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Getty Center presents Farewell to Surrealism. The Dyn Circle in Mexico

Getty Center presents Farewell to Surrealism. The Dyn Circle in Mexico on view until February 17, 2013.

Gordon Onslow-Ford, The Marriage, 1944. Courtesy private collection. © Lucid Art Foundation.

Drawn to the ruins of the Pacific Northwest and pre-Columbian Mexico, three European artists—Wolfgang Paalen, Alice Rahon, and Eva Sulzer—left Paris in 1939 for Mexico City, becoming part of an international group of Surrealist artists and writers who settled there during the 1940s.

These artists—haunted by the Second World War, inspired by science, and seduced by archaeological discoveries—defined a new direction for their art, breaking away from the Surrealism of 1930s Paris. In dialogue with, and in opposition to, their Surrealist colleagues in New York, they created the journal Dyn. From 1942 to 1944, six issues of Dyn were published and distributed in New York, London, Paris, and Mexico City. The journal included the work of avant-garde writers, painters, and photographers, as well as scholarly contributions by anthropologists and archaeologists.

The title of the exhibition is taken from Paalen’s essay “Farewell au surrealism,” which was published in the first issue of Dyn in 1942, signaling his public break with Surrealism. Paalen criticized Surrealism’s philosophical foundations, particularly what he describes as its simplistic application of the ideas of Marx and Freud.

Much of the material on display in this exhibition comes from the papers of Peruvian poet, essayist, artist, curator, and editor César Moro. The Getty Research Institute’s César Moro papers include numerous affectionate cards and letters from members of the Dyn circle. The most notable among these is Moro’s book-length poem Lettre d’amour (Love letter), which was published by Éditions Dyn, the journal’s offshoot book imprint.

Getty Research Institute, Getty Center
1200 Getty Center Tram
Los Angeles, CA 90049

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