society had repressed. Through various works by Joan Miró, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, Giorgio de Chirico and Frida Kahlo this section looks at portraits charged with symbolism and metaphor.
At the same time, for other artists Surrealism’s dream-world was not an effective vehicle to avoid the growing Fascist nightmare of these years. The first part of the exhibition thus closes with self-portraits by Käthe Kollwitz and Felix Nussbaum; works whose drama and sadness reflect a disillusionment that was gradually turning into terror, while summarising the experience of an entire generation.
Portrait II, 1938
Oil on canvas, 63 3/4 x 51 1/8 in. (162 x 130 cm)
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid
Portrait of Pablo Picasso in the 21st Century, 1947
Oil on canvas, 25 3/4 x 22 in. (65.5 x 56 cm)
Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí
Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird, 1940
Oil on canvas mounted on Masonite, 24 1/2 x 19 in. (62.2 x 48.3 cm)
Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin.
Nickolas Muray Collection