Surrealism, a movement that began in Paris in the mid-twenties around the figure of André Breton, developed independently in Switzerland in an interesting way. Unlike the other twentieth-century “isms”, such as Cubism or Expressionism, Surrealism is not distinguished on the basis of particular formal and stylistic features but by an attitude, an approach to life and art shared by its members, often against the conservative political and social milieu of Europe, becoming in that way roots for progressive ideas. The chronological exhibition path presents to the public the most prominent Swiss Surrealists, starting with two movement’s precursors, Hans Arp and Paul Klee, and continuing with the leading Swiss artists who joined the Surrealist movement, either as standing members of the movement in Paris – such as Alberto Giacometti, Serge Brignoni, Gérard Vulliamy, Kurt Seligmann and Meret Oppenheim – or by bringing the new art current to Switzerland. The link between Swiss artists in Paris and those working in Switzerland promoted the spread and development of Surrealist ideas in Switzerland too, and encouraged the creation of progressive groups such as “Gruppe 33”, whose members included Otto Abt, Walter Bodmer, Walter Kurt Wiemken and Meret Oppenheim, or “Allianz. Vereinigung moderner Schweizer Künstler” (1937), which included Ernst Maass, Leo Leuppi and Hans Erni.
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