Modern Art from 1930: Surrealism and Neo-Romanticism National Museum Cardiff

Surrealist art was concerned with dream imagery and the subconscious world. The artists experimented with various techniques to unleash the unknown strangeness of the mind.

Surrealism began in Paris in 1924, born in a time of cultural upheaval and scepticism, following the horrors of the First World War. The Surrealists freed themselves from the control of reason and developed new artistic techniques to illustrate their subconscious thoughts and dreams.

The movement came to public attention in Britain with The International Surrealist exhibition held in London in 1936.

This gallery displays works by some of the British artists involved in this exhibition including Eileen Agar, John Banting, Henry Moore, Graham Sutherland, Julian Trevelyan and Paul Nash.

Surrealism took on a diverse form in Britain. It was seen as an alternative to pure abstract art and encouraged them to engage with nature in new ways, particularly the landscape.

Surrealism was linked to the emergence of a new style in Britain called Neo-Romanticism. This movement built on a long landscape tradition in British art.

Many Neo-Romantic artists, including Graham Sutherland, chose to work in Wales. They were interested in variety and uniqueness of the Welsh landscape.

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NMW A 2051, René Magritte, The Empty Mask, 1928
NMW A 2051, René Magritte, The Empty Mask, 1928
NMW A 269, John Piper, Coast of Pembroke, 1938-40, '© The Trustees of the John Piper Estate'
NMW A 269, John Piper, Coast of Pembroke, 1938-40, '© The Trustees of the John Piper Estate'
Map of gallery 12


Gallery 12
National Museum Cardiff
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